The gorge has Class II to Class V white water rapids that are managed for recreation by The U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The BLM maintains two developed recreation areas along the river that include hiking, biking and other recreational opportunities. In New Mexico, The Rio Grande has two main sections for rafting near Taos: the Taos Box and the Racecourse Run. The Taos Box, a more dramatic, deep canyon, is famous for its big, technical Class IV rapids, while the Racecourse Run is a Class III stretch better suited for first-time rafters and families.
March through June are typically high water months. The Race Course flows all summer long with the waves becoming technical maneuvers, around boulders, over drops and through tight squeezes. It’s great family fun on a hot summer day rafting the cool waters of the Rio Grande.
The Rio Grande Gorge is a geological feature in northern New Mexico where the watercourse of the Rio Grande follows a tectonic chasm. Beginning near the Colorado border, the approximately 50-mile gorge runs from northwest to southeast of Taos, New Mexico, through the basalt flows of the Taos Plateau volcanic field. The gorge depth is 800 feet just south of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, which spans the gorge 10 miles northwest of Taos.