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Difficulty II-IV(V)
Length 20 Miles
Gauge Pedernales Rv nr Johnson City, TX
Flow Range 1500 - 15000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 47 minutes ago 129 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 03/12/2016 6:32 pm

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 near the 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.

NOTE:  As of this writing, the official park policy is to disallow boaters from putting in or taking out at the falls (although you may, of course, legally portage them.)  If you don't want to run the falls, you can take out at the park boundary and hike a mile to the Pedernales Falls parking area.  You can also portage/run the falls and take out 3 miles below them at the swimming area.  Please respect park regulations and be respectful to rangers.  You are legally allowed to run the river, but the park is legally allowed to control access to it.

Distances and gradient measured using GIS tools in 2015.  Average gradient from Johnson City to the top of Pedernales Falls = 14 fpm.  Maximum gradient measured from the top of 60/40 Falls to the base of S-Turn (0.34 miles.)

 

Rapid Descriptions

LCRA Pedernales River Nature Park

Class - N/A Mile - 0
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Parking/access at river right

Johnson City Dam

Class - N/A Mile - 0.11
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Runnability unknown.  You can easily put in below the dam without leaving the LCRA park.

Private Low-Water Crossing/Dam

Class - N/A Mile - 1.22
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May create a hazard at some levels (beta needed)

Pedernales Hills Rd (Low Bridge)

Class - N/A Mile - 9.58
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Likely hazard at some levels

Miller Creek Confluence

Class - N/A Mile - 13.11
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Reference point

State Park Boundary

Class - N/A Mile - 16.5
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Alternate takeout for those who would prefer to carry their boat a mile rather than portage/run the falls and do the 3-mile paddle-out.  A trail system leads back to the Pedernales Falls parking area/trailhead.

Pedernales Falls

Class - V Mile - 17.18
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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+.

NOTE:  As of this writing, the official park policy is to disallow boaters from putting in or taking out at the falls (although you may, of course, legally portage them.)  If you don't want to run the falls, you can take out at the park boundary and hike a mile to the Pedernales Falls parking area.  You can also portage/run the falls and take out 3 miles below them at the swimming area.  Please respect park regulations and be respectful to rangers.  You are legally allowed to run the river, but the park is legally allowed to control access to it.

Pedernales Falls SP Swimming Area

Class - N/A Mile - 20.03
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Official takeout, accessible on river right via a 300-yard foot trail that leads from the swimming area parking lot.

Comments

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wreeves
|
7 years ago

Some You Tube footage of the river at high flow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgU8YMRpjDQ&feature=related

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County to Vote to Extend Closure on Guadalupe Tonight (TX)

2002-07-11 00:00:00-04
Jason Robertson

The Comal County Commissioner's Court is taking measures that will restrict access to the Guadalupe River indefinitely. AW's primary objective on the Guadalupe is to restore access as soon as possible and to make sure that boater access does not impede on-going rescue and recovery efforts.
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Matt Muir

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DRC