Pedernales - 2. Johnson City to Pedernales Falls SP (17 miles)

Pedernales, Texas, US


2. Johnson City to Pedernales Falls SP (17 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-IV(V) (varies with level)
Length 17 Miles
Avg. Gradient 17 fpm
Max Gradient 132 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Pedernales Rv nr Johnson City, TX
usgs-08153500 1500 - 15000 cfs II-III(IV) 00h42m 64 cfs (too low)
At these levels, Pedernales Falls is a good park 'n' huck, but the river is too low for a downriver run. Gauge is just upstream of the put-in.

River Description

The Perd doesn't go very often, but when it goes, it goes big.  The river bed is extraordinarily wide (often well over 100 yards), but unlike the Upper Perd, this stretch tends to channelize the flow much more, and thus it is runnable at much lower levels.  At very high water (10,000+ cfs), the features become Grand Canyon-sized.  For more specific beta, see Texas Whitewater

The crux of the run is at the very end.  Pedernales Falls is a series of three features spaced about 200 yards apart.  At levels where the downriver run is worth doing, the falls are likely to be deadly, so most boaters choose to take out at river right in the large pool above the top drop and portage the rest of the falls, or to run just the top drop and portage The Slide and S-Turn.  The best time to huck the falls is when the river is low and the rest of the run is scrapey.  See separate description for the falls for level-specific beta.

Distances and gradient measured using GIS tools in 2015.  Average gradient without Pedernales Falls = 14 fpm.  Maximum gradient measured from the top of 60/40 Falls to the base of S-Turn (0.34 miles.)


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-07-15 23:17:26


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0LCRA Pedernales River Nature ParkN/APutin
0.1Johnson City DamN/AHazard
1.2Private Low-Water Crossing/DamN/AHazard
9.6Pedernales Hills Rd (Low Bridge)N/AHazard
13.1Miller Creek ConfluenceN/A
17.2Pedernales FallsVPortage Hazard Waterfall

Rapid Descriptions

LCRA Pedernales River Nature Park (Class N/A)

Parking/access at river right

Johnson City Dam (Class N/A, Mile 0.1)

Runnability unknown.  You can easily put in below the dam without leaving the LCRA park.

Private Low-Water Crossing/Dam (Class N/A, Mile 1.2)

May create a hazard at some levels (beta needed)

Pedernales Hills Rd (Low Bridge) (Class N/A, Mile 9.6)

Likely hazard at some levels

Miller Creek Confluence (Class N/A, Mile 13.1)

Reference point

Pedernales Falls (Class V, Mile 17.2)

See separate description for the falls.  Note that, if the river is within the recommended range for the downriver run, Pedernales Falls will be either a Class V or a V+.

User Comments

2011-03-28 05:01:11 (1780 days ago)
Some You Tube footage of the river at high flow
Users can submit comments.

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