Nothing says summertime like embarking on an outdoor adventure with your friends or family. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-racing activity, consider river rafting on the Piedra River. Stretching approximately 40 miles long, the Piedra River weaves its way through the San Juan Mountains. Here’s the inside scoop on everything you need to know about river rafting on this famous Colorado river.
All About the Piedra River
The Piedra River begins in the San Juan Mountains, at the intersection of the East Fork and Middle Fork. It continues south, flowing through a lake in the San Juan National Forest, before finally reaching the Navajo Reservoir near New Mexico’s state border. Despite being one of the state’s smallest rivers, it has gained a reputation for its abundance of wildlife and robust activities.
Rafting on the River
Outdoor enthusiasts who are experienced on the rapids can look forward to fun whitewater adventures. Located near Pagosa Springs, the Piedra River runs through an isolated canyon with two distinct sections. The distance spans over 22 miles, all the while providing beautiful views along the way.
Choose Your Own Adventure
The river’s two sections consist of the Upper Piedra River and the Lower Piedra River. The Upper Piedra River spans over 10 miles with technical Class III-IV rapids. This adventure will take rafters through a heavily-forested box canyon with inspiring scenery. Meanwhile, the Lower Piedra River extends 12 miles downstream and ends at Lower Piedra Campground. Considered the harder route, this section is rated as a Class III-IV and consists of many drops, wave trains and rocks.
To Know Beforehand
If it’s your first time on the Piedra River, then it’s important to know what you can expect. This river is best suited for experienced whitewater rafters considering its level of difficulty. You won’t find Class V rapids, but rafters can expect a steady stream of Class III – IV+ whitewater. Rafting the Piedra River often consists of a full-day adventure, with some rafters opting to stay overnight for a multi-day adventure. Whichever option you choose, rafting the Piedra River is perfect for thrill seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. Challenging routes and beautiful scenery will pave the way for an unforgettable time.