US Whitewater > New Mexico > Rio Chama



New Mexico whitewater, Rio Chama

Rio Arriba county, Monastary to Big Eddy section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II-III     7 miles
Beautiful run through forgiving rapids.  Can be run if USGS gauge above Abiquiu Lake has a reading above 300 cfs, but best between 500-1700 cfs.  Really more of a canoe or raft run than a kayaking run.  Rapids tend to wash out at higher levels.  Good USFS campgrounds along the river. Says Cullen Hallmark

The put-in is not too far from Espanola, there's a road map further down the page with more info on that. Whitewater rafting and
    kayaking in this state is often easier than elsewhere, so better not forget that quite a few of the sections in this state are pretty easy. The scenic beauty of Rio Arriba County and the playfulness of the water will make
you feel great. You might have to settle for a hotel a bit away from the river if you want to stay the night, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick. This section is long enough to enjoy a good non stop paddle, good for a one day paddling trip. This river system is full of great paddling stretches, the Monastary to Big Eddy stretch is just one of them. This section of Rio Chama in New Mexico is 7 miles long  
and is rated by American Whitewater as a class II-III section. You might be into whitewater rafting or kayaking or both, doesn't matter, this is an area with not too many other rivers for that. The beauty of the San Juan and Jemez Mountains is a great plus for this river. The campgrounds here at Rio Chama are pretty good. Getting some good exercise and just hanging out with mother nature will have you coming back for more.

Briefly about the general area:
Going for a hike on the Encino Trail is always a fine adventure, and if you're here why not go to Ojitos Canyon. If you like the outdoors you'll like it here in the San Juan and Jemez Mountains.

Rio Chama, Monastary to Big Eddy road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Rio Chama.
 Whitewater Near Rio Chama:
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 4 miles away
      Class II-III - 7 miles long (Monastary to Big Eddy)
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 15 miles away
      Class I-II - 25 miles long (Abiquiu Dam to confluence with Rio Grande)
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 15 miles away
      Class I-III - 33 miles long (El Vado Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir)
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 23 miles away
      Class I-III - 15 miles long (Los Ojos to El Vado Lake)
Rio de los Brazos, Rio Arriba County, 25 miles away
      Class I-III - 9 miles long (Corkins Lodge to confluence with Rio Chama)
Jemez River, Sandoval County, 28 miles away
      Class -blank- - 50 miles long (Battleship Rock to Zia Pueblo)
 Ski Areas Near Rio Chama:
Pajarito Mountain, New Mexico , 30 miles away, 1410 foot drop, 7 lifts, 37 runs
Wolf Creek, Colorado , 64 miles away, 1604 foot drop, 7 lifts, 77 runs
Sandia Peak, New Mexico , 65 miles away, 1700 foot drop, 6 lifts, 30 runs
Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico , 65 miles away, 1725 foot drop, 7 lifts, 69 runs
Sipapu, New Mexico , 76 miles away, 1055 foot drop, 4 lifts, 31 runs
Taos, New Mexico , 83 miles away, 2612 foot drop, 13 lifts, 110 runs
Red River, New Mexico , 87 miles away, 1600 foot drop, 7 lifts, 58 runs
Angel Fire, New Mexico , 94 miles away, 2077 foot drop, 7 lifts, 74 runs
 Hotels Near Rio Chama:
Comfort Inn & Suites Los Alamos, Los Alamos , 34 miles away
Holiday Inn Express & Suites LOS ALAMOS ENTRADA PARK, Los Alamos , 37 miles away
Hampton Inn - Suites Los Alamos, White Rock , 41 miles away
The Inn At The Delta, Espanola , 43 miles away
Santa Claran Hotel, Espanola , 44 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Rio Chama:
Rio Chama, Coyote, 3 miles away
Echo Campground, Rio Arriba County, 7 miles away
Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center, Canones, 11 miles away
 Trails Near Rio Chama:
Hart Trail, Rio Arriba , 8 miles away
Encino Trail, Rio Arriba , 12 miles away
San Pedro Parks Trail, Rio Arriba , 16 miles away
Redonda Trail, Rio Arriba , 17 miles away
Upper Gallina River Trail, Rio Arriba , 17 miles away
 Public Lands Near Rio Chama:
Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos - NM , 36 miles away
Santa Fe National Historic Trail, Santa Fe - NM , 53 miles away
El Vado Lake State Park, New Mexico , 20 miles away
Heron Lake State Park, New Mexico , 23 miles away
Fenton Lake State Park, New Mexico , 26 miles away
 Lakes Near Rio Chama
El Vado Reservoir, Rio Arriba , 16 miles away
Heron Reservoir, Rio Arriba , 20 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.