Kokopelli Rafting Guides


Paddles up for Anastasia and Kokopelli Rafting!
“A group of 5 women from a bachelorette weekend group went on the AM racecourse this past Saturday. We had such a great time, thanks to Kokopelli and especially to Anastasia – our amazing, skilled and fun-to-be-with guide! We all loved having an all ladies raft — thanks to Anastasia’s expert direction we had a really clean and fun run down the racecourse. Kokopelli was great all the way through — friendly, easy service from booking through the end, good equipment in good shape — and we could not have been happier with our guide. The water level was low (mid August) which meant that it was more of a workout than some whitewater trips can be, but we all still had a lot of fun. It was a great way to take in the New Mexico landscape, get some exercise, and bond as a group! Raftphotos also provided some great photographs of us. All in all I highly recommend this outfitter and the half day racecourse trip for beginners. Thanks again, Anastasia — you’re the best!”


Great time on the Rio Grande
“I selected Kokopelli based on their reviews regarding their trips as well as their safety record. They didn’t let us down. The trip information and safety instructions at the beginning were thorough and, as it turned out, very useful. I say useful because I wound up in the water. Due to recent rains and warm temperatures, the Rio Grande had unusually high water levels. So Class III rapids were more like 3.5. A swell punched up the opposite side of our raft. As I leaned back, I realized my feet were not anchored as well as at the start of the trip. As I slid off the raft, I remembered to grab the rope, which was stressed in the safety instructions. Our guide, Armand, was great and quickly got me back in the boat. The remainder of the trip was not as eventful but a whole lot of fun. I definitely recommend Kokopelli.”


Fun times
“Arman was great, experienced and friendly. Water was high Rapids fun. Did a great job safety wise. Got our swimmer in the boat fast.”


Best Day Ever
“My friends and I rafted the Taos Box with Kokopelli. I was initially really nervous about the rapids, but the guides explained everything thoroughly and I felt prepared and excited going into it. Our guide, Avery, was absolutely fantastic! She was funny and had all sorts of information to share about the area and the river. She knew the river like the back of her hand, and even while joking around and making the ride more fun, she always had her eyes on the water and I felt safe the whole time. The process, from pickup to loading, went extremely smoothly, and all of the guides were professional and organized.

The ride itself was heart pumping and exciting. Before every rapid, Avery took a few seconds to give us a bit of a preview so we had an idea of what commands she would call out when, as well as a brief picture of what we were headed in to. I would absolutely take a trip with Kokopelli again, and would 300% recommend it to anyone interested in adventure, water sports, family fun, or a weekend escape in New Mexico!”

Twyst O.

A Grand Adventure Down the Rio!
“My three grandkids and I tackled the all-day Racecourse under the expert guidance of Kokopelli’s Avery, an experienced, well-educated, and witty young lady. The river was flowing at more than 3,100 cubic feet per second, but there was never a moment when we felt out of control or in any sort of danger. It was a blast! The kids and I had a fabulous time and heartily recommend Avery to guide you on your own adventure down the Rio Grande.”


“Had a great trip down the Taos Box. Our guide Avery was a first class professional. She made sure we had an epic time, all while making us feel safe and prepared for the next rapid. I would definitely recommend this company to anyone who wants to take a rafting trip in New Mexico.”

Gail W.

“My son and I had a great experience white water rafting with Kokopelli. Avery was a great guide and it was an amazing day. This was my third time to go rafting but definitely my favorite!!”

Jaclyn Fletcher

“Amazing!! We did the Taos Box and had Avery as our guide-she was amazing!! The Powerline and The Rock Garden rapids were the favorites of the day! Thank you so much!! Just wish I could get a BOGO Rafting deal bc I wanna come back tomorrow!”

Andrew P.

“Fun, Fun, Fun!! What a great way to meet up with people that you haven’t seen in years. Our guide, Billy, kept us informed about the history of our surroundings and taught us how to handle a raft in Class 3 waters. I’m so glad I did this river adventure!”

Teresa C.

Great customer service
“Had a great time floating the Rio Grande! There were two little girls on our trip and it was raining, but our guide Billy did a great job of ensuring everyone’s comfort. He was also very knowledgeable about the geography and wildlife of the river. Very fun.”

Heather P.

“We had a blast! I took two thirteen year old’s and an eleven year old on the racecourse. Our guide Billy was knowledgeable, kind, very skilled and a good captain!!! We can’t wait to go again!”

Leticia R.

Great Excercise on the float!
“Brian was a great guide! Very informative!”

Lisa B.

