Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures

Join us as we explore the historic and scenic Rio Grande, floating along with the quietly rippling water as it winds its way through central New Mexico's famous cottonwood bosque, which opens regularly to spectacular views of the Sandia Mountains - all just minutes from downtown Albuquerque!

While the upper Rio Grande is renowned for the wild whitewater rushing through the canyons of northern New Mexico, the middle Rio Grande provides a much gentler, family-friendly experience. The river feels remarkably remote given the close proximity to a major metropolitan area. Blue Heron, Snowy Egret and numerous varieties of waterfowl call the river home at various times throughout the year, while songbirds flock to the forested river banks. Beaver, wild turkey, and even an occasional coyote may be spotted along the way, as the Rio Grande remains a critical resource for wildlife in the arid, high desert climate of central New Mexico.

Also featured in the June, 2011 issue of New Mexico magazine !

"I've been fortunate to experience the Rio Grande's many moods . . . kayaked the notorious Taos Box . . . played for hours on the quickly moving Racecourse . . . paddled calmer stretches of water further downstream. But a recent river trip through Albuquerque now rates as my favorite . . .

"Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures . . . are ideal for families and novices. Yet the trips are full of excitement."

Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures provides guided canoe & kayak tours of the middle Rio Grande Bosque, as well as kayak and canoe rentals for those who would prefer to embark on their own river adventure - whether that involves renting a boat to explore the local waters, or taking a quality canoe or kayak along on your next weekend (or weeklong) getaway.

All local trips, guided and self-guided, include your choice of canoe or kayak, paddles, life vests, all required equipment and a shuttle in our air-conditioned van to and from the put-in and take out. If you'd like to take a boat for a day of fishing at Fenton or Cochiti Lake, or want to float the Rio Grande between Elephant Butte and Caballo Lake, we can provide the equipment needed to car-top for most vehicles, even if yours doesn't have a factory rack.

Which should I choose?

If you have limited experience (or none at all) in controlling a canoe or kayak on moving water, we strongly suggest that you begin with one of our guided tours. Although the middle Rio Grande is entirely Class I water, there are hazards present. Sweepers and strainers are common, as are occasional obstructions in the river. There are a few tricky bends and some small rapids to contend with as well. It is important to know how to control your boat in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Those who do have some experience paddling on moving water will find little along the middle Rio Grande they haven't encountered before. As long as you know how to avoid sweepers and strainers, (and what to do if you can't avoid one), the difference between an upstream and downstream “V”, know what an eddy is, and have a fundamental understanding of river dynamics, and reading a river, you'll be fine. If you're asking yourself what “sweepers”, “strainers”, “V''s, “eddy's”, “river dynamics” and “reading a river” are . . . please start with a guided tour.

Float the Fiesta!

The best seat imaginable for Albuquerque's annual International Balloon Fiesta! You'll float along the river, far from the massive crowds, while dozens of balloons soar overhead!

With Albuquerque's prevailing winds coming out of the south, many balloons fly directly up the Rio Grande, often attempting a “splash and dash”. These early morning float trips begin at our facility in Bernalillo at 5:30 AM, where we'll provide hot coffee and a variety of fresh baked goods from Victoria's and Co. Catering during the orientation. We'll then head out at about 6:00 AM, while continually monitoring the wind and weather conditions at Balloon Fiesta Park, usually seeing the Dawn Patrol in the early morning sky as we drive to our launch site. We'll choose our launch point in order to maximize our chances of seeing dozens of balloons soaring above, then time the launch to coincide with the mass ascension taking place at the Fiesta.

Guided Adventures

"I cannot express how much I enjoyed today's trip down the Rio Grande. It's amazing that such a peaceful and beautiful experience can happen right in our own backyard . . . Without a doubt, I will share my experience with not just corporate clientele, but my friends and family . . . Once again, I loved it and agree that this is something new that our area needs . "

Lisa Biby, General Manager, SouthWest HospiTotally @ The Hyatt Tamaya

Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures' guided trips offer an opportunity to take in the tremendous scenery of the middle Rio Grande valley with the added benefit of a professional guide who is familiar with the nuances of this particular stretch of river. Our guides are personable, knowledgeable and fun, and are certified in First Aid and CPR at a minimum.

We strongly recommend that those who have limited experience in controlling paddlecraft on moving water begin with a guided trip. Although the middle Rio Grande is entirely Class I water, this does not mean that it is without hazards. Strainers and sweepers are present, as is the occasional obstruction in the river. Varying water levels throughout the year create very different paddling environments, and floating with a guide who is familiar with the river will enhance your experience.

"Paddling down the Rio Grande River with Quiet Waters still remains my #1 adventure in the Albuquerque area! The staff was curteous, pleasant, and well informed about the flora, fauna, and history of the river . . . " Patty Anderson, Bernalillo Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures offers guided trips at varying times throughout the season, from early mornings to early evenings. Our “ Sunset Floats ” provide an opportunity to take in the Sandia Mountains bursting into their rich, “watermelon” colors in the light of the setting sun, while Albuquerque's annual Balloon Fiesta will provide a lucky few with an opportunity to “ Float the Fiesta ”, and take in the balloons as they soar over the river from the best seat in the house: relaxing in your canoe or kayak, far from the maddening crowds!

