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Albuquerque Clear Ditch in New Mexico

Trip Overview

Decided to take a short trip up the Clear Ditch running on the east side of the Rio Grande north of Interstate 40 with my Necky Mantou 14 Select to christen it for the new boating year.

The access is about a 60 yard hike with the kayak from the parking lot across the bike trail and as you cross you will see to the northwest a short path to a nice landing and take off point. This is a very nice little workout inside the city. If for some reason you have to bail the flow could be a problem... have a rescue line ready or better yet.. do it with a friend or two.

There is a canal road that is dirt directly adjacent to the canal so you could have someone tag along on a bike with a throw line to help you get out if necessary.

Don't go south of the I-40 bridge since the Ditch empties with a gnarly drop structure into the Rio Grande. If you want to go further north of the Rio Grande Nature Center you will eventually hit the crossing and mini rapid at Montano Bridge. You could get out and portage this obstruction and continue on north of Montano Road to Paseo De Norte and then turn around and go back but most of the time the couple of hours paddle will be fine. Visually check the ditch. Some times of the year the flows will be too shallow for an enjoyable paddle.

The Clear Ditch is conveyance canal that runs most parts of the season. It does on occasion have some low lying branches that can catch you and your hat, but most easily avoided. It also has some steep sides so watch for streamside exits as you go up it.

I traveled today for about 2 hours going north against the flow up to the Rio Grande State Park Nature Center before turning and returning.


Between the riverside drain and the clear ditch is the ever popular Bosque Bike Trail. There are no facilities at the end of Galbodon Road, but plenty of restrooms at places like Starbucks on Rio Grande Boulevard.

I stopped at La Montanita Food Coop on Rio Grande Boulevard before shoving off...great little natural foods place...also has a restroom at the rear of the store.


No fees or permits required. The Clear Ditch is stocked with trout by New Mexico Game and Fish... Kayak fishermen could try this out with appropriate anchor setting.


Access the put in at Rio Grande Valley State Park at the end of Galbodon Road. This road dead ends at the riverside drain.


Do a google maps search for the road and I-40 and you should be able to see the put in just before the interstate bridge overpass.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip