Rio Chama Rafting
The Rio Chama is a major tributary of the Rio Grande and it was designated as a Wild and Scenic River in 1988. The Rio Chama flows through a canyon of colorful siltstone and sandstone surrounded by gently rolling sagebrush-covered plains. Piñon woodlands cover the hills, and forests of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir cover the north-facing slopes.The best section for rafters is a 31 mile stretch between El Vado Ranch and Big Eddy takeout, which is a class II to III section of river. The upper section is known to have good fishing, and the lower section is lightly developed and very scenic. Most boaters float this section in 2-3 days and peak season is in the late spring and summer.
Permits for the Rio Chama are controlled through a lottery. For info about locations, dates, and logistics see our Permit Lottery for Rafting Western Rivers 2017 Guide.