Paddling a canoe or kayak down a gentle river is a delightful and healthy activity that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. As a means to encourage parents to introduce their children to the joys of paddling, kids 12 and under who float along with their parent (or parents) in the same boat go for half-price! Our Bell tandem canoes can easily accomodate a child or two along with two adults, and our Daytripper kayaks are ideal boats for a single parent to float along with a small child. Bring your family!

( Please Note : Half-price rate for children under 12 applies to children floating along with two adults in a canoe, or with one adult in a kayak).

"We enjoyed our trip today so much! Thank you for taking such good care of us and showing us (natives) the river in a way we have never seen it. I will be back soon!"

Heather Armstrong, University of New Mexico

All guided trips include your choice of canoe or kayak, paddles, life vests, all required equipment, and include one dry bag per boat for safekeeping of personal items or a change of clothing. You simply arrive at our location, and we provide a shuttle in our air-conditioned van to and from the river access points. Guided trips will involve anywhere from 2 - 6 hours of “river time”, and include a stop along the way for a light snack or lunch.

Rates and Reservations

Our guided trips are limited to 12 participants, and rates start at just $45.00 per person. Children 12 and under who float along with their parent or guardian in a canoe or kayak go for half-price! Minimum age for kids is 3, and minimum weight is 30 lbs. Individual trip details and our current schedule can be found on our calendar page . (Note: We intentionally leave some dates on our calendar open - if you're looking for a trip on what appears to be an open date, please call - we may be able to accomodate you.) Our guided trips can fill up fast, so book early!

  • Reservations are held upon receipt of payment. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and Diner's Club.
  • Each paddler must sign a waiver of liability in order to participate.
  • Although Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures is not responsible for evaluating a participant's skill or ability, we reserve the right to refuse rentals to those individuals whose skills do not seem suitable for the trip.
  • Alcohol use is strictly prohibited. We will not transport anyone who brings alcoholic beverages with them to our facility.
  • The trip starting time indicates when our van leaves our facility. As each trip includes a short safety and instructional video and orientation prior to departure, please arrive 45 minutes prior to the trip's stated starting time.
  • As our guided trips do include a light snack or lunch, please let us know of any special dietary needs at the time of your reservation.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations 8 days or more in advance will receive your choice of a full credit toward a future trip, or in a refund less a 15% cancellation fee. We're sorry, but cancellations within 7 days of the event are not refundable.

Although we generally float rain or shine, if a trip is cancelled as a consequence of inclement weather, we will issue a either a full credit towards a future trip, or a full refund.

Petroglyph National Monument

Welcome to Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument protects a variety of cultural and natural resources including volcanoes, archeological sites and an estimated 24,000 carved images. Many of the images are recognizable as animals, people, brands and crosses; others are more complex. These images are inseparable from the cultural landscape, the spirits of the people who created and who appreciate them.

The Visitor Center is the best place to start your visit to Petroglyph National Monument. Staff members are available to help orient you for your visit to the Monument and to any special programs that might be offered. You may pick up free copies of the park map and park newspaper. This building also houses some interpretive exhibits and the park bookstore.

History of the Visitor Center

Petroglyph National Monument's Visitor Center was once the home of an extraordinary lady.

Dr. Sophie Aberle, known as "Measuring Lady" by the Native Americans she worked with, was the first practicing applied anthropologist in the United States. Her research focused mainly on women's lives at the pueblos, including pregnancy, child birth, child care, diet and healing. Because of her position as Superintendent of the United Pueblo's Agency, she was able to implement practices which led to better conditions in the pueblos.

Located 3 miles north of I-40, at the intersection of Unser Boulevard NW and Western Trail.

Hours of operation are 8 am to 5 pm daily.

The visitor center is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day and during severe weather. The visitor center closes early on the eves of these holidays.

Natural Resources

Petroglyph National Monument has much more to offer than the cultural resources for which it is so well known. Various types of wildlife utilize this narrow corridor, some in transit during migration, others for their entire lifespan. Plants, birds, insects, animals, all are part of the ecosystem that Petroglyph holds in this tiny strip of land and all will eventually encounter the millipedes of Petroglyph NM .

Another inhabitant of this area is the Rattlesnake. The park houses several varieties, please be careful when you are visiting their home. Follow this link for some guidelines about dealing with our legless friend the snake .

The remnants of volcanoe's, that produced the basalt that became the canvas for people for thousands of years, stand starkly against the western horizon and are landmarks seen from much of Albuquerque. A moderate hike will take you partway up some of these volcanic cores. For those up to a more strenuous hike, you can reach the top of some. Be sure to stay on the trails. It takes decades for this fragile landscape to recover from even incidental damage.

While hiking in the Monument, you will notice a wide range of desert plants .

History & Culture

Do you wonder what a petroglyph is or why they were made ? We hope to answer these questions in this website or during your visit. Either way, you can help us protect and take care of the petroglyphs by following some simple rules.

