Rio Grande Ute Mountain in March

I am looking for partners for the Rio Grande Ute Mountain Segment described below, March is probably the best option as it is closed from April 1st to May 31st, flows may not be adequate after this due to the irrigation season. This section is seldom run due to access at the take-out which won’t be a problem with packrafts. I hear the fishing is really good along this segment as well. We can do it as a day trip or an overnighter.

Rating: Class II
Mileage: 24 miles
Gradient: 5 feet/mile average
Land Status: BLM
Designated Launch/Takeout Sites:

Lobatos Bridge near Labotos Colorado
Lee Trail (take-out)
Although this is a Class II segment, erratic winds can make this a very difficult and unpredictable trip. There are very few opportunities for camping, unless you are inclined to climb the steep canyon walls to camp on the rim. In addition, all boating gear must be carried out on a 1/4 mile steep, primitive trail at the takeout. No boating may occur during the months of April and May for protection of wildlife species during the critical breeding period. Recommended minimum flows of 300 cfs.
Private Boaters: Please call for reservations, only one launch per day is permitted, register each trip at self-serve permit boxes.

Do you have a link to info, map, etc. on this river segment?

I am moving to from Alaska to Grand Junction, CO (GJCO) in mid-March this year. If you are talking about March 20-25 time frame I may be interested. I think I am headed to AZ right after that for a Salt River trip w big rafts.

Call or email me if you are looking to do this in that time window I mentioned above.

Doug vanetten @ 907-244-6610

March 20-25 should work for me, I’ll call the BLM and see if anyone has made reservations for any of these dates. I’ll call you as soon as I get in touch with the BLM. Maybe we can get something nailed down this week, as we need to get a reservation, they only allow one launch per day.

Go to for a river description for a trip report which includes the Ute Mountain Section.

Trent Atwood


Here are a couple of other trips I would like to get in this summer, the current snowpack in New Mexico is not looking too good, however I am hopeful for some good spring rains to get these going.

Mora River - Description says I-V+, however I believe this is an old school rating and I cannot find anyone who has run this section. Looks like the perfect river for packrafts. The Sabinoso Wilderness is in this area, there is no public access to this wilderness other than from the Canadian River just below the confluence with the Mora, it would make for some nice side hikes.

Canadian River - Description says Class III-IV, however I read a trip report that rated it at Class III