Isaac rocks the rapids!
“Yesterday our family of 4, which included two young adults, had a great adventure on the Rio Grande white water river rafting with Kokopelli. The directions were perfect from Santa Fe, the team picked us up as scheduled, and the equipment was new and clean. Directions were given on safety and rowing. We picked our raft and got Isaac who was a college kid with experience being a guide. He was witty and very friendly. We had a awesome time on the river. It was our kids first time, and they can’t wait to do it again. The rapids were good for all ages and we quickly learned to follow Isaac’s rowing instructions. We ended the trip with a little floating in the river. Upon land we enjoyed Oreo cookies (some more than others), fresh fruit, chips and salsa, and soda pop. We recommend Kokopelli and Isaac. Paddles up!!!”

Robin M.

Wildly Cool Wet Adventure
“Cool experience, entertaining guides, worth the trip. Our guide Issac made the whole adventure awesome, was great with my kids, kept all of us engaged the whole time. Would do it again. Thanks.”

celia g.

loved it
“We loved our rafting adventure! Our guide was Isaac, and he was an amazing guide and really knew what he was doing and helped us out. so much fun!”


River rafting
“We had an awesome time on the river! Our guide Isaac was great! Very organized & professional group to deal with!”


Kokopelli rafting
“Amazing rating adventure! Great guide, great tour! Our guide Isaac was top notch, he not only got us down the river safely but did it while telling us the history of the land. It was our first rating trip and I feel like a pro because of his professionalism. Great time!”

janie c.

Safety First AND a sense of humor!
“Took a full day trip with Kokopelli Rafting yesterday and was very impressed. The last time I white water rafted was 12 years ago, but I’ll being 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, so I got in a big conversation about safety with the owner, Kelly. 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!”


Excellent adventure
“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 Jessie’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!”


Beautiful Morning on the Rio Grande
“My 15-year-old daughter and I got with Jessie and two others and had a great morning out on The Racecourse. Jessie 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.”

Susie H.

Kokopelli Rafting Adventure’s Jessie 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. Jessie 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!!!”


Very professional rafting & FUN
“Had a fantastic day rafting down the rio grande with my husband and 12 year-old daughter. Our guide Ruth was highly skilled and made us into a team She knew a lot about area as well. We choose the half day race course which is good enough to get a feel of the sport. Highly recommend.”

Suzie F.

“We had a great day on the river with Ruth She was the perfect guide and so nice and informative We not only learned a lot about rafting we learned history of Santa Fe Loved the Rio Grande.”


Amazing Day With Ruth and Kokopelli
“Having never stepped foot in a raft before I was seriously worried about my mini adventure today.Booking over the phone was easy and directions to the pick up point were perfect.Ruth our guide was amazing – fantastic instructions for a beginner and she made the whole experience worth every penny – I am now ready for the next level.Ruth guided us along the river with all sorts of information and the picnic at the end was a delight.Cant wait to book another trip. Kim & Lynn – United Kingdom.”


AwEsOmE DaY TrIp
“Shout out to Stephen our tour guide!! We had the best time on our first rafting trip. We had lots of laughs and we even learned a few things about the history around us. Highly recommend this rafting company.”


Kokopelli Guide Amazing
“This whitewater trip was my first one. Stephen Trask was an amzing guide. He made me feel really comfortable and safe yet he was very fun. I am going to take this trip every year (we live in Iowa but visit family every year) and ask for Stephen as a guide. I’ve been skydiving and had a NASCAR ride along, this trip topped them both. I would surely recommend Kokopelli over anyone else.”


You cannot skip the Taos Box run when in NM
“My guides this day were Torrie and Avery. Torrie was the senior guide and was terrific. She made everyone feel comfortable but also knew the 17 mile stretch like it was her backyard. So, the first 12 miles are generally class 3 Rapids. Lots of floating, so much so that I was considering a refund. After a nice shore lunch, we enter the Rio Bravo portion of the tour. So the five miles are simply incredible! Each rapid has a particular name which makes it even more fun. We didn’t lose anyone and one of their competitors “dump-trucked” at the final “Sunset” rapid which is a beast. Can’t wait to do it again.”

Mike Courtois

“Our group booked a reservation for the Taos Box. It had rained a couple days prior, so the water was really moving. Our guide, Tori, did an amazing job of getting us through some really intense rapids. I’ve been on several rafting trips, and this one was easily the best. Thanks! I will book with Kokopelli again!”


Churning water, swirling boats, commanding guide, laughing til the cheeks hurt.
“Our guide Tristan had wit, muscles, and good clear instructions. It was fantastic! We used him last year too – and came back for again this year with more water on the river. He knows every rock and eddy and how to hit the holes just perfect.”


