Will I get wet?
Yes. How wet will depend upon the trip you select. Count on wet feet, at a minimum.
How dangerous is the trip?
Your comfort and safety are our prime concern. As with other nature-based activities, river-running has its inherent risks. There are no guarantees. Objectively speaking, though, whitewater rafting with experienced outfitters is safer than driving on the highway. Although falling into the river is always possible, less than 2% of all guests will take an unplanned swim.
A large part of what makes whitewater thrilling, of course, is the sense of risk. One learns to conquer one’s own fears and apprehensions. If you are physically fit, swim confidently and understand the river, the risks will be minimized. If not, your decision-making can mitigate the inherent risks by selecting a less ambitious trip. When you contact us, we’ll take time to try and find a trip that is suitable for your age and fitness level.
We offer tours that run the continuum from mild to wild. Far-Flung Adventures is rescue-ready: guides are trained and practiced in swiftwater rescue and emergency first aid skills. We also use the most advanced boating equipment, piloted by guides who have “been there” many times before. We fit you with high-flotation lifejackets and thermal protection garments, geared to that day’s conditions. At the launch point we will walk through the common hazards of the trip and brief you on safety procedures that will help ensure a safe outcome for your adventure.
What if I don’t have any experience?
With a few exceptions, all of the trips that Far Flung offers can be successfully undertaken by people with no previous river experience.
An essential part of our service is to provide training, expert navigational guidance and safety equipment. Given an ordinary measure of common sense and the ability to follow your guide’s directions, you will soon gain whitewater experience. On the big water: class IV and class IV+ trips, like the Taos Box, are definitely for the more adventurous, those in good condition and able to swim. Being comfortable around water is essential. You should be strong enough to paddle in the rapids and nimble enough to help stabilize the boat, if necessary, in rough water.
What do I need to bring?
We recommend that you dress in layers.
- The first layer should consist of shorts or swimsuit and a fast drying top (a light, long sleeved fleece shirt is ideal).
- Then add layers: a shelled, insulated jacket is always appropriate to bring.
- If you don’t need it immediately, it can be stowed so it’s handy if you need to add a dry layer later.
- You will also want sturdy footgear, either canvas sneakers or hard soled wetsuit booties.
- For sun protection, wear a cap or hat, sunglasses (don’t forget a retaining strap) and sunscreen lotion.
- Bring a bottle of water to help you stay hydrated.
The ideal clothing to wear will vary depending on the time of year you raft and on the level of the river. Generally, the higher the river the wetter the ride. Passengers should have clothing that will keep you warm when wet. These will be clothes made out of polypropylene, pile, fleece, capilene, and wool. These synthetic materials have the property to keep you warm when they are wet.
Cotton is to be avoided at all costs! No bluejeans! When cotton gets wet it wicks the heat away from you and will not re-warm like the synthetic materials mentioned above. Any extra warm cloths you want to bring can be stored in dry bags we provide. Spring and early summer may be cold and wet. To ensure you will be comfortable, Far Flung will provide wetsuits or splash gear as appropriate to the season. On half-day trips, you will be offerred splash gear.
On full-day and multi-day trips paddlers will be issued farmer john wetsuits, splash tops, and wetsuit booties.
Early to late summer the temperature sores and the sun is hot. The day calls for shorts, t-shirts, sunscreen (very important), hat, and sunglasses with retainer. Fairer skinned people may want even more sun protection. Far Flung will carry splash gear for the occasional summer shower. On multi-day trips you may want to bring a supply of your favorite beverages and/or snacks. Don’t forget your prescription medication.When you make your reservation with Far-Flung we will send you a gear check list with your confirmation.
Can I bring my camera?
On any whitewater river trip it is risky to bring your expensive camera. As a safer expedient, we recommend bringing a disposable, waterproof camera. Waterproof storage can be provided, but it is no guarantee against getting the camera wet. If shooting photos is your prime objective, talk with our office about getting aboard an oar-powered boat and/or obtaining more sophisticated camera housings.
What does Far-Flung Adventures provide?
