V-Trips Slideshows - Choose a river below
The Pecos Riverin the US state of Texas is truely off the beaten path. The river originates in northern New Mexico but the only section normally paddled in Texas is the last 60 miles prior to its confluence with the Rio Grande. The put-in is at the Pandale Crossing, approximately 60 miles north of Comstock, Texas. Once launched you are committed to the full trip, because the adjacent lands are all privately owned, and there are no public roads within miles of the river. See Val Verde PaddleSports for shuttles, rentals and tow-outs.
The Devils Riverin the US state of Texas is the cleanest river in the state. There are two possible put-ins: at Baker's Crossing 15 miles north of Comstock for a two day trip, and at the Devil's River State Natural Area for a one day trip. Either trip ends where the Devils River meets Lake Amistad. Arranging a tow-out is recommended because there will be ten miles of flat water lake paddling to reach the take-out at Rough Canyon Marina. See Val Verde PaddleSports for shuttles, rentals and tow-outs.
Colorado Canyon on the Rio Grandeis on the border of the US state of Texas and Mexico. It is a nice two day paddle with several class I+/II+ rapids and numerous riffles. Put-in is at Colorado Canyon access in Big Bend State Park (this park is adjacent to, but a different park than Big Bend National Park). A fee is required. An excellent mid-point campsite is at Grassy Banks campground. And right on the river is the Contrabando movie set where "Streets of Laredo" and many other westerns were filmed. See Desert Sports for shuttles, rentals and guided trips.
Santa Elena Canyon on the Rio Grandeis on the border of the US state of Texas and Mexico. The nearly vertical canyon walls and narrow river channel of Santa Elena Canyon makes it one of the most scenic rivers anywhere. It is a nice two or three day paddle with several class I+/II+ rapids, numerous riffles, and Rock Slide Rapid which can be up to class IV in some flow conditions. Put-in is at the "town" of Lajitas, on the western edge of Big Bend National Park. See Desert Sports for shuttles, rentals and guided trips.
The Great Unknown on the Rio Grandeis on the border of the US state of Texas and Mexico. It is about a five day paddle with several class I+/II+ rapids and numerous riffles. The class III Tight Squeeze Rapid can be tricky due to a strong side current hitting you just before you "thread the needle". Drifting through Mariscal Canyon with its deep canyon walls is an experience not to miss. Put-in is at the lower end of Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park. A fee is required. See Desert Sports for shuttles, rentals and guided trips.
Boquillas Canyon on the Rio Grandeis on the border of the US state of Texas and Mexico. It is a four or five day paddle with a few class I+/II rapids and numerous riffles. This is one of the mildest sections of the Rio Grande in the Big Bend area. There is an excellent camp site with good hiking on the Mexican side at Rabbit Ears. Put-in is at Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park. Take-out is just below the now closed La Linda bridge. A fee is required. See Desert Sports for shuttles, rentals and guided trips.
The Lower Canyons of the Rio Grandeis on the border of the US state of Texas and Mexico, downriver from Big Bend National Park. It is a six to seven day paddle with numerous riffles, several class II/III rapids (and higher in some flow conditions). This is not a good trip for an inexperienced paddler in an open boat. There are several miles of flat-water paddling. Put-in is at La Linda bridge below Big Bend National Park. Take-out is at the old Dryden crossing. See Desert Sports for shuttles, rentals and guided trips.
The South Llano Riverin the US state of Texas is a beautiful trip through Central Texas Hill Country. A common put-in is at a low water crossing on Hwy 377 14 miles southwest of Junction. This makes for a 12 mile trip that ends at the South Llano State Park. It is also possible to make the 6 mile run from the state park to the city park in Junction. Typical flows are in the 85-100 cfs range - you will usually do some scraping. The South Llano State Park is an excellent and beautiful park to use as base camp when running the river. Be cautioned however that it is a very popular park and fills up every weekend in spring. Be sure to get a reservation.
The Green Riverin the US state of Utah is one of the most scenic and uncrowded rivers in the world. It's ideal for a relaxing float because it has no rapids, yet the flow is high in the months of May and June, so the paddling is easy. Launching at Crystal Geyser, a few miles below the town of Green River, makes for a 120 mile trip. Expect to need about 8 days for an enjoyable trip. Shorter trips are possible by putting in or taking out at Mineral Bottom. See Tex Riverways for shuttles, rentals and tow-outs. A permit is required available at this BLM website.
The San Juan Riverin the US state of Utah is a beautiful trip through red rock canyon country. There are two sections: San Island to Mexican Hat, 26 miles, and Mexican Hat to Clay Hills, 58 miles. Or you can do both sections, 84 miles. Flow is best in May and June due to snowmelt upriver. Lake Powell National Recreation Area is on river right; river left is Navajo Nation jurisdiction. Sand Island BLM Recreation Area in Bluff is an excellent place to camp prior to launching. A permit, obtained by lottery, is required from the BLM. See Wild Rivers Expeditions for shuttles and rentals.
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