Nothing beats a lazy day floating on the water, enjoy the breeze by the river and the beautiful mountain and sky views of Las Cruces. Wait, of Las Cruces? Yes! I am a native of this area, and I had no idea such an idyllic afternoon adventure even existed in this area! Recently, our family was treated to a relaxing river float by Southwest Expeditions, one of the premier tour operators in the Las Cruces area.
Along with many other exciting tours, some more active than our leisurely float, Southwest Expeditions offers a variety of rafting expeditions down the Rio Grande River from April through September. Some of the tours are as long as six hours, but the tour we enjoyed was just two hours, the perfect length for our group, which included children and adults.

Beat the summer heat — enjoy the gorgeous views

I wasn’t sure what to expect from our two-hour tour, but what I discovered was one of the most relaxing afternoon excursions I have experienced in our area. Our group came mostly prepared with our hats, water shoes, sunscreen, and plenty of water. What I didn’t expect was how close we would be to the water the whole time. Our inflatable rafts sat us right in the water, so although it was one of the hottest weeks of the year, we were cool the entire trip! David and his crew got us all geared up, including a full safety briefing and life jackets for everyone (safety first!). Each of us had our own inflatable kayak and paddle — right down to our youngest participant. After our orientation and lesson on how to paddle, we set off with our youngest member in tow behind one of the adults. He would have the opportunity to paddle around a bit, but could also be kept close by for safety.

An adventure is at hand!

We set off from Leasburg Dam State Park, which is a lovely little park with nice views of the dam. We were all a little nervous at first, but within minutes we were paddling handily around and helping the young ones figure out their paddles also. The breathtaking views of the mountains and clear Las Cruces skies were by far the most enjoyable parts of the trip. Robledo Mountain was just to the west of us for most of the trip. Along the eastern bank of the river was mostly agricultural or open space, which increased the sense of serenity and peace as we floated down the river. Although there are a few places where paddling is necessary to stay away from a bridge or a small island, the river does most of the work for you. The kids enjoyed paddling around each other, racing, and jumping out of their kayaks to swim a few times. We mostly made sure to keep track of our paddles!

Overall, a perfect day

At the end of the 3.7 mile float, David and his crew did all the heavy lifting to get us and the gear out of the river. He had snacks and plenty of water and Gatorade waiting for us at the trucks. The two hours we were on the river was the perfect amount of time for our little group. David wrapped up our day with interesting stories about the area and a teaser for our next adventure. Will we be ready for the six-hour tour next time?

Ready to get your adventure started?

Check out all that Southwest Expeditions has to offer. We would love to know how you enjoyed your tour with them. We will be returning for more soon!  



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