Blanco - Five-Mile Dam (PnP)

Blanco, Texas, US


Five-Mile Dam (PnP)

Usual Difficulty III (for normal flows)

5-Mile 02 May 07

5-Mile 02 May 07
Photo of Bob & Greg by Crysta Godsey taken 05/08/07 @ 378

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Blanco Rv nr Kyle, TX
usgs-08171300 400 - 1000 cfs III 00h26m 245 cfs (too low)

River Description

A lesser-known play spot on the Blanco near Kyle, about 100 yards downstream from a dam that has a potentially dangerous hydraulic.  The wave is formed as water washes off of a river-wide diagonal ledge, thus the upstream side tends to be very shallow (4-6" deep), and the downstream side tends to be deeper (4-6') when the flow is within the recommended range.  Paddlers report that the wave is "beginner-friendly" at between 250 and 400 cfs.  When the flow is above 400 cfs, the wave starts giving up spins, and toward the high end of the recommended range, it starts giving up vertical tricks.  Paddlers have reported scraping knuckles on the shallow ledge when playing here, even at levels as high as 600 cfs.

Above 900 cfs, the wave starts turning into a sticky hole, and at 1200, it is difficult to get out of.

Difficulty rating is for the rapid as a whole, taken from Texas Whitewater.

After a heavy rain, the county used to close Five-Mile Dam Park, requiring boaters to park somewhere else (such as in the pull-out at the intersection of CR 136 and 140, about 1/2 mile downstream), but several large paved parking lots were built at the park in 2009, so it is unknown whether this changed the wet-weather parking situation.


Directly below the wave on river right, the bank is very steep and forms a short wall.  The fast current is channeled by this wall and creates a pin hazard.  When the flow exceeds the recommended range, the wave becomes a deep and very sticky hole.  At those levels, the water also rises into the brush along the banks, creating some nasty strainers.

WARNING:  Memorial Day 2015 Flood

In the early morning hours of Sun May 24, 2015, a historic (beyond 500-year) flood on the Blanco River caused the river to crest to 43 feet (8 feet beyond the previous record, set in 1929, and 28 feet above flood stage), destroying numerous homes and businesses and bridges, toppling numerous trees, and killing a handful of people.  The flood was strong enough to scour the river bed down to bedrock, so it is very likely that 5-Mile Dam has changed in character.  Please submit a comment or a trip report if you have played here since the flood occurred.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-07-11 00:06:56


Rapid Descriptions

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