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White water rafting tips

Prairie Village, KS
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White water rafting tips

I've been exploring the white water rafting idea that someone gave me in another post. There are a lot of companies that do it and they all have very similar pricing. The Racecourse is the one that interests me the most...kids are 7 and 9 so it seems like a good one for first-timers. Curious if there is any company that stands out for some reason or if there are any to avoid. Or any other insights are welcome too...thanks!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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1. Re: White water rafting tips

I haven't been rafting here, but the 2 buses I see all the time are Kokopelli and Santa Fe Rafting.

Albuquerque, New...
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for Albuquerque, New Mexico
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2. Re: White water rafting tips

It's been a very long time since we've rafted in NM, and I'm not sure who we used back then. Far Flung is a name that's been around a long time. I'm sure there are a handful of good ones to choose from, at least, and perhaps someone with recent experience can help. Pilar, south of Taos, is the usual, most popular meeting place. I think you are right about Racecourse. It goes south of Pilar, while the Box is north of Pilar.

I found this list from the BLM: blm.gov/pgdata/…20Trips.pdf

Some outfitters have links on their web sites and certainly can provide information when you call them up about predicted and actual flow (cfs) in late May. Right now they're watching snowpack but temperatures between now and late May will also determine whether it's peaking then. I think USGS has the actual flow info (see, for example, Rio Grande Taos Junction Bridge station) and I've seen places to find historical data. I AM NO EXPERT ON THIS, but I think--so you can start to ask questions from the outfitters--that Racecourse runs good near its high season at 2000 cfs or more. It's 600 cfs now, after a few days of early warmish temps. I think I'm seeing that 3000 cfs and over could be too high for young children. But ask someone who really knows.

I've also floated the Chama at a low season. That may be another option, not sure. And we took very small children on a very tame portion of the Animas in early June in Durango, but that's not where you'll be. And since Pilar is near Taos, you may want to try to get Taos contributors/experts.

Could be lots of fun.

Albuquerque, New...
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for Albuquerque, New Mexico
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3. Re: White water rafting tips

Just a couple of (probably obvious) tips. With good flow, you and kids will get wet and the water is cold. For that reason, I'd say avoid cotton clothing. So ask about clothing, shoes/sandals, and what else to bring, too. I'd consider adding a shell or suitable "middle layer". Ask outfitter if they will have dry bag on board; otherwise, you'll have to leave valuables behind inside the car. I've never figured out what to do about a camera, but think it's a shame not to have one. Savvy outfitters will also have a "professional" photog at an especially photo-op locale along the way. I'm sure you'll want sunscreen. Front of the boat gets wetter and kids will see the holes right in front of them. My kids got more excited once they experienced their first Class III. (I think they were mostly Class IIs and floats on our relatively tame ride.) Best moment was when they said it was better than Disneyland.

Prairie Village, KS
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4. Re: White water rafting tips

Good stuff...thanks. I'm realizing a lot will depend on water level when we are there (end of May). They all say minimum age of 6 or 7 but if it's pushing 3000 cfs that might not be such a good idea. I have a feeling the rafting company may be chosen according to whoever has last-minute availability...they all seem pretty similar anyway.

Albuquerque, New...
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5. Re: White water rafting tips

You know, I'd keep calling ahead and asking questions about how they work with children. I think they have good cancellation policies on reservations and you'll probably want reservations ahead of time for that time of the year. The flow conditions will become more apparent to them It trends and fluctuates, depending on things I can only guess at.

Charlotte, North...
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6. Re: White water rafting tips

I personally like Blue Heron Whitewater Rafting. The trip they take you on via the French Broad River is amazing.

NORTH CAROLINA
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7. Re: White water rafting tips

The French Broad is in NC not NM and this OP has already been on his trip.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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8. Re: White water rafting tips

Back in the day...I guided trips with French Broads aboard, about twice a month...carracar

Edited: 13 June 2013, 00:12
9. Re: White water rafting tips

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