Packrafting New Mexico

Alaska transplant now living in New Mexico. Looking for people to paddle with on the Rio Grande, Chama and in Southern Colorado. My experience is class III/IV Guardrails- Willow, AK.

Hey Ruffino,

I’m unfortunately new to packrafting but long-time backpacker. I’m geared up (AQ shred + had to go nirvana b/c lead times at Alpacka…), but I have a lot to learn. I’ve done some ocean and lake kayaking before, always enjoyed it, but only a few times. I’m heading up to Durango (from Las Cruces) in the next week or two for some IK and/or raft runs with a company to build a bit of experience, then plan to test/play/learn with the nirvana at the whitewater park there in Durango.

I could try to hit you up on the way back to Cruces? I’ll have clearer plans and exact dates sometimes this week.



I am the new SW Regional Contact. I reside in Glenwood, NM and paddle the Gila Region, as well as throughout the 4 Corners states. Feel free to reach out, if you still live in the region and want to get on some trips. If the monsoon rains keep up, we might be paddling here as soon as next month (7/22).

Paddle on,

Awesome. I didn’t think there was enough flow to paddle any section of the Gila. I backpack the middle fork most summers.

I’ll reach out. Currently back to adding new stuff to the van/RV, but got my gear and need to do some learning or otherwise gain experience.


@zdog how have the rains panned out? Has there been enough water to paddle the Gila?

I live in Santa Fe by the way, always happy to get on the Rio/Chama/elsewhere with whomever’s interested.

The Gila, from Grapevine (Wilderness) to AZ Gila Box has been boat-able for 3 windows of time, so far, this monsoon season.

I’m in the process of putting a contact list together, for paddling rendezvous and an eventual regional round-up. Let me know if you’re interested.


Hello Mike, I don’t think we’ve met, but we’re SW Colorado paddlers.

We are considering heading down to the Gila this weekend and next week. Looks like it should still be runnable. I haven’t seen any post-flood trip reports. Any debris jams we should know about?

Not sure if I’ll paddle my kayak or packraft; partner Emily will have a packraft.

We are open to meeting up with other boaters. Otherwise need to find a shuttle. Any recommendations?

Hi Matt.

Unfortunately, without new precipitation, flows are kind of winding-down at present and I expect Gila Wilderness will be barely boat-able (~200 cfs) over the holiday weekend. The good news is that the main river channel is the clearest of wood that it has been in a decade - we only encountered one river-wide strainer and it was in the last 1-2 miles of the run, just above Mogollon Box. Note: last I checked the USFS still had the Mogollon Box (Take-out RAP) area closed for parking, camping and day-use. That said, you can park on a pull-out on the FR, just above the barricades, if necessary.