Awesome trip; cool guide
“We’ve done 3 trips with Kokopelli (and some with other companies) and always asked for Tristan. He’s cool when river is churning. He guided us through some gnarly rocks, but then found great holes for us to ride into and out – those classic photos with everyone screaming with joy. Yup that was us!
We gave him a great tip, because of the great tips he shared with us about rivers and how the currents flow.”

Abigail G.

Always fun!
“I highly recommend this rafting company. The guides are highly knowledgeable and experienced. Very friendly people. We had Tristan this time as a guide and he made the trip fun and enjoyable for out family of 4 with 2 kids (15, 8)”

Chris J.

Great rafting trip!
“Had a great trip rafting down the racecourse this morning. Our amazing guide, Trystan, found us plenty of white water, shared a lot of biological knowledge, and made sure we all had a brilliant time. A professional company but fun at the same time!”

Lara R.

Adventure of a life time.
“Had the best day from the very start, leaving headquarters with our safe, cool and funny guide, Yates, to the last rapid. We had three fearless teens and a ten year old and they couldn’t get enough excitement and roiling Rapids. Yates gave us a little history about mining, fault lines, gems, and local characters and had the perfect temperament for our nutty family.
We had a blast. I recommend this for anyone with a heartbeat and a wish to live a little.
Thanks Yates and Kokopelli rafting”


“This was a great rafting experience. There are some great Rapids with nice gentle breaks between. Makes for a great 1/2 day trip. Yates was a great guide.”


Awesome trip!!!
“Our guide was fabulous and very knowledgeable. Before leaving on the trip, he went over safety information and made sure everyone understood. The trip was fantastic!!!! Water levels were high, so it made for an even more exciting experience. Kudos to this company for offering a safe and informative trip!!”


Best Rafting Experience
“My daughter and I had never been rafting before and decided to try it. Everyone at Kokopelli was so nice from the lady that helped us with our reservation, to the guides who took us down the river. We felt very safe and well taken care of. We had an amazing time on the river and hit several class 3 Rapids!! Thanks to Kokopelli we are hooked and can’t wait to do it again!”


Best rafting trip ever
“I would like to recommend Kokopelli. They treat you awesome, the are true professionals. They go over safety items in the beginning making everything clear. They make the trip fun, while making sure you are safe. This is why I will go again and recommend to all.”

Amir R.

Awesome Rafting Experience
“Friendly, experienced and highly trained river guides. Very accommodating to our large group needs. Reservations was quick and easy. Their staff followed up several time prior to the trip with river level updates & final numbers request. Overall, it was a fantastic experience going white water rafting through Kokopelli Rafting Adventures.”

Dylan H.

Fantastic Experience!
“The online booking worked very well, staff were pleasant and professional, and the trip was beautiful. I have no complaints and would highly recommend this outfit to anyone interested in a rafting trip. :)”


Annual river trip
“Safe equipment, knowledgeable guides and a beautiful river made for a wonderful day! This is our second trip with Kokopelli, I would highly recommend this company for your rafting adventure.”


Kokopelli is AWESOME!!
“I had the most awesome trip with Kokopelli. They were terrific with every member of our party but particularly kind with my youngest child – who really needed a little extra guidance but was made to feel totally empowered. The guide was just fantastic and their patience and instructions were great. We had sooooo much fun. Can’t wait to do it again. Love ’em!!”


Best Family Trip Ever!
“WE did a family trip with Kokopelli down the rio grande. It was incredible. They made such an exciting and heart pumping adventure feel safe and fun for the whole family. They were extremely professional and put safety before all else. Which allowed us to focus on the fun!!! The best part was how they taught the kids about the science behind the river and surrounding landscape! Recommend 100% to anyone.”


Amazing trip down the Rio Grande
“Kokopelli Rafting provided an amazing rafting experience! This was our first time rafting with our children (7&9). Everyone who works at Kokopelli was very professional and informative. They answered all my questions and made sure the whole family had an amazing time! They even let the kids act as junior river guides! Truly an amazing experience! I highly recommend Kokopelli Rafting!”

Zita Pitcher

“We had a group of 15 friends and family run the Taos Box today, Sat. 06/18/16. It was a beautiful day and we could not have asked for better guides. It was exhilarating and sheer fun to hit that Class IV rapids. We were taught the basic safety and rafting skills and practiced together before we had lunch. After lunch we were running the rapids. It was sheer joy! This our second experience with Kokopelli and both adventures I would highly recommend. Many thanks to our skilled and friendly guides…”

Our guides here at Kokopelli Rafting are not just river guides. They are a unique and diverse group of individuals (as you will see by their bios below) that when brought together by there passion of the river and the outdoors, but also to create an amazing family!

