Youth Groups

Tommy Houghteling

20 years, over 1,000 students with Kokopelli!
“For the past 20 years I have been taking groups of students to whitewater raft in New Mexico! The entire time we have used Kokopelli Rafting Adventures. They are awesome!!!!  Always professional.  Always safe.  And always fun to be around.  I have taken over 1000 students on their river rafting trips and have not had a single incident.  What’s more, every single student has raved about the experience!  I highly recommend them!!

Go with Kokopelli; you’ll love the peace of mind.


“I brought a environmental education class from Adrian College to Kokopelli for a trip on the Taos Box section of the Rio Grande. The boss, Kelly, was great to work with, and even sent me a recent article on water issues that was relevant to my class, and was prompt in refunding when two of my students dropped out of the trip.

Our guides were Jesse and Yates. On the drive up to the put in Yates gave us a lot of information on the geology and history of the area, which really added to our environmental studies.  On the river both were great guides.  After one rapids I glanced back at Jesse and she wasn’t looking at us, but was grinning like she was having the greatest time ever.  A great guide loves being on the river. Thanks to both of them due to a great trip.

Also, for wildlife lovers, bighorn sheep have been reintroduced to this canyon and we saw them about four different times, and the guides said they often see them even more than that. Seeing those beautiful animals really added to the fun of the trip.

Keith Du Pree – BSA Troop 3, Texarkana, TX

Kokopelli was awesome!
“We took 17 boys from our Scout Troop rafting with Kokopelli last summer. It was during our Epic Western Adventure, 3700 miles in 9 days. Most of our Troop had made Eagle and we were looking for something other than Summer Camp to keep the boys Scouting. Kokopelli was awesome, the boys were ready to go again when we got off the river, even though there was a short class V portion due to high water, they felt very confident. The guides we had for the trip were great, gave good concise safety and rafting instructions before we hit the river, and had great attitudes. Would definitely recommend booking a trip with Kokopelli for a Scout Troop with older Scouts to keep them Scouting. If we make it out that way again, we will book the Taos Box full day trip.”

Do You Want to Build Courage, Confidence, and Character in young people? 

Give your Youth Group an Epic and Life-Changing Day in the Great Outdoors!

Discover why Kokopelli Rafting Adventures is Consistently Rated

Santa Fe’s #1 Outdoor Activity on TripAdvisor

A day riding the rapids is nothing short of exhilarating! The sun, the splash, the endorphins, the laughter, the fresh mountain air, and the surrounding beauty, will all add up to an experience your youth group will never forget. And you’re the one they’ll thank for the rest of their lives! Picture their high-fives, big grins, the thrill of success on a wild river, and the feeling of ‘WE did it!’, and all the memories they’ll share with one another long after the trip is over!  These are all common reactions our youth group participants experience after an unforgettable day with Kokopelli Rafting Adventures. 

We know the secret to make this happen. We do it every day!

Do you want to build courage, confidence, and character and give your youth group a river adventure they’ll never forget?

A day with KOKOPELLI RAFTING ADVENTURES is just right for your youth group if…

→ You think kids today need to “get outdoors more” and “unplug” from their digitally connected lives, but safety is the utmost importance.

→ You believe hands-on experiential education is the best outdoor classroom to connect hands-on learning with real life experiences.

→ You want to provide an enriching experience that can serve as a reward for a job well done or encouragement after a long season or semester.

→ You want to recruit new members, scouts, or participants with an epic adventure that will unite the group, build relationships, and provide lifelong memories?

→ You value giving kids an experience that both challenges them mentally and physically, and provides them with opportunities “to win”, and try new things they never thought they could do.

→ You desire to give them an experience that they might otherwise not have due to financial constraints or the ability to organize an event of this nature.

If you answered “HECK YES!” to any of the above, a day with Kokopelli Rafting Adventures is just the experience your kids may be missing (and not even know it)!

We create one-of-a-kind trips (and unforgettable memories!) for youth groups of every sort, and for every occasion including (but not limited to)…

  • Team building for faith-based youth fellowship and ministry groups
  • Schools, school clubs, PTAs and PTOs, and sports teams
  • Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Explorer Posts, JROTC, and other adventure groups
  • Summer camps for kids, youth retreats, outdoor activities for large youth groups, youth leadership development
  • College and University groups
  • At-risk youth

For many, a day riding the rapids can live forever on the highlight reel of their youth. But getting to that point of the ‘epic’ ride on the water can be challenging.

However, providing this life-changing opportunity can ‘feel’ like an uphill battle…

  • Organizing group activities for a lot of busy kids is not easy, especially in the summer, and numbers often change
  • Parents need to feel comfortable and assured that their children are in safe, capable, and qualified hands with guides that are respectable and responsible
  • Group leaders want to make sure the company they work with has excellent reviews and an impeccable safety record for their own liability and for the safety of their youth
  • Logistics of travel and anticipating supplies requires extra planning 
  • Finding a trusted company to lead your youth group activities in Santa Fe, Albuquerque or Taos can be daunting.

