Tour Descriptions

Most of the year we operate along approximately 18 miles of the middle Rio Grande, from the village of Algodones in the north, to the Alameda Bridge at the northern city limits of Albuquerque.

We do occasionally offer outings in the city of Albuquerque as well, although rarely, as there are only a few weeks in good water years that flows are sufficient to easily navigate the river below the Alameda bridge.

Tour offerings will vary depending upon time of year, current flow levels and other factors, although we generally schedule tours from north to south throughout the day. Please see our calendar page for our current schedule.

"The Coronado"

Covering a stretch of river that encompasses the area the Coronado campaign wintered in 1540, this adventure will put in among a beautiful stand of cottonwoods in Algodones, then traverse approximately 9 1/2 miles of remarkably secluded Rio Grande valley. The upper section of this trip passes through Santa Ana Pueblo and features fascinating volcanic topography and two small, Class I rapids. Flows above 1200 cfs may create occasional Class II conditions.

 

The "Abreviar" version stops at Bernalillo, while those choosing to continue for the additional hour experience the Rio changing character as it widens and slows, offering a taste of the "Bosque" tours. Higher flow levels (above 1500 cfs) may allow exploration of several secondary river channels, while riverbanks dominated by majestic old-growth cottonwood open regularly to reveal spectacular views of the Sandia mountains.

 

"Coronado" Adventures:

  • "The Coronado" – Algodones to Corrales – 9 ½ miles – 3 - 3 1/2 Hours of River Time

  • "The Coronado Abreviar" – Algodones to Bernalillo – 5 ½ miles – 2 Hours of "River Time" (Currently Unavailable due to HWY 550 construction in Bernalillo)

"The Bosque"

As the Rio Grande passes through Corrales, the river slowly widens, braiding into multiple channels as it meanders through seemingly endless cottonwood Bosque. Although these adventures are quite close to the sprawling development of greater Albuquerque, it's a surreal wilderness experience on the water, as the east bank is dominated by the Sandia Pueblo lands, while the west bank is dominated by the protected Corrales Bosque preserve.

Numerous islands and sandbars along the way offer multiple options to break for a snack or a refreshing swim. Approaching Alameda, the Rio spills into numerous narrow channels, winding its way through several small islands, providing a tropical wetlands feel. Recognized by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, songbirds and waterfowl are plentiful in this section, and the views and sense of solitude are remarkable.

 

"Bosque" Adventures:

  • "The Bosque" - Corrales to Alameda – 8 1/2 miles – 2 - 2.5 Hours of river time
  • "One Hour along the Bosque"Bernalillo to Corrales – 4 miles – One Hour of river time (Currently Unavailable due to Hwy 550 construction in Bernalillo)
  • "The Bosque Grande" - Bernalillo to Alameda – 12 1/2 miles – 3.5 - 4 Hours of river time (Currently Unavailable due to Hwy 550 construction in Bernalillo)

 

"The Expedition"

For a full day on the river, "The Expedition" tour provides an opportunity to float the full 18 miles of the Rio Grande, experiencing the river changing character from the narrower, quicker channel to the north, to the braided, wetlands-flavored bosque immediately north of Albuquerque proper.

  • "The Expedition" – Algodones to Alameda – 18 miles - 6 - 6.5 Hours of "River Time"

 

"Rio Grande Valley State Park (RGVSP)"

The Rio Grande through the city of Albuquerque is very unique, primarily due to the near total lack of any development along the reach

Rio Grande Valley State Park, established by the NM Legislature in 1983, essentially protected the entirety of the riverfront from Sandia Pueblo to the north, to Isleta Pueblo to the south. An extensive trail system extends throughout the riparian forest (known as "bosque" in Spanish - pronounced Bos-Key) adjacent to the river which are extremely popular with local outdoor enthusiasts. The Albuquerque bosque is a haven for a wide variety of bird life throughout the year, making the trail system quite popular with hikers, mountain bikers and birdwatchers. 

The wider river channel in the city, combined with the San Juan Diversion Dam immediately south of the Alameda bridge, translates to extremely shallow water much of the year, making paddlesports in the city quite challenging.. (Please see our Current River Conditions page for a more detailed discussion.) In good water years, though, the experience from the water itself can be outstanding, with the relatively frequent bridges and occasional views of the towering city center in the distance the only reminders that you're surrounded by a major metro area. 

At higher flows, we may offer the following options through RGVSP:

"RGVSP" North: Alameda Blvd to Central Avenue -  2.5 - 3 hours of River Time 

"RGVSP"South: Central Avenue to Rio Bravo -  2.5 - 3 hours of River Time