Río Las Palmas - Cañon La Presa (Valle Las Palma to Presa Rodriguez)

Baja California Norte-MX  


For the adventure seeking paddlers that can make a raod trip at the drop of the hat, Rio Las Palmas is a solid class IV run after heavy rainfall.  This generally happens during the winter months only.  At lower flows there will be sandbars and shallow water that would have to be portaged or walked.  When the river is flowing make sure to always scout for debris (as with any river at flood level).  Most of the year this is simply a dried up wash.  With the lack of Mexico realtime water gauges you'll need to have eyes on the river or read the rain and weather patterns well to catch a ride here.

This run in is the Baja desert and the first section is through open country until you get to Canon La Presa.  This section is class II to III with turbulent water and some sandwaves.  For those that have floated the San Juan river in Southern Utah you will understand the nature of this first section.  Once you reach the canyon the gradient picks up and several class IV rapids are found throughout the canyon.  At certain water levels, these rapids can approach class V but with proper scouting and safe river running techniques this run should remain at a solid IV.

If you haven't made this run before plan on a solid day to run this.  This run can be made shorter.  See the access descriptions for more info on that.  Since Mexico has also had an interesting guerilla past in this are it's worth checking the US travel warnings if you are coming from the US.  Those can be found here.


Class IV to IV+
Current Flow Visual or Unknown
Recommended Flow Minimum: 800.0
Average: 1000.0
Maximum: 2000.0
Typical Season Begins: November
Ends: March
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: No
Canoeing: No
Packrafting: No
Fishing: No
Primary Gauge VISUAL
Length 33.5 Kilometer(s)
Gradient 6.0 MPK