John Siener

John has worked the rivers of New Mexico since 1999. He is a Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Wilderness First Responder, CPR/First Aid instructor, and avid outdoorsman. John attended the New Zealand Rafting Association advanced river rescue workshop. Over the past ten years, he has guided hiking, biking, and rafting trips throughout northern New Mexico.

William Allen

William, a.k.a. Surf Up Billy, is the raddest dude on the river! He has been guiding with Kokopelli since the summer of 2010 and works at Ski Santa Fe during the winters. Billy is laid back and can make any boat laugh so hard they forget to paddle. A few of Billy’s favorite things include being on the water and riding great powder.

Jeff Harris

Jeff Harris joined Kokopelli Rafting and Santa Fe Adventure Tours in the high water season of 2005. He is a student at Colorado’s Fort Lewis College and spends his free times exploring the mountains and rivers of the southwest.

Kathleen Murphy

Kathleen joined Kokopelli Rafting and Santa Fe Adventure Tours in 2004 and has brought years of experience to our team. Kathleen is a former environmental educator, a long-time Santa Fe, New Mexico resident, and a logistical genius. With current First-Aid and CPR certificates, she’s ready for anything.

Justin Bobb

Justin was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is an avid outdoorsman, caver, a geology graduate of Colorado’s Ft Lewis University, and a member of the Taos Ski Patrol. Justin is a Swiftwater Rescue Technician and knowledgable river guide. Raft White Rock Canyon with him, and his local knowledge can really enhance your experience.

Trent Rhoads

Trent, a.k.a Eddy-Yeti, is from California, where he got most of his on water experience surfing and paddling in the ocean. He is a certified WMI Wilderness First Responder and student of nature. An avid skier, Trent spends the winters exploring the back country and is looking forward to paddling as many rivers as he can. In his spare time,Trent likes to practice Free-Running with his four year old son, Rio. If he could only eat one thing for the rest of his life, Trent is pretty sure it would be avocados.

Victoria Simmons

Victoria (Tori) has spent time living in Upstate New York and California, and after graduating with a B.A. in Government from Hamilton College in 2009, Tori headed west and joined the Kokopelli team. When she’s not out on the river, Tori can be found in the office making sure our headquarters run like a well oiled machine. She also works with Ski Patrol at Ski Santa Fe in the winter, and is a talented sculptor and stone worker. Some of her most memorable rafting trips include Cataract Canyon, the San Juan River, and the Salmon River, but her favorite trip to guide is the Rio Chama.

Jake Clemens

Jake loves water and was a surfing and windsurfing instructor before he began rafting in 2006. He is a professional fly-fishing guide and Emergency Medical Technician. When his beloved water is frozen, Jake works as a patroller at the Santa Fe Ski Area.

Kieran Sullivan

When Kieran began with Kokopelli Rafting in 2007, he took to the water like a Hooded Merganser. Now, he continues to refine his natural abilities on every trip. Kieran also plays the violin.

Devon Parson

Devon is a banjo-picker and graduate of Fort Lewis College. In 2007, he completed a thru-hike of the Colorado Trail and started guiding at Kokopelli. He loves the mountains…and the rivers that trickle from their summits.

Kelly Bulkley

Kelly loves rafting with her dog, Duke. She also enjoys training and riding horses, taking long hikes in the mountains she loves, and photography. A graduate of Fort Lewis College, Kelly began rafting with Kokopelli in 2007.

Joshua Lee

Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Josh joined our team in 2007. He is a Wilderness First Responder with Swiftwater training. His winters are spent as a ski instructor at the Santa Fe Ski Area. Boating has taken Josh down various southwestern rivers including the Colorado, San Juan, Rio Grande, Rio Chama, Arkansas and Animas.

Keith Mortensen

Keith has been guiding rafts throughout the western states and in Costa Rica since 2003. He has Rescue and IRIA Swiftwater training and is an avid kayaker, mountain biker, and motocross rider. Anything that gets Keith into the wilderness makes him happy.

Randy Lahr

Randy has been guiding on the Rio Grande and Rio Chama since 1998. He also guides on the class V Upper Gauley River of West Virginia in the fall. When he’s not on the water, Randy works as an Emergency Medical Technician.

Avery Young

A graduate of George Washington University, Avery Young is an experienced raft guide as well as an avid skier and hiker. She loves animals, joking around with guests, and a good splash fight on the water. Avery may look little, but she’s one scrappy gal! Her favorite might be the Racecourse on the Rio Grande, but Avery loves the incredible views on the Upper Rio Chama.

Ed Fordham

Ed has been part of the Kokopelli crew since 2009 and while we may only get him for a few days at a time he is well worth the wait. When Ed’s not powering through rapids he works as a professional welder. Another New Mexico native, Ed likes to mountain bike and eat green chile. And he’s hands down the friendliest guy around!