Rio Mayo


Rio Mayo

August 5-13, 2017; 100 miles – Cost-Shared Expedition

Experience the beauty and big water of the Rio Mayo. The Mayo drainage is best known for Cascada Basaseachi, one of the highest and most spectacular waterfalls in North America. The shuttle will definitely be long, but we will visit the town of Alamos, one of the pueblo magicos (magical towns) of Mexico at the beginning and the end of the trip. Also called “The City of Portals,” Alamos was built by architects from the city of Andalucia, Spain. Because of this, this city’s beautiful architecture is a blend between the Spanish Baroque and the indigenous styles. This also puts us relatively close to the beaches along the Sea of Cortez and we may visit Playa Himalaya on our way back to Hermosillo and the border.

The section we will be running is from La Junta near the junction of the Rio Concheno and Rio Candamena which form the Rio Mayo to (hopefully) near San Bernardo where a dam is under construction. With luck (and rain!) we should have several thousand cfs in the Mayo, but this will still be an easier trip, likely with nothing over Class III and wonderful scenery. The most difficult aspect will be the shuttle, which will take two days from Alamos to the put-in and we may not even be able to reach the river and have to abandon the trip. In that case, we would likely run the Rio Aros/Yaqui from Natora to Sahuaripa. Because of this, the trip will be cost-shared, including the shuttle which must be paid even if we don’t get on the river.

Note: The pictures in the slideshow are from 2015 and there is a dam under construction at San Bernardo. This will flood much of the lower canyon and may make this run inaccessible or require a long paddle out across a reservoir. We are hoping that it will not be completed in 2016 and we can take out at the dam site or upstream at Ejido de Chorijoa. Taking out at Chorijoa we would miss the scenic section with the “pilares” down to San Bernardo, which would be a shame.

Trip Highlights:

  • Experience a river that few have ever seen – there have been only a few known descents of the upper part of this section, although day and overnight trips starting many kilometers downstream near the Rio Babanori used to be run by local outfitters
  • Amazing Scenery – see for yourself the incredibly beautiful canyons carved by the rivers of northern Mexico
  • A low-stress trip – nothing on the Rio Mayo should be over Class III, kick back and enjoy the scenery without fear of the rapids
  • Experience the local culture –Complete the trip with a stop in Alamos, one of the few magical towns (Pueblos Magicos) of Sonora

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