Far Flung provides just about everything necessary for your river trip needs. All rafting equipment is provided. This includes:
- self-bailing rafts
- splash gear
- wetsuits (on Taos Box),
- dry bags for extra clothes
- nutritious meals and
- all transportation to and from your vehicle.
- lunch is provided on full-day trips.
- on half-day trips there’s snack and beverage service.
- on multi-day trips Far Flung will provide all food and kitchen items and prepare the meals.
- sanitary arrangements and tents are provided.
- camp chairs, sleeping bags and pads are not ordinarily provided. However, you may reserve one of our rental sleep kits for an additional $10 per night.
How experienced is Far-Flung Adventures?
Far-Flung Adventures has been running the Rio Grande in 1976 and have been in operation year around somewhere, running the river, in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, and Mexico ever since.
Of course, it is the guides that make the trip and we have some of the best. Our guides are career professionals: friendly, concerned with your comfort and safety and knowledgeable about local history, natural history and the geography of the areas we travel through. The average professional experience of the Far-Flung guide is 8-10 years on the river. Several of our staff have been guiding 15 years and a few old timers have been guiding for 20 years. It is this experience that teaches our newer and younger staff the ways of the river. All Far-Flung River Guides are qualified and certified. All guides have current 1st aid training; many are EMT's. All trip leaders (and almost all guides at Far-Flung are trip leaders) are certified Swiftwater Rescue Technicians.
Can you accommodate special needs?
Physical limitations shouldn’t prevent your enjoying the river experience. However, some conditions will require special preparations for both the outfitter and the guest. For example, wheelchair-bound guests should be accompanied by an experienced care-giver.
In the past, Far-Flung Adventures has accommodated people with visual handicaps, paraplegics, severe arthritis, prosthetic limbs, and other limiting physical conditions and comfort issues. We have found that it is extremely important to match the trip to individual capabilities. Please call our office to discuss your special arrangements.
By using oar-powered boats, our guides are capable of delivering guests down the river with little participation on their parts other than holding on occasionally and making their way a few tens of yards from boat to vehicle, boat to camp, or boat to kitchen. In the effort to secure your safety and comfort, it is imperative that we have advance knowledge of any potential medical issues. Please use the reservation form to advise us in detail if you are a non-swimmer, have environmental allergies, cardiac or metabolic conditions (such as diabetes), are undergoing treatment or are pregnant. Prospective guests with cardiac disease will be required to obtain a doctor’s clearance to participate.
While first trimester pregnancies are frequently accommodated, later term pregnancies are strongly advised to consult their physician.Diet: We frequently accommodate individual dietary requirements, including food allergies, vegetarians and other custom diets. With advance notice, we are easily able to refrigerate insulin and other special medications for guests on our trips.
How old do you have to be?
Far Flung offers trips for all ages, from the oldest to the youngest. Many trips do have age limits and the whitewater trips do require some agility and strength.
Age limits are:
- The Taos Box - 12 years of age or older, and 16 years of age at high water;
- Pilar Racecourse - 6 years of age or older, and 12 years of age at high water;
- Rio Chama - 6 years of age or older;
- and Lower Gorge - 6 years of age or older, and 12 years of age at high water;
How do I get to the meeting place?
All Rio Grande trips meet in the vicinity of Taos, New Mexico.
All Racecourse, Lower Gorge, Orilla Verde, and Embudo trips meet in Pilar, New Mexico, at the PilarYacht Club.
The Pilar Yacht Club is located on N.M. Highway 68 at the junction of Highway 570, on the west side of NM 68, approximately 14 miles south of Taos (24 miles north of Espanola). Our office is in the café, across the highway and 100 yards north of the Rio Grande Gorge BLM Vistor Center, where you will park your cars.
All Taos Box full- and multi-day trips meet on the north side of Taos at the Far-Flung Adventures boathouse. This is located just past the intersection of Ski Valley Road, on State Highway 522. Heading north out of Taos on Highway 64/68 you come to a stop light after about 5 miles. Go straight one block and look for the Far-Flung Adventures sign on your right (just past the Amerigas dealership).
All Rio Chama trips meet at Bode’s General Store, located on US Highway 84 in the village of Abiquiu, New Mexico.