New Mexico's history has led to a wondrous blending of cultures: from the Puebloan and other indigenous groups that have been here for thousands of years, through the Spanish and Mexican heritage moving in several centuries ago, to the more recent additions of Northern European decent during the last two centuries.

Each has provided customs and traditions that make New Mexico unique and a beloved a place to be. Of course the evidence of the early inhabitants is shown in the petroglyphs, but when you visit, you will also be surrounded by many of the other popular aspects of the New Mexico. Chile ristras can be seen almost everywhere you look. Luminarias are utilized during the Christmas holiday season. Artistry influenced by all the cultures abounds.

Enjoy your visit to the park and to the wondrously diverse aspects of our cities and state.


The climate of Albuquerque is best described as arid with abundant sunshine, low humidity, scant precipitation and a wide, yet tolerable range of temperatures. More than three-fourths of the daylight hours have sunshine, even in the winter months. Albuquerque temperatures are those characteristic of a dry, high altitude climate and extreme temperatures are rare.

Pueblo of Santa Ana

2 Dove Road Bernalillo, NM 87004 505 867 3301

A Brief History of Santa Ana
In the Beginning
The Santa Ana Pueblo people, who have occupied their current site in central New Mexico since at least the late 1500s, believe their ancestors originated from a subterranean world to the north.

Assisted by their mother Iyatiko, they ascended through four worlds--the white, red, blue and yellow worlds--before emerging at Siapapu into this, the fifth world. These people, called Keresans, moved south to a place called White House where they lived with the gods who taught them what they needed to know about living in this hostile world.

The Keresans, however, eventually became quarrelsome, arguing with the kachinas, the gods primarily in control of the rain, and later amongst themselves. This angered Iyatiko, who altered the Keresan language so that each faction spoke a separate tongue. The Keresans abandoned White House and the various factions settled in different places. One group moved further south, settling at the present site of Santa Ana.

A Well-Chosen Home
The original pueblo, located at approximately 5,400 feet above sea level, lies against a craggy mesa wall on the north bank of Jemez River. The site provided both protection and seclusion. Travelers to the area historically tended to follow the north-south trade route along the Rio Grande or headed east and west without making contact, making Santa Ana one of the least visited of the New Mexico pueblos.

The Spanish Arrive
The first Spaniards to explore pueblo country arrived in the 1540s. Santa Ana, then called Tamaya, submitted to Spanish rule in 1598 and was assigned the patron saint by which it has since become known. The relationship between the pueblo peoples and the Spanish invaders exploded in 1680 when the pueblos led by Popé staged a successful revolt and drove away their oppressors. The revolt was short-lived and the returning Spanish, anxious to reconquer the pueblos, forced the Santa Anans to flee their village to the nearby Black Mesa and Jemez Mountains.

In 1693, the Santa Ana people returned to the present pueblo location, about 27 miles northwest of Albuquerque, where they began acquiring adjacent land for agricultural purposes. Hunting and gathering supplemented their diet. Throughout most of the 18th century, the Santa Ana population rose until it was reduced by a smallpox epidemic in 1789-1791. Other epidemics reduced the pueblo’s population in the late 19th century.

Modern Economics

The increased availability of wage work in the mid-20th century, particularly in nearby Albuquerque, has diminished the economic role of the pueblo’s agricultural practices, although agricultural enterprises continue. Hunting had declined in importance, though cattle, introduced to the area by the Spanish, continue to be raised. A spirit of entrepreneurship envelopes the pueblo, with a variety of enterprises from raising and selling blue corn products, to Native American apparel, to selling Native American foods, to whole and retail distribution of native Southwestern plants, to Indian gaming to investments flourish today.

Tradition Flourishes
Santa Ana is linguistically linked to four other Keresan-speaking pueblos. Relations and cultural exchanges have been traditionally closest between Santa Ana and the nearby pueblos of Zia and San Felipe. The annual cycle of life at Santa Ana is tied to the solar movements and the agricultural and hunting seasons. Some traditional rituals have been moved to Spanish holy days in an accommodation to Catholicism. Santa Ana’s Day, for example, is recognized on July 26 with a corn dance and a mass and by feasting and visiting.

Preparing for the Future
The remarkable resourcefulness and adaptability of Santa Ana are reflected in its social and political structures. The governor, for instance, is the principle intermediary between the pueblo and the outside world. The cacique, however, is the most sacred and thus most important position. According to Keresan tradition, when the gods departed from the people they left behind sacred societies and officers to maintain social order. The cacique, essentially a priest, is charged with assuring that order, authorizing communal rituals, and appointing other key officials. Santa Ana thrives today through a vibrant blend of traditional and modern ways.

The Pueblo of Santa Ana
2 Dove Road
Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico 87004
USA (505) 771-6700

Plein Air New Mexico Gallery

733 S. Camino del Pueblo Bernalillo, NM 87004 505-867-9150 /

A unique gallery in two old adobe buildings. The gallery presents original artwork by member artists of Plein Air New Mexico. Choose from Oil, Pastel or Watercolor Plein Air and Studio Landscapes, Still Life, or Figures painted from Life. This is a wonderful and affordable way to bring home a little bit of "the Land of Enchantment".