The Upper Rio Chama River is formed in the San Juan Mountains. It has an East and West Fork, both of which
originate from lakes which are about 12,000 feet in elevation. These two branches flow together about three
and a half miles below the lakes to form the main stem of the Rio Chama River. The main stem flows another five
miles within the Rio Grande National Forest. Below this section, the main stream runs through about eight miles
of private property. You would need permission to fish this section. From there it flows into the Sargent State Wildlife Area. This section is open to the public and has excellent fishing and very good access. It has brown trout and large, holdover rainbows. About six miles of water can be fished in this section.
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.