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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Carlsbad Aerial

The Lower Pecos, City of Carlsbad (Southeast)

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