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“Loved Cottam's Guide Service for this course”
Review of Racecourse

Racecourse
Ranked #45 of 100 things to do in Taos
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: WAHOO! The Racecourse, extending five miles and rated Class III, is one of the most popular whitewater segments on the Rio Grande. Big River raft Trips is a complete river outfitter. We provide all rafting equipment and most everything you will need. Come visit Big River Raft Trips and take the trip of a lifetime!!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 26 June 2012

Had a great time and super knowledgable guide (Evan). We used Cottam's and were very pleased with the safety and service. The river is low, not scary at all--highly recommend!

1  Thank soonerjen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigriverbilly, Public Relations Manager at Racecourse, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2016

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16 - 19 of 19 reviews

Reviewed 22 May 2012

This was our first rafting trip anywhere and it couldn't have been better. Guide Billy was fun and full of facts and information about the local flora & fauna. The racecourse was a great first trip for beginners. Placid in parts but exciting enough to leave you wanting more. Water levels low this time of year but still worth the trip.

2  Thank SunshineDaydream73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigriverbilly, Public Relations Manager at Racecourse, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2016

Thankyou

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Reviewed 29 May 2010

Was in Santa Fe on business and had an extra couple of days to explore. A friend referred me to New Wave Rafting. Since I don't have much rafting experience I decided to on their afternoon trip down the "Racecourse". We had a great guide who took his time and showed us all the tricks, kept us safe and kept it fun. Great time, great folks. Will come again!! Thanks New Wave!!!

3  Thank adventureDC
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Bigriverbilly, Public Relations Manager at Racecourse, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2016

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Reviewed 14 July 2008

A group of us just came back from a long weekend in the Taos area. We chose to do the Racecourse white water rafting down the Rio Grande. It was a lot of fun, but this time of year the water levels are lower (July) although there was a lot of snow melt this year so we had about 1000 cfpm still. At other times during the snow melt run off season I bet the same section of river is probably more thrilling. I have whitewater rafted before and this was much tamer, but it was a lot of fun and we want to come back for the Taos Box during the high season (May to June) next year. I think there were about 2 to 3 Class III rapids with about a half dozen more Class I and II rapids sprinkled throughout. The last mile or two is gentle river rafting and many people jump out and swim alongside the boats enjoying the water (granted, it was July and the water and air is a bit warmer).

There are quite a few rafting companies that take you for tours along this section of the river. We chose Los Rios River Runners. I highly recommend them (as they were to us) and would go with this group again the next time for their other tours. The Racecourse trip is a half-day run. You meet in Pilar around 9:30 (at the Visitor Center -- free parking) a short drive from Taos (about 10 or 15 miles I guess). You check in, jump on the bus, and they drive you down to where the put-in is. At that site, they give you the safety briefing, your life vest and helmut (optional), your paddle, and they divide you up into rafts or match up parties (we were joined by 3 other guys). They have a photographer that takes beach shots and then sits in a perch near the last Class III rapid taking photos that you can purchase later online (they're kind of pricey, but very good).

Our guide was funny and knew what he was doing. He was good at giving instructions and keeping it fun. The take out was at a beach/parking area and the Los Rios bus was there (with snacks) to pick us up to drive us back to the parking area where we parked our own vehicles. We got back to the car around 12:30ish. So, plan for a full morning for this trip.

The scenery along the Racecourse section (I forget, about 8 miles I think?) is nice. The Highway from Santa Fe to Taos does run along side it most of the way, too. This section has some canyon walls, but not as high like up stream.

This trip is ideal for families and even younger children. In the summer time that is, so I would check for conditions depending on time of year when taking younger children. There were quite a few 7 to 10 year olds in the large group that went out (about 8 rafts). Nobody in our boat became a "swimmer", but in other boats there were quite a few who fell out (no little kids fell out though). The river in this section wasn't that scary and the guides in the other boats quickly got everyone back in.

This is probably a great section of river to try out if you've never whitewater rafted before or if you have a family with kids and want to have some fun. We had a great time and enjoyed Los Rios River Runners.

10  Thank FlipperGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigriverbilly, Guest Relations Manager at Racecourse, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2016

Thankyou

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