The Rio Chama
A River Guide to the Geology and Landscapes
By: Paul W. Bauer, Matthew Zimmerer, J. Michael Timmons, Brigitte Felix, and Steve Harris, 2021
The 135-mile Rio Chama of northern New Mexico is a major tributary of the Rio Grande. From its alpine headwaters at the Continental Divide of the glaciated San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado, this hidden gem flows across the Colorado Plateau in a spectacular canyon cut into Mesozoic sedimentary rocks, in places up to 1,500 feet deep. Towering, vibrant, sandstone cliffs, heavily wooded side canyons, superb camping, and a diversity of historical sites offer an outstanding wild river backdrop for the boater, angler, hiker, or camper.
This book contains detailed river maps of the seven sections of the Rio Chama, plus its three resplendent reservoirs, from the Colorado headwaters to its confluence with the Rio Grande near Española. The Chama Canyon section, below El Vado Dam and through the Chama Canyon Wilderness, is one of the finest, multi-day, whitewater trips in the Southwest.
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Comments about this river guide:
"Paul Bauer and his co-authors have given us another superb guide to one of New Mexico's liquid treasures. Like their guide to the upper Rio Grande, The Rio Chama presents not just a river but a region, its deep past, present hydrology, and much in between. Open the book to any page and you'll want to go exploring."
— William deBuys, prize-winning author and river rodent
"The Rio Chama guide features clear, engrossing, and scientifically accurate descriptions of the rocks and landscapes that the rivers traverse. The geologic information is easy for a layperson to understand and is interspersed with facts about more recent history of the area..." [see full review in Pasatiempo]
— Robin Martin, owner of the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper
- 2021 Southwest Book Design Awards Best design in two categories: Guidebooks, and Scholarly &Technical.