10 days on the Llano

Recently paddled the Llano River in the Texas hill country. Put in at Junction, Tx. and took out at the Kingsland slab.105 miles. My brother was along for the first half of the trip, after that I paddled solo.

The Llano is an easy to moderate class I/II stream. It is not a serene flatwater paddle at all, probably average more than a rapid per mile. The upper river is a pool and drop through a limestone river bed. At about the 55 mile mark, the river bed turns to granite. From there its continuous granite boulder garden drops all the way to the take out. The river breaks into a maze of channels at these boulder gardens, and end in ledge drops , some up to 3 feet.

Most years much of the river is too shallow to paddle. This year we’ve had record rainfall, but there was still a lot of dragging, I’d say about 20% of the trip.

The water is spring fed, cold, and crystal clear. The scenery is classic Texas hill country - cliffs, bluffs, big hills, deer, wild turkey, etc.

The stars at night were big and bright.

Right before the takeout is Long Falls, a class III. I climbed about a 60 foot pink granite outcropping in order to scout this rapid. The view of the rapid and then downstream with the Texas hills as a backdrop was one of the highlights of the trip. I portaged these falls and a half our later my trip was over.

All in all I paddled 8 days plus one day I was rained out and one day I rested. There are plenty of gravel bars and islands to camp on, and always a rapid close by to lull you to sleep at night.

I’m ready to go again.

sounds like a great trip
post if you want company next time - am always ready to see a new river!

Sounds nice!
That sounds like an excellent multi-day canoe poling trip! Might have to check it out if I’m down that way.


Mason crossing to Yates crossing
I’ve done the 15 miles or so below Junction, Mason crossing to Yates crossing. It’s a fun little paddle.