Getting to Taos; Taos is located in Northern New Mexico, north of Albuquerque and Santa Fe on N.M. Hwy 68 and US Hwy. 64.
- By air: your destination is the Albuquerque Sunport, served by major airlines and car rental agencies. You may rent a car and drive to Taos, a trip of about 3 hours. Shuttle service is also available.
- Driving north from Albuquerque:
- Go north on Interstate Hwy 25 to Santa Fe.
- At Santa Fe exit at the Taos Espanola exit, aka St. Francis Drive. Stay on St. Francis north all the way through Santa Fe, to Espanola.
- Continue north on Hwy 68 through Espanola (go straight at the SH 68-US 84/285 intersection), proceeding north to Taos.
- Taos is about 40 miles north of Espanola on SH 68.
- Driving south from Denver metro area:
- Go south on Interstate 25.
- Exit at Ft Garland on Hwy 160, onto Hwy 159 (which becomes Hwy 522 at the state line).
- Continue south on this highway all the way to Taos.
- Coming east from Chama, New Mexico: This is one of the most beautiful drives in the state. Just follow US Hwy 64 east into Taos.
Can you recommend local accommodations?
In Taos Rio Grande trips:
- Laughing Horse Inn B+B 505-758-8350
- Sagebrush Inn 575-758-2254
- El Pueblo Inn 800-433-9612
- Best Western Inn 800-522-4462;
- Ramada Inn 575-758-2900
- Quality Inn 575-758-2200
- Sun God Inn 575-758-3162;
- Don Fernando 505-758-4444
- Super 8 Motel 800-800-8000.
In Abiquiu Rio Chama trips: Abiquiu Inn 800-447-5621.
What will the food be like?
Far-Flung’s policy is to provide fresh, nutritious, healthy, tasty, and freshly-prepared food. We prepare the meals on site. Far Flung is famous for its riverside meals.
Our table is set with flair to appeal to different appetites and dietary concerns. If you do have special dietary issues such as allergies or if you are a vegetarian, please advise us of these when you make your reservation.
Lunch on one-day trips and on the first day of multi-day trips is a deli style spread, featuring a variety of breads, thin-sliced meats and cheeses with all the garnishes. A freshly prepared pasta or potato salad is on the side depending on season, group size, and ingredients available. If you can finish all that, then we break out the cookies for dessert. On multi-day trips, expect an ample, varied menu, served buffet style and including: fresh salads, grilled meat and fish, pasta or rice dishes, sauces, steamed vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages (you’re invited bring your own beer or wine) and Dutch Oven baked delights.
What about toilet facilities?
Chemical toilets are avilable at most launch and landing points. Once on the river, there are no arrangements required for urination: it’s ladies upstream by the pink bush, and gentlemen downstream by the blue bush. Onto wet sand or into the river is the environmentally-accepted method.
For “solid waste”: On day trips, we bring use the “day pooper”, a small spade, plastic bag and air tight box. Your guide will be glad to provide instruction. Remember not to leave any paper; even buried, as animals may dig it up and leave an unsightly reminder of our passage for the next visitors. On camping trips, we carry a compact portable toilet. Guides will instruct guests in the location and proper use.
Do I need to make reservations and submit a deposit?
To help ensure that space on your desired trip will be available, we require advance reservations. Phone us at 800-359-2627, 8am to 6 pm, 7days a week or click here for online reservation.
Since weekends and other popular trips fill quickly, we urge you to plan your trip as far in advance as practical. Shorter trips, such as the half-day Racecourse are often available on short notice (24 hours). We’ll ask you to submit a 50% deposit to reserve your place. You may use your major credit card to secure your reservation.
Do you offer special arrangements for groups? Can we get a discount?
Groups of 12 or more get a 10% discount off the listed price. Larger groups or youth groups may qualify for further discounts. To obtain a quote for your group, please give us a call at 1-800-359-2627. We’re also pleased to customize itineraries to accommodate your group’s interests.
Should I tip my guide?
Many of our guests ask us, "Should I tip my guide?". Our high level of service is not exercised in order to receive a tip. We serve you because we want to. If you feel the service you receive from your guide is exceptional, and you want to say "thank you" with a tip, although it is not expected, it is always appreciated.