Photo detail

Vail resident Jordan Kurt-Mason (blue jacket), guides family members during a recent rafting trip down the 14-mile section on New Mexico's Taos Box. The 650-foot steel arch Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is in the distance.

Stories this photo appears in:

Return to the river

Close calls and canyon floats on a pair of the Southwest's wild and scenic stretches

The age-old maxim that you cannot put your foot in the same river twice rang true this week on the Piedra River. This remote gem of a tributary comes screaming for a short runoff season out of the southern San Juan Mountains and into a tight and steep box canyon just west of Pagosa Springs. The 12-mile lower canyon stretch, which constricts into a series of Class IV and V drops, has long been a favorite of southwest Colorado paddlers. For the Durango-based outfitter I guided for more than six seasons, the Piedra was a proving ground.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.