Rio Grande, Texas, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||3 fpm|
|Rio Grande at Rio Grande Village, Big Bnd NP, TX|
|usgs-08375300||200 - 3000 cfs||II||01h12m||856 cfs (running)|
This run is not know for its whitewater but Boquillas Canyon among one of the most scenic river trips in the country. This run can be done as a 3 day trip but a longer 5 day trip provides more time for hiking and exploration. The trip begins at the put-in at Rio Grande Village although some do this run as a continuation of the upstream runs. Rafts and kayaks will want at least 150cfs but you can get down the river and have a great time with much less water.
Camping is not permitted in the first 4.5 miles of the run before you enter the canyon. Veteran river runners recommend starting early in the day to avoid the fierce winds that can sometimes substantially slow progress in the open terrain before you the start of the canyons.
Once your are inside Boquillas Canyon you will find plenty of options for camping on gravel bars or floodplain terraces and enjoy stunning canyon scenery for the next 15 miles. Take your time to enjoy this stretch that offers plenty of opportunities to explore side canyons. You can also check out the Marufo Vega Trail that offers options for a more extended hike through the desert landscape.
Put-in at the river access in Rio Grande Village.
The preferred take-out these days is at the Heath Canyon Ranch at La Linda. Access is available on the downstream river left side of the Gerestacker Bridge and across from the Fluorospar Plant on the Mexican side. Arrangements will need to be made with the caretaker of the ranch (Fred) before arriving at the take-out. If you are coming in from Marathon to do this trip, it is easiest to stop by Fred's first and he will run your shuttle so that your vehicle can be at the take-out when you get there. He charges a small landing fee (a few bucks per person) at the take-out. Also for vehicle storage (a few dollars per day), for overnight camping, and for shuttle ($100, cheap for the length and convenience), stopping at headquarters so you can obtain your permit as well.
For those looking to extend the trip you can put-in higher upstream or continue on past La Linda and through the Lower Canyons.
See also Big Bend National Park and their
descriptive site, Floating the Rio.
See also the descriptions in Southwest Paddler.
Put-in is approximately 1810' elevation.
Take-out is approximately 1700' elevation.
Therefore total elevation change is approximately 110'.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|4.5||Enter Boquillas Canyon||N/A|
|21.2||Exit Boquillas Canyon||N/A|
|25.2||Exit Big Bend National Park||N/A|
|31.0||Arroyo del Veinte||II|
Below 1,000 cfs, boulders are exposed that can flip canoes.