In Taos County, the Rio Grande River offers some of the Southwest's most thrilling spring and summer outdoor recreation. One 48-mile section that includes the 'Taos Box,' has rapids as challenging as any river runner might desire. The Box itself is about 16 miles of tumbling rapids amid boulders as large as buildings, which have fallen into the river from the sides of the gorge.
The Rio Grande has something for rafters of every age. The lower Taos Box is for the more experienced-or at least the most daring-with many Class III and IV rapids. With names such as Rock Garden, Ski Jump, and Powerline Falls, you can anticipate the thrill of facing them. North of the John Dunn Bridge near Arroyo Hondo is a tamer section called the Middle Box. South of Taos Junction Bridge near Pilar, the river widens and becomes more suitable for family outings along the Orilla Verde, or 'green shore.' The five-mile Racecourse near the village of Pilar is a popular half-day trip, suitable for children who are strong enough to hold on tight.