Jesse Kelly

Janie C.

Safety First AND a sense of humor!
“Took a full day Lower Taos Box trip with Kokopelli Rafting yesterday and was very impressed. The last time I went white water rafting was 12 years ago, but I’ll be doing much more now. Their staff is kind, flexible and really warm in the way they worked with me over ten days of changing plans. But the big news was they had helmets! I saw no less than two other rafting companies along the Rio Grande yesterday with NO helmets! This alone is reason to use Kokopelli, but we also had a blast with our female guide, Jesse, who was funny and well informed. OH, and just to add to our amazingly safe trip, we had a “safety boat” behind our little group of four women with FOUR MEN guides. This last bit may have been a fluke or training exercise for the guys, but it was so great!”

Laura B.

A Total Blast!
Jesse was a fantastic guide and we had the best time! The river is absolutely breathtaking, Jesse was knowledgeable about the history and geography. I recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys outdoors and adventure.”


A beautiful morning whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande!
“My 15-year-old daughter and I got with Jesse and two others and had a great morning out on The Racecourse. Jesse was skilled with the raft and pointed out some of the wildlife – bighorn sheep! – and talked about the geology and history of the area. It was end-of-season low water but still very much an adventure and good time!”


Good times on the Rio Grande!
“We went with some friends who hadn’t been before and this is a great place to start. We went on the Racecourse which is fun but not too difficult. We had Jesse as our guide and we’ve seen her for the past 3 years there. She did a great job! Make sure you ask to “ride the bull!” It’s a good time and just long enough to build up an appetite for lunch.”

Susie H

Kokopelli Rafting Adventure’s Jesse was an awesome guide!!!
“Loved the half day rafting adventure on the Rio Grande today! First time with Kokopelli company and truly enjoyed the safety precautions they took–checking our PFDs, providing helmets and just taking their time to explain what to do in different situations. Jesse was an awesome and fun guide, which made the adventure fun and exciting! Enjoyed the history and stories of the river, too. Great company to raft the Rio Grande. Looking forward to another adventure next May/June! Thanks!!!”


Excellent Rafting Adventure near Taos
“We rafted Taos Box the last week of June 2016 and hit the sweet spot of timing where it’s warm enough not to wear wetsuits or splash gear, yet the water is still high and running fast enough to hit Class IV’s. Can’t say enough about Jesse, our guide. She was fun, funny and full of great stories, but more importantly, she expertly guided us through exactly what we needed to do to make this a fun, but safe experience. We had first-time to intermediate rafters and there were no worries about capability or safety as long as we listened to Jesse’s commands. What is indescribable though is the breathtaking beauty of this trip! This run through the mountain range is truly awesome. We loved it!

Wendy M.

Finally rafted the Taos Box of the Rio Grande
We had an amazing trip with Jesse as our guide – with skill and expertise she took us through the Taos box and we never even noticed how hard we were working or how expertly she navigated all the ins and outs of the river!!


My name is Jesse! 2019 will be my 9th season guiding whitewater around the country and my 5th season in New Mexico! Let's go rafting!

I love anything outside! I especially like R-1’ing, which is solo rafting, usually in a very small raft. It’s a neat way to explore creeks and waterfalls! I also love hiking and climbing, and am in the process of trying to summit all the mountains in Colorado that are over 14,000ft tall. In the winter, I ski a lot and teach skiing at the Taos Ski Valley!

River Guide: since 2011
Kokopelli Guide: since 2015
Favorite Color: Agua
Favorite Charity: Red Cross
What I like most about rafting is:
Favorite river and why: I love the rivers of NOrthern New Mexico! Tha Taos Box is one of the best day trips in the country! The Gauley River in West Virginia, where I guide in the Fall, is also really fun! It’s called the Beast of the East, and the rapids are huge!
Favorite river-related story:
Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, B.S> Outdoor Education from Prescott University, Level 1 Ski Instructor
Hobbies: Rafting with the river Sharks, R-1 first descents, competitive raft-racing, skiing, hiking, climbing, playing Chess while manoeuvring the rapids

Jesse in Action

Contact Jesse