Rio Grande River

Padnet sees many ‘what canoe’ posts. Here’s another.

What is the ideal hull for camping on the Rio north and south of Big Bend ?

Since portages are limited, OT Tripper
would be my choice. Strong hull, lots of room, good maneuverability, tolerable cruising speed.

standing waves
with pools ? A pool and DROP river.

Standing waves look 5’ high on a .5 mile run.

How numerous, I don’t know but I did see several from the road.

I have not run it, but I know 2 Maine
Guides who run trips on it all the time, carrying all gear in canoes.

I think you might have seen a higher water level, either from precip or from that Mexican river tributary.

Try looking at air photos
I looked at a pretty long stretch of the river along Big Bend Park, and saw some chutes with significant whitewater, but they were very scarce. Most of the drops appeared to be mild riffles and rock gardens.

The USGS gauge at Big Bend shows a median flow rate for October 16 of 388 cfs, and a current rate of 767. For comparison, one of our local rivers is flowing at over 800 cfs right now, and even though it has a channel that’s less than one-third as wide on average, it’s still just a very mild, flatwater river.

Speaking of channel width, I was surprised how puny this “grand” river actually is.

If what you saw was not during unusually high water, perhaps the location could have been one of those more severe chutes I saw in the air photos. A couple of them looked to be only 20 or 30 feet wide, and it would make sense to find some rough water there.

Much is siphoned off before there
New Mexico agricultural water.

Yeah, the RG up near Creed, CO
appeared to me to have more cfs than the RG downstream of Pilar in New Mexico.

photos are suggestive of rapids I could see from the road but not of long standing waves rapid I watched from the road. Maybe one, there’s a boulder right side.

Informed sources said there are 3-4 more like it.

There may be a guide.


chute !

a boxful…anyone read and review ?

I was there late fall. Armitage was full, water at Big Bend River camping was ‘below recommended’ but pick able. 1991 ?

I hiked Saguaro…38 miles out and back. Today, sectioned off. Walked up to the fence, immediately strafed by one plane, one or 2 helicopters.

Could be the Mexicans bought pumps and pipes.

Rio Grande

– Last Updated: Oct-31-14 2:29 PM EST –

A big tripper, with length and depth. Some rocker would be good, royalex would be my preference.

There are at least three canyons with significant rapids. Scout them first.

Acquired a rubber Rendezvous accepting my low level skills approach. But after paddling…see Rendezvous Utube bridge demo…agree with Colorado’s R experts on going with Kevlar.

I assume finding the same situation with a longer distance solo hull. That hull design trumps bash protection.

Tuffweave again ? This is a used boat deal if possible.

I am suffering from Pilothouse Disease where I’m 6’4" and hull design has lowered the sides, or so it seems. A symptom of Aluminosus.

Designers may be dwarfs.

Esquif may be an answer. Or Wenonah. A used Esquif is a rare hull find.

Rio Grand River
I would go with a hard hull. I soloed it in '07 in a solo Mad River Guide. The rocks in the rapids can be pretty sharp. Moreover, one night I had to camp under a limestone ledge due to rain. The mud was so deep and the wild pigs so numerous that I slept in the canoe. That was below Dryden Crossing.


there are reasonable shuttle services.