Central Texas Canoeing

My son and I are trying to determine if there are any navigable rivers around Central Texas to take a 2 day trip together (in the next month or so). We haven’t done anything other than lake paddling around here and with the drought I wonder if there is any navigable streams available for us. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Colorado or San Marcos
The Colorado River downstream from Austin has both sufficient water and quite a few islands and gravel bars suitable for camping unless there’s a flood in the forecast.

The San Marcos River has water but very limited camping possibilities at only a couple of private campgrounds, which may suit you. Most people paddle between San Marcos City Park and Staples dam, which has quite a few portages around dams or falls.

The Brazos appears to be too low to paddle, and I don’t know about camping.

The Guadalupe and other Hill Country streams (Medina, Frio, Llano) are currently not navigable.

Check southwestpaddler.com for more information and links to flow rates and cookscanoes.com for a list of GPS locations on the Colorado, including access points and (some) islands. I have a slightly more complete list I could share.

TX is so big, I don’t know what you call

But if you have time before you go, you might read John Graves’ “Goodbye to a River” on his 3 week trip on 200 miles of the Brazos.

Might have to wait for your drought to get more consistently over.

I agree

– Last Updated: Apr-16-14 9:31 AM EST –

I went down the Colorado on a day trip several weeks ago from just below Austin at the Hwy. 969 bridge to Bastrop, some 18 miles. The water was pretty low, but it was still navigable, with a scrape here and there and some rock obstacles and "mini rapids" to negotiate. It was fun. As stated, there are lots of sand bars and islands to camp on.

The San Marcos is beautiful, spring fed and popular. There is always enough water. A few minor rapids and nowhere to camp except private campgrounds.