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site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Rivers in New Mexico  :: Rio Grande River New Mexico  :: Upper Box Whitewater Kayaking Trip

Upper Box Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Rio Grande River

Upper Box Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Lee Trail
Take Out:  Little Arsenic Springs
Difficulty:  Class V Class V-: 400 to 800 cfs, Class V: 800 to 1800
Gradient:  60 ft/mi
Run Length:  13 miles
Current Streamflow:  340 cfs @ 12/14/2016 11:15 AM - RIO GRANDE NEAR CERRO, NM, reading taken from USGS
Flow Information (phone):  Watertalk 303-831-7135; 3*, 13* or (505) 758-8148. Rio Grande River near Cerro, NM.
Good Level:  500-2,000 cfs
Season Comments:  April, May, June, July
Permit:  Yes, free and available at the Visitor Center located on the Loop Road of the Wild Rivers Recreation Area or from the BLM ranger monitoring the take-out.
Character/Similar To:  Difficult boating filled with pushy, pool drop rapids for the seasoned expert.
Hazards:  Remote area and expert rapids. Rescue in case of emergency would be difficult.
Water Craft:  kayak,wwcan,raft
Land Ownership:  Mixed
Wilderness:  No
Camping on River:  Some riverside shelters. Developed campsites and BLM Visitor's Center in Rio Grande Wild River Recreation Area along the canyon rim above the Upper Box.
Location:  In the Canyon Country (NM), 90 miles North of Santa Fe
Shuttle Logistics:  Put-in: To reach Lee Trail turn west off New Mexico 522 about 10 miles south of the Colorado border onto Sunshine Vally Road that leads 6 miles to the rim and the head of Sunshine Trail. The road turns south for an additional 4 miles; at its end a sign marks the head of Lee Trail.

Take-out: Turn west off New Mexico 522 about 3 miles north of Questa onto New Mexico 378 which first runs west, then south to trailheads at various campgrounds including Little Arsenic.

Towns near Upper Box Kayaking

Albuquerque New Mexico
Durango Colorado
Raton New Mexico
Santa Fe New Mexico
South Fork Colorado
Taos New Mexico

Other Resources

Canyon Country Kayak Clubs
  • Adobe Whitewater Club of New Mexico