River Rafting

If you want to watch birds and wildlife along the banks, try the laid-back floats along the Rio Chama or the Rio Grande's White Rock Canyon. The season generally runs from April to October. More rugged white-water rafting adventures take place from spring through early summer, farther north along the Rio Grande. Most outfitters have overnight package plans, and all offer half- and full-day trips. Be prepared to get wet, and wear secure water shoes.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Taos Field Office. For a list of outfitters who guide trips on the Rio Grande and the Rio Chama, contact the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Taos Resource Area Office, or stop by the Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center along NM 68 (on the "Low Road" to Taos), 16 miles south of Taos in the small village of Pilar, the launching point for many rafting trips on the Rio Grande. The visitor center is also an official part of the 242,500-acre Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, created in 2013 and administered by the BLM. 226 Cruz Alta Rd., Taos, New Mexico, 87571. 575/758–8851; 575/751–4899; www.blm.gov.

Kokopelli Rafting Adventures. This respected outfitter offers half-day, full-day, and multiday river trips down the Rio Grande and Rio Chama. 1401 Maclovia St., Unit A, South Side, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87505. 505/983–3734; www.kokopelliraft.com.

New Wave Rafting. Look to this company founded in 1980 for full-day, half-day, and overnight river trips on the Rio Chama and Rio Grande, as well as fly-fishing trips, from its riverside location in Embudo, 45 miles north of Santa Fe, on the Low Road to Taos. You can also rent funyaks and paddle easier stretches of rapids yourself. 2110 NM 68, mile marker 21, Embudo, New Mexico, 87531. 800/984–1444; www.newwaverafting.com.

Santa Fe Rafting Company and Outfitters. This well-known tour company leads day trips down the Rio Grande and the Chama River and customizes rafting tours. Tell them what you want—they'll figure out a way to do it. 1000 Cerrillos Rd., South Side, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87505. 505/988–4914; 888/988–4914; www.santaferafting.com.