The Middle Box Full Day
Often considered the gem of the Taos area, this portion of river is visited by far fewer people every summer than the popular Taos Box and Lower Gorge. A one-mile hike, accompanied by horses to carry the gear, will take us from the rim of the gorge and into the heart of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, one of the newest on our nation’s roster of protected lands.
Our walk into the gorge will offer an interesting exploration of local environments as we descend from the sagebrush and juniper grasslands seen at the rim and down into the canyon to the rivers edge, an area of tall pine, spruce and fir. We will launch at the mouth of the Red River canyon, one of the deepest part of the gorge, and begin our 9 mile trip through the heart of the Wild and Scenic section of the Rio Grande National Monument.
We run this stretch from a starting point 4 miles upstream from where all other companies begin. Get the full experience with us!
May through September.
We welcome first timers and experienced rafters 12 years of age and older. You should be in normal good health and prepared for the moderate exertion of the trail. All trips are run with paddle boats or in inflatable kayaks, for the more adventuresome, and no experience is necessary for either. A guide will accompany each raft and funyaks will be operated by each customer at a guide/client ratio determined by the water level. The guides will provide profesional safety and practical instruction throughout every trip.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE that due to the necessary cost of using horses for gear transport while accessing this remote area, we do have a 4 person minimum in order to run this trip. BUT, if you are a smaller interested party please call or email us, because it could be that we have other groups that are either interested or have booked already and you would have to option of combining or adding onto the other trip/s. We are also able to provide a price quote for what it would cost per person to run the trip with less than four people; eg. a 2 or 3 person trip would be possible, but at an adjusted price.
Adult $150.00 Child $135.00
We will meet at the Far Flung office at 8 am, where customers will be outfitted with all the proper rafting equipment for the day. After a short 30-minute drive to the Cebolla Mesa trailhead, we will meet with our horse packer, load the gear onto the animals, and begin our descent into the Gorge. After an amazing day on the water, our trip will end at the John Dunn Bridge, the put-in for the Class IV Taos Box section, from which it will be a 15-20 minute drive back to our office.
After launching at the mouth of the Red River, one the deepest areas of the canyon, you will float through towering ponderosa pines, unique to this area of the Rio Grande, and crash through Class III rapids formed from the outflow from massive side canyons. Watch the past unfold as you inspect the dozens of petroglyphs at the hunting camp at the mouth of San Cristobal creek, lunch at the cabin of “Horse Thief Shorty”, an infamous horse and cattle rustler of the early 20th century, and ponder the feat of lowering mining equipment down the canyon to the river’s edge at the relicts of an abandoned mine.
From April to June, it’s a raucous and splashy class III ride and a wonderful all day activity for those looking for a personal acquaintance with isolated wilderness. At mid-summer’s lower flows, the Middle Box is a challenging one-day funyak experience.
***Participants should be fit and prepared for an easy 1-mile downhill hike.***
- The Middle Box is also available as a Paddle-Saddle Trip when river levels allow.
- It can also be done in combination with the Class IV Taos Box, known as the Middle Box Two-Day.
- To see all 35 miles of the beautiful Wild and Scenic Rio Grande, check out the Whole Gorge Three Day.
- If are looking for this same remote wilderness experience, but with more whitewater, check out our Razorblades trip.