Lower Guadalupe from Canyon Lake to New Braunfels, TX

Looking for your advice about kayaking the Lower Guad from the dam at Canyon Lake to New Braunfels. I have tubed the horseshoe bend but other than that have never been there. We’ve done the upper Guad from Bergheim down to below the State Park stretches (can’t think of the names right now), also love the Frio from Majors downward. We’ve done Beaver’s Bend many times with high water releases sometimes. We like rapids 1-2+ or easy 3.

What is the Lower Guad like and what can we expect in terms of crowds on weekdays the third week in May? Are the releases from the dam predictable at all? From reading I would think we would want 100-500 cfs. Does this sound like our experience level? Love lots of frequent rapids or fun areas like the Frio offers. Of this stretch is all of it worth doing or is there a particular leg we should do or shouldn’t do? Hoping to avoid too many long wide slow stretches. LOL Also, looking for a reasonable place to stay with our small (17’) rv. Would love any info or details from any experience you guys have with this stretch of river.

Thank you!

Hi, haven’t paddled it myself, but a good (but now rather old) resource I use for Texas rivers is here, in case you don’t already know about it - Southwest Paddler…

I’ve only done a few 3-6 mile sections at a time, and for fishing so I move a bit slowly. I’d expect moderate to low tubing traffic that time of year on a weekday (most public schools aren’t out yet). Leave early in the morning and you probably won’t see too many people. I’ve run sections in the 80 to 120 cfs range (Canyon Dam gauge). You’ll have some fun little runs, a few drags, and some obstacles you’ll need to portage around along with long lazy pools.

I’ve put in or taken out at the following locations. They all have camping, and would probably be a great place to set up the trailer (listed from closest to the dam to furthest downriver)
Rio Guadalupe Resort
L&L Campground
Second Crossing Campground
KL Ranch Camp on the River

Hope that helps!

Thank you for the help. Have you kayaked (or tubed) the Frio? I wonder how the lower Guad. compares to it?


I’ve only waded the Frio around Garner, but I’d say at current flow levels for each river the Guad is an easier paddle. Frio gets pretty skinny. I did the Medina above Bandara at like 20cfs and that was a brutal 6 miles. I’d say the Lower Guadalupe is usually more runnable.

I’ll check out lower Guadalupe. Paddled it a couple of decades ago at flood stage…very exciting. Will be in the area floating the San Marcos so would enjoy a fishing - floating trip in early February on the Guad if there is enough water.