Challenging? Yes.

Insurmountable? NOT A CHANCE!

Let us show you how it’s done…

Once you decide that a river adventure will help you accomplish your goals for your youth group…the next thing you need to consider is which company you’ll trust to lead you on this adventure. 

You want assurance that the company you select is equipped to handle your group (no matter their size, or their specific needs), without sacrificing quality or exposing you to greater liability. 

With so many factors to consider, price alone can be a misleading comparison. 


Here are some things you should consider before selecting any rafting company.

You should expect…

  • State-of-the-art equipment to ensure safety; old faded life jackets speak volumes about the company’s approach to raft and vehicle maintenance. 
  • Durable whitewater helmets for everyone on whitewater; “high water” or “low water” is no excuse to skimp on safety equipment. 
  • Guides that are knowledgeable, trained to the highest standards and equipped to handle lots of people, with various needs.
  • Flexibility to customize your trip to meet your specific youth group’s needs.
  • A flexible cancellation policy. We understand life happens; children get sick, parents opt out, or summer vacation plans conflict with your well-planned adventure, that’s why we provide you with a transparent, up front, easy to understand, no fine print,  cancellation policy. We also won’t lock you into a contract months in advance, penalize you for last-minute cancellations, or prohibit you from making substitutions on your trip.


Adrian College

Adrian College, in Adrian, Michigan, planned a two week environmental/educational field trip with 15 students to the Western United States to study the dry arid climate of the Colorado Plateau and the significance of running rivers in the desert Southwest. The group organizer chose a full-day Taos Box trip with Kokopelli Rafting Adventures and requested interpretive guides who could educate students on the unique geology and history of the Rio Grande Gorge.

First United Methodist Church Brenham, TX

FUMC in Brenham, TX planned a youth missionary trip to New Mexico, and wanted a fun, rewarding activity to help develop youth leadership skills. The organizer chose Kokopelli Rafting Adventures because of their drug-tested and background-checked guides, and overall commitment to safety and fun on the river. The group of 21 were divided into 4 rafts with a Kokopelli guide and worked together as individual teams to move their rafts through challenging but exhilarating rapids on the Rio Grande Racecourse. After a long week, the youth group was able to relax, bond, and have tons of fun on the river!

Scientific research reveals that children are spending less and less time outdoors, and are increasingly disconnected from the natural world as they connect more to a virtual one.

We also know that spending time in nature is good for our bodies and our minds. Outdoor play and exploration help build confidence, promote creativity and imagination, teach responsibility, provide new and exciting stimulation, learn how to think outside the box, experience wonder, and reduce stress and fatigue.

Our youth group participants consistently relate how their experience with their teammates and friends on the river was exhilarating, fun, challenging, a break from their normal routines, and was invigorating and eye-opening.

Kokopelli Rafting Adventures unique approach to leading groups down the river makes these amazing results seem easy, and even predictable.  

And guess what? Even the youth group organizers get to enjoy the day with their youth group because they’ve left the details to us.

You’ve put a lot of thought and preparation into the perfect adventure for your youth group. You want to make sure everything runs smoothly, you accomplish your goals, and everyone has a great time! You want to partner with a company that understands all the factors – the risk, the changing numbers, the importance of safety, and all the many many details (It may sound trivial, but you won’t find a shirtless guide on a Kokopelli Rafting trip because we know this matters to faith groups, girl scout troop leaders, and, frankly, it’s just not professional!)  We’ll make this a day your youth group won’t forget!  

This unwavering commitment to YOUR SAFETY and SATISFACTION is why Kokopelli Rafting Adventures is consistently ranked #1 with youth groups in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos and beyond, for an unforgettable experience everyone (organizers, kids, and parents) will rave about! 

We care about your safety:

  • Our guides are trained to exceed US river guide standards (We require 8 days of safety training vs. the 4 days required in New Mexico)
  • We regularly replace our equipment to ensure it exceeds safety standards
  • We require helmets for all participants 


We care about your satisfaction:

  • We offer the most flexible cancellation policy in New Mexico (because life happens)
  • We take care of logistics like transportation, departure times, and snacks and meals
  • Our guides set you up to feel comfortable and empowered because they carry themselves with the utmost professionalism


We care that your stated goals are met:

  • Build your youth group up with an unforgettable shared experience that will both challenge and encourage
  • Your team will enjoy learning about the folklore, geological wonders, and history behind the rapid names
  • Knowing an investment in your team will build loyalty, trust, and better communication in the long run

Our goal is to make your youth group trip is the best, safest, easiest, and most rewarding youth group activity you’ll find anywhere in New Mexico!

And let’s be honest…beyond just having fun, you want an activity that will foster confidence, create long-lasting memories, and knit together a greater sense of community and trust.

You want to…

See your youth smiling, connecting, laughing, working together, celebrating, learning, leading, enjoying themselves, feeling successful, and making memories that will last a lifetime. That’s what makes all the planning, and logistics WORTH IT!   

Let Kokopelli Rafting Adventures help you “Disrupt the Normal” of your youth group, today!

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