Travel Update

Health and Safety Guidelines for safe and responsible travel in New Mexico

Learn More

Northeastern New Mexico supplies and abundance of rafting variety

In the springtime, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains replenish a number of rivers that flow from its eastern flanks onto the plains of northeastern New Mexico.

10 Authentic Cultural Experiences You Can Only Have in Pecos

The Pecos River:

typically carries the greatest volume during the spring runoff. From Cowles to the village of Pecos, the river drops steeply for 20 miles through conifer forests. Diversion dams require attention and possible portaging. Beginning at South San Ysidro, the river passes through a number of steep-walled sandstone canyons and alongside a collection of Spanish colonial villages. This 25-mile stretch, which ends at Villanueva State Park, has small rapids and is recommended for canoes. From Villanueva State Park, the Pecos offers boaters a short season (May-June) through 19 miles of whitewater in a steep-walled canyon. This fast-moving stretch requires one difficult portage around a diversion dam.

Pecos City Page

Conchas Lake State Park

The Canadian River:

during wet years, offers a whitewater run from just east of Springer to Conchas Reservoir. The 75- mile trip takes boaters through a sandstone canyon littered with historic ruins and eagles.

Conchas Lake State Park

Cimarrón River

Cimarron River

From Eagle Nest Dam to Cimarron, the Cimarron River kicks up continuous challenging whitewater for 25 miles. The fast-moving mountain run passes alongside towering granite cliffs at Cimarron Canyon State Park. Below the village of Cimarron, the river calms down and occasionally holds enough water to carry boaters another 25 miles through rolling cattle country to the town of Springer.

Cimarron City Page

Mora County Attractions

Rio Mora

During a wet spring, boaters can navigate a 30-mile stretch of the Mora River, from just east of Watrous to the confluence of the Canadian River. This run begins lazily, gradually increasing in whitewater intensity, with boaters portaging some of the most difficult sections.

Mora County Attractions

Area Resources

The Las Vegas Depot station building

Las Vegas New Mexico

Clean air, outdoor recreation, access to quality health care, availability of education, respect for diversity, charming old-style houses nestled together, with newer neighborhoods where you can find classic modern homes, northern New Mexico architecture, two National Forests within minutes of downtown, and the feeling of small town America with a bit of an edge. Close to Santa Fe and Taos, it's the perfect center for an exciting vacation.

Las Vegas City Page

Pecos Canyon


Pecos is a place to hike, fish, horseback ride, and meditate. Pecos is a western saga situated near an all-weather pass where west was lost and won time and time again. First came Pueblo and Plains Indians, then Spanish settlers, then traders on the Santa Fe Trail, and then Confederate and Union soldiers.

Pecos City Page

Raton -Keller


Raton, only six miles from the Colorado border on Interstate 25, offers fresh air and plentiful water along with breathtaking scenery, a wonderful variety of outdoor recreational activities and a vibrant art scene. The relaxed and leisurely way of life is further enhanced by the educational opportunities provided by the Highlands University satellite classes and a state-of-art medical center

Raton City Page

Carlsbad Aerial

The Lower Pecos, City of Carlsbad (Southeast)

through which the Pecos River flows, has taken advantage of its oasis qualities and offers scenic boat tours. Paddleboats and bumper boats can be rented and a full-scale water park keeps locals and visitors entertained throughout the warmer months.

Carlsbad City Page