Llano, Texas, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III(IV) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||7 fpm|
|Max Gradient||20 fpm|
|Llano Rv at Llano, TX|
|usgs-08151500||2000 - 50000 cfs||II-III(IV)||01h01m||234 cfs (too low)|
Pink granite is a sight not often seen in Texas, which is why the rivers and creeks that cut through the Llano Uplift, a granite vein running roughly from Fredericksburg to Burnet, are a rare prize. The Llano, in particular, is a very wide river, but because granite doesn't erode as quickly as limestone, some of the rapids on it are surprisingly technical. Above 10,000 cfs, the river starts to behave like a big water run, generating some Grand Canyon-sized features.
Since whitewater paddlers most often put in at Long's Fish Camp to run the falls, beta is needed on the stretch above this. Difficulty rating for that stretch is taken from Texas Whitewater. Distances and gradient measured using GIS tools in 2015.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Grenwelge Park (Llano)||N/A|
|17.5||Long's Fish Camp||N/A|
|18.0||Eagle Rock / Long Falls||IV|
|19.1||FM 3404/Slab Rd (Low-Water Crossing)||N/A|
Public parking and access on river right
Alternate put-in for running just the falls (fee required)
A large granite butte at river right (Eagle Rock) signals the beginning of Long Falls. Long Falls is a river-wide feature formed by granite outcroppings that "constrict" the river. "Constrict" is in quotes, because the river is still more than 100 yards wide here, so the sheer size and power of it at high flows are nothing short of spectacular. A grabby hole forms at river right and seems to be at its grabbiest at around 3000-7000 cfs. It has caused more than one experienced whitewater kayaker to swim. Above 10,000, it is still grabby, but you can at least side-surf out of it. At 10,000+ cfs, a huge wave train forms in the center of the river, and some of the reactionaries from this wave train are actually surfable-- if you can get out to them. A granite shelf at river right provides good foot access for scouting and running the falls multiple times.
At high water, river-wide exposed granite shoals create an almost continuous wave field between here and the takeout, with some catch-on-the-fly play waves.
Will be fully submerged at high water. Parking available at river left on the highway easement.