Sunset Magazine's #1 Outdoor Day Trip in the Albuquerque Area!

"Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures is making noise with its guided kayak and canoe tours . . . paddlers can relax and enjoy the parade of old-growth cottonwoods, red desert vistas, and songbirds that provide the soundtrack for the journey.”

Sunset Magazine, May 2011 

See the "In the Media" page for the full article, as well as numerous other prominent media mentions!

Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures' kayak and canoe tours of the middle Rio Grande Bosque have quickly taken their place among the essential Albuquerque-area experiences, with appeal to both experienced paddlers and novices alike.

While the upper Rio Grande is renowned for the wild whitewater cascading through the canyons of northern New Mexico, the middle Rio Grande provides a much gentler, family-friendly experience. The river feels exceptionally remote given the close proximity to a major metropolitan area. Blue Heron, Snowy Egret and numerous varieties of waterfowl call the river home at various times throughout the year, while songbirds flock to the forested river banks. Beaver, wild turkey, and even an occasional coyote may be spotted along the way, as the Rio Grande remains a critical resource for wildlife in the arid, high desert climate of central New Mexico.

Navigating our Website

Our website has grown significantly over the years, and although virtually everything you might need to know is here, we've found that people sometimes have trouble finding the information they're looking for. To that end, here's a rather comprehensive guide to successfully navigating our rather comprehensive website:


  • If you're interested in our acclaimed guided adventures along the Middle Rio Grande adjacent to Albuquerque, including tour options, current schedule and rates, please see the Guided Adventures page.
  • If you have prior experience paddling on rivers, and are looking for us to simply provide the boat(s), equipment and shuttle with no frills, the Self-Guided Adventures page details your various options, schedules and rates.
  • Try the fastest growing of all paddlesports - Stand Up Paddling! Detail at the SUP page.
  • If you'll be traveling to Albuquerque for the International Balloon Fiesta (or are a local who's “been there, done that”), our Float the Fiesta! events offer an incredible opportunity to experience the balloons from the serenity of the early morning river. Put yourself in position to see a Splash & Dash up-close!
  • Our Calendar page is where you'll find our current schedule. If you're looking for same day availibility, please call and ask about what options we may have. We'll always try to accommodate you.
  • Those looking to rent a canoe or kayak for a day of fishing or recreation at one of the nearby lakes, or those interested in multi-day rentals, will find what you need at the Rentals/Kayak Fishing page.
  • Corporate or convention outings, scouts, schools, churches, family reunions, birthday or bachelorette parties – whatever your group is about, we can currently accommodate approximately 40 guests for a given event. If you have a group of 8 adults (or equivalent) or more, the Group Outings page is for you.
  • New Mexico's historic drought of 2010 through 2014 contibuted to prevalent misconceptions that the Rio Grande is "nearly dry" near Albuquerque.The Current River Conditons page provides real-time flow information, and a discussion of what to anticipate at the widely varying flows along the middle Rio Grande.
  • Late fall, winter, and early spring provide some of the best bird watching of the year. Proper clothing and additional precautions are wise (and sometime necessary!) when the combined air and water teperatures are below 130º (F), please see the Cooler Weather Paddling page for details.
  • We haven't engaged in a great deal of self-promotion - the press has done so for us! If you'd like to explore the glowing media coverage we've received, the In the Media page has numerous links and downloads.
  • The Rio Grande is one of the last remaining riparian ecosystems in the southwest and faces numerous challenges. The community-minded may wish to join us on our regular River Cleanups. Hard work is involved, but we have a great time doing these, and we've noticed a major difference as a result of our efforts.
  • Frequently asked questions are at the FAQ page. If the answer isn't there, please call or use the form on the Contact Us page to send us an email. 
  • The About Us page discusses how it came to be that a Midwestern canoe nut chose to start a paddling operation in a desert. You can also find a Map and Directions to our shop there.

“Ideal for families and novices . . . “       

New Mexico Magazine, June, 2011

Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures are excellent outdoor activities for families and beginners. We've introduced hundreds of novices to paddling, and find that in most cases our guests get up to speed quickly. Families discover that the gentle character of the middle Rio Grande provides a great introduction to paddlesports for their kids – teens love the opportunity to paddle their own boat, while the littler ones (under 12) can float along with a parent or guardian for half-price! (Half-price rate for children under 12 applies to children floating along with two adults in a canoe, or with one adult in a kayak).

All guided and self-guided adventures include your choice of canoe or kayak, paddles, life vests, all required equipment and a shuttle in our air-conditioned van to and from the put-in and take out.

In addition to our explorations of the Rio, we also offer canoe and kayak rentals for those interested in taking a boat for a day of fishing at Fenton or Cochiti Lake, a weekend at Heron, Navajo or Elephant Butte lakes, or even for extended trips to the San Juan, Colorado or Rio Chama rivers. We can provide the equipment needed to car-top for most vehicles, even those without an existing rack.

"The river always purified. It seemed to bring some thoughts from far above, who knew from where, and carry others far downstream, who knew whither. Using the river, a person could dream awake, like a child."

Paul Horgan, “Great River – The Rio Grande in North American History”


 New Mexico strictly prohibits operation of any watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Please save the party for after the river.


Thank you for visiting our website – please take a few moments to look around, choose the adventure that’s best for you, and feel free to contact us at anytime! We hope to see you on the water soon, and until then, please visit us on Facebook!


Try the fastest growing of the paddlesports - Stand Up Paddling! Details at the SUP page.
Try the fastest growing of the paddlesports - Stand Up Paddling! Details at the SUP page.
Try the fastest growing of the paddlesports - Stand Up Paddling! Details at the SUP page.