Llano - 3. Llano to FM 3404 (19 miles)

Llano, Texas, US


3. Llano to FM 3404 (19 miles) (Lower Llano)

Usual Difficulty II-III(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 19 Miles
Avg. Gradient 7 fpm
Max Gradient 20 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Llano Rv at Llano, TX
usgs-08151500 2000 - 50000 cfs II-III(IV) 01h01m 234 cfs (too low)

River Description

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.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-07-10 18:47:05


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Grenwelge Park (Llano)N/APutin
17.5Long's Fish CampN/AAccess
18.0Eagle Rock / Long FallsIVPlayspot
18.6The SlabII+
19.1FM 3404/Slab Rd (Low-Water Crossing)N/ATakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Grenwelge Park (Llano) (Class N/A)

Public parking and access on river right

Long's Fish Camp (Class N/A, Mile 17.5)

Alternate put-in for running just the falls (fee required)

Eagle Rock / Long Falls (Class IV, Mile 18.0)

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.

The Slab (Class II+, Mile 18.6)

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.

FM 3404/Slab Rd (Low-Water Crossing) (Class N/A, Mile 19.1)

Will be fully submerged at high water.  Parking available at river left on the highway easement.

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