The Chama Basin Trailhead is at the beginning of Forest Service property at the end of FDR 121. It gives access to the Archuleta Creek and Chama River trails. Dispersed camping is allowed there.
From Chama, NM travel north on highway 17 to the Chama River Road #121, turn left onto road #121, travel about 6 miles north to the Rio Grande NF boundary. Take the left fork and travel about one mile to the trailhead.
The Chama River is probably one of the West’s most undiscovered and diverse trout rivers. Starting in the mountains on the Colorado border, it flows as a freestone stream for many miles through high mountain forests and meadows.
All of the parts of the Chama River have good populations of large wild brown trout and rainbows (the state record brown trout was caught in the river below El Vado Reservoir). The other nice thing about the Chama is that, by its being so diverse, there is almost always a section of it that is fishing well. Because most of the river is quite remote, you usually see lots of wildlife, the scenery is unrivaled and the fishing can be outstanding.
The Chama River is truly a “wild river”, offering an unforgettable trout fly fishing experience.