The history of the Rio Grande is as long and colorful as the river itself.
Spanish explorers traced the waterway inland in their endless quest for gold. Comanche Indians crossed the river to raid villages in Mexico. Settlers from the eastern United States built farms and towns along this new national border.
Winding 1,250 miles from southern Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico, the Rio Grande marks the edge of the nation and the boundary between here and there, then and now.
Much of the river lies on private property. Some passes gently through the center of towns like Albuquerque and El Paso. But for nearly 200 miles bordering Big Bend National Park, the Rio Grande runs wild.
Designated a wild and scenic river, this section of the Rio Grande is left to its own devices. It bends and flows through canyons dotted with desert cacti and stratified rock.
Take on the Class II and III rapids in a raft or canoe through Mariscal Canyon. Enjoy a leisurely three-day float through Boquillas Canyon. Or attempt a longer ride into the wilderness.
The Rio Grande National Wild and Scenic River welcomes you year round.