Traverse the calm oxbows of the Orilla Verde National Recreation Area on this Rio Grande rafting float.  The open canyon allows scenic views of towering basalt cliffs, high desert ecosystems, a lush riverside habitat, Class II rapids and swimming.

The easy rapids occur throughout the outing, in between calm stretches perfect for swimming.  You'll float through the village of Pilar, New Mexico and observe a quiet zone to minimize the impact of the group's passage through this historic, small New Mexico community.

This adventure is suitable for ages 4 and up.  Orders must be for 4+ persons for this trip.

Taos is located about 130 miles from Albuquerque.

Rates - including tax

Type Rate
Adult Rate
(Ages 12+, Minimum Total of 4 Persons Per Order):
Child Rate
(Ages 4-11):

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Tour / Activity Details

2.5 to 3 hours
8:15 am & 12:15 pm daily (March 1 through October 1)

48 Hours Minimum Advance Booking Required.  Minimum age is 4.  Minimum 4 persons per order for this trip.  This tour does not include hotel pick-up; the meeting location will be detailed on your E-Ticiket.  Please order online or call us at 212-852-4822 to order or for more information.

There is a $6.95 USD processing fee per order. This is a flat fee regardless of the number of tickets or tours purchased on an order. There is a service charge per ticket. This charge will be reflected on your summary before you checkout. The total shown at checkout includes any fuel surcharges, service charges and tax. There are no additional charges, unless otherwise specified.

Tour / Activity Policies

Cancellation Policy: There are no refunds. All sales are final.

Change Fee Policy: If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can only be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.

Tour / Activity Description

What to Expect

Check in is 10 or 15 minutes before departure. You'll read and sign the waiver form, thus assuming the normal risks of participation in a guided outdoor activity. You'll park at a public parking lot, so you will need to stow and lock all valuables in your trunk.

At the river, a Personal Floatation Device (lifejacket) will be fitted to you. If anyone in your party weighs under 100 pounds or over 200 pounds, please specify that on the booking form so the guides can properly fit everyone.

Most groups go in a paddle boat, but for those who do not wish or are unable to, the guides may also do the navigating in oar-powered rafts. 


What to Bring:

  • Cap or hat
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses with retaining strap
  • Quick dry Shorts and T-shirt
  • Sneakers with wool socks
  • Dry clothes in your car for after the trip


Waiver Required:

Before going on any river trip, each guest must read, understand and sign a Liability Waiver. Parents or legal guardians must sign for anyone under legal age.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need experience? -- This activity can be done by people with no experience at all. The route is well suited for families and first-timers. The minimum age is 4 years. Your experienced team of New Mexico raft guides will teach you how to paddle as a team, as most of the rafts used are paddle boats. In all but very low water levels, they are able to take oar boats for those unable to paddle.

Am I going to get wet? -- Most likely, yes. On the mildest trips, at least your feet will get wet. The guides will provide rain gear and wet suits as necessary.

What does your outfitter provide? -- They will provide all the rafting equipment necessary for your river trip. For these half-day trips, a small snack is served.

What if I forget to bring something I need? -- You might be able to buy what you need at the check-in point. You can purchase boating accessories, eyewear retainers or sunglasses. If you're hungry before or after the rafting trip, the facility offers burritos, sandwiches, fresh baked goods, snacks and drinks.

Is rafting safe? -- Whitewater rafting is an outdoor adventure sport with an element of inherent risk, so it is possible to be injured. Is it dangerous? No, but no reputable outfitter should tell you it is absolutely safe. The uncontrolled and sometimes unpredictable elements of a naturally flowing river are part of the thrill of whitewater rafting. The water levels and difficulty of the rapids are factors but, statistically, you are much more likely to be injured playing basketball or skiing. An experienced outfitter familiar with the varying conditions likely to be encountered can greatly minimize the risks involved. The use of alcohol or illegal drugs before or during a trip is both illegal and forbidden. Anyone under the influence will be removed from a trip without refund.

What preparations has your outfitter made for safety? -- They are thoroughly equipped and prepared to minimize the risks. They use quality manufactured self-bailing river rafts. Your river guides are all experienced professionals; guide qualifications include wilderness first aid, CPR and Swiftwater Rescue training.

How do I get back to my car? -- The guides will provide transportation to and from the check-in location where you park your car.

Can I bring my camera to take photos? -- The guides suggest not trying to take photographs during the raft trip. Not only is it difficult to accomplish, but whitewater rafting means there's a lot of water splashing about. Water and cameras don't mix very well! If you still want to try taking your own photographs, they recommend bringing a disposable/waterproof camera. Waterproof storage can be provided, but it is no guarantee against getting a camera wet. An alternative is offered. A professional photography company the guides work with will shoot you in the rapids and you may order pictures from them online at your convenience.

Do I need to know how to swim? -- No, but it is a valuable asset on a tour like this. Your PDF (personal floatation device, or life jacket) is US Coast Guard approved and is designed to keep you afloat should you find yourself out of the raft. A pre-trip safety orientation is presented before all trips. This orientation covers most situations you might encounter during your trip.

Is tipping expected? -- Tips are accepted and appreciated, but not expected or required. The guides are adequately compensated, but the difference between a good river trip and a great river trip is frequently the guide. If you are inclined to tip based on excellence of service, a good reference is how you would tip in a restaurant.

What if I have special medical or physical requirements? -- This outfitter has taken people on the river with sight handicaps, paraplegics, severe arthritis, missing limbs and many other lesser handicaps. Your E-Ticket will provide a phone number to call to discuss any specifics. The guides, with careful planning and the critical assistance of friends and/or relatives, have been able to introduce guests with difficult physical challenges to the beauty of these river canyons.

What about toilet facilities? -- You're going to be out in the wild, so there are no facilities once you are on the river.


River Rapid Class Rating System:

  • Class I -- Easy - Water with riffles and small waves and few obstructions that are easily missed.
  • Class II -- Novice - Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels. Some maneuvering required. Rocks and medium waves are easily missed.
  • Class III -- Intermediate - Rapids with moderate, irregular waves that are difficult to avoid with tight passages, strong eddies and currents.
  • Class IV -- Advanced - Intense, predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling, with some unavoidable waves and tight passages.
  • Class V -- Expert - Extremely long or very violent rapids. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and tight chutes with complex routes.


48 Hours Minimum Advance Booking Required.  Minimum age is 4.  Minimum 4 persons per order for this trip.  This tour does not include hotel pick-up; the meeting location will be detailed on your E-Ticiket.  Please order online or call us at 212-852-4822 to order or for more information.

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