Saddle to Paddle

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This full day tour meets at the Cieneguilla Stables in Pilar NM at 8:30am, which is 15 miles south of Taos. Your ride will wind through Pinon and Juniper forests on historic trails including a portion of the Old Apache Trail. Your guide will teach you some horsemanship skills and share some stories of the local history and geology. Along the way you might stop to look at some of the area's well-preserved petroglyphs or sit quietly while a mule deer glides silently by.

After a trailside lunch you will head over to the Rio Grande Gorge Visitors Center where you will meet your rafting guide. Grab your paddle and get set to get wet as the Rio Grande snakes through the towering cliffs of Pilar Canyon and races you down exciting Class I-III rapids such as Albert Falls, The Narrows, and Big Rock. Be prepared to enjoy beautiful scenery, Native American history, and numerous species of wildlife that live in the Rio Grande canyon. Eagles, falcons, owls, geese, and mergansers are just a few of the birds that dwell in this healthy bird sanctuary. The Racecourse provides thrills for the entire family throughout the summer.


6-8 hours


Class I-III


April 15 - September 15


Guide, Gear, Transportation, and Lunch

Frequently Asked Questions

Meeting Times

  • Meeting Time: 8:30 a.m.

Meeting Location:

Cieneguilla Stables


*Please meet your river guides promptly at the appropriate meeting location.


  • Adult: $153.00

* Child: 12 and under
* Group rates available for parties of 10 or more
* Guide gratuity appreciated!

Minimum Age:

6 years

Special Requirements

Maximum weight allowed is 220lbs. Group size limit is 4 participants.

*Cottam's Rio Grande Rafting reserves the right to raise the minimum age limit depending on water levels.

Terms & Conditions

  • Trips operate rain or shine.
  • No-shows receive no refunds under any and all circumstances, including those who arrive after scheduled departures.
  • It is your responsibility to locate and arrive on time at our meeting location.
  • Cottam's Rio Grande Rafting is not responsible for personal property both on the river and off.
  • All participants must wear our personal flotation device (life jacket) at all times on the river.
  • All participants must read and sign our Acknowledgement of Risk Waiver and Release Form.

Please note that whitewater rafting is a natural adventure that we cannot fully control. No whitewater trip is free of risk. Risk typically increases as river classification (difficulty rating) increases. Please consider your capabilities when selecting a trip. We recommend that non-swimmers and those looking for minimal risk participate in our Orilla float trip.

Reservation & Deposit Policy

A 50% deposit is required to secure your spot on the trip of your choice. Reservations booked within 48 hours of departure will be collected in full. We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover or American Express to hold and guarantee your reservation. Availability is first-come, first-served. Save time by requesting a trip online

Weekends and holidays tend to book quickly. Reserve early in order to get the date and trip you want!

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Cancellations made more than 14 days prior will receive a refund of the deposit minus a service charge of 25% of the deposit. Cancellations made less than 14 days prior to the trip will forfeit the deposit. Cancellations made within 48 hours of the trip forfeit 100% of the trip cost. Reschedules are $60.00 regardless of reason.

We reserve the right to cancel any trip due to weather conditions, river levels, acts of God, or other circumstances beyond our control, in which case a full refund will be given. We cannot be responsible for other expenses.

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