The River is on the Rise!

Watch the gauge on the Racecourse. The Rio Grande often rises a few hundred cfs in October (usually earlier than this though), so it wouldn't surprise me of the Racecourse got up to 500-1000 cfs over the next few days.  Get out and paddle, if you can. It's like paddling a different river with every increase of 100cfs.

Upper Rio Grand; Upper Box
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?08263500

State Park
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?08276500

Notice the lag between the two.

If the Racecourse is still a bit intimidating, the State Park is runable again above 450cfs.  The State Park doesn't change too much with increases in flow. It's still almost always class I, with Gauging Station a Class II...very predictable.

Happy paddling!
Kelly

Comments

Why does the river rise in October?

Some have asked why the river rises in October. Early season snows in N. NM rarely provide enough water to make the Lower Box or Racecourse rise significantly, unless the Red River or Rio Pueblo are adding 50-100cfs or more. Most of the water comes from snowmelt or monsoon rains in the Rio Grande Headwaters, near Creede, CO. A significant portion of that water is used for irrigation in the San Luis Valley, near Alamosa.  By mid-October, in most years, the farming and irrigation in Alamosa are done, allowing more water to flow downstream.

There's lots of good paddling in October and November. Stay tuned for my next blog on Kayaking Year-around in New Mexico!

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Upcoming Kayak Instruction Classes

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