Rio Grande - 7. Lower Canyons: La Linda to Dryden Crossing (83.5 miles)


Rio Grande, Texas, US

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7. Lower Canyons: La Linda to Dryden Crossing (83.5 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-III+ (for normal flows)
Length 83.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 5 fpm

Silber Canyon Rapid from Asa Jones Pumphouse


Silber Canyon Rapid from Asa Jones Pumphouse
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Rio Grande at Rio Grande Village, Big Bnd NP, TX
usgs-08375300 200 - 10000 cfs II-III+ 00h48m 293 cfs (running)
Best boatable levels uncertain. Help us out! Add a comment or 'report'.


River Description

For more information, see Texas Whitewater 2nd Edition.
See also Big Bend National Park and their descriptive site, Floating the Rio.
See also the descriptions in Southwest Paddler.

Put-in is approximately 1740' elevation.
Take-out is approximately 1290' elevation.
Therefore total elevation change is approximately 450'.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-07-14 05:04:45

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
11.2Maravillas RapidIIPhoto
27.2Big Canyon RapidIIPhoto
31.1El Recodo RapidII+Photo
38.3Silber Canyon RapidIPhoto
40.7Hot Springs RapidIII+Photo
44.4Bullis Fold RapidIIPhoto
45.5Palmas Canyon RapidII+Photo
50.1Rodeo RapidIIPhoto
54.9Upper Madison Falls RapidIVPhoto
55.4Son of Burro RapidIIPhoto
57.2Lower Madison FallsIIIPhoto
60.9Panther Canyon RapidII+Photo
66.3San Francisco RapidII+Photo
78.9Sanderson Canyon RapidIIPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Maravillas Rapid (Class II, Mile 11.2)

Maravillas Rapid

Maravillas Rapid
Photo of Harry House by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs


Big Canyon Rapid (Class II, Mile 27.2)

Big Canyon Camp

Big Canyon Camp
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs

Read and run center left.



El Recodo Rapid (Class II+, Mile 31.1)

El Recodo

El Recodo
Photo of Harry House by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs

A relatively new rapid formed by the outwash from El Recodo Canyon.



Silber Canyon Rapid (Class I, Mile 38.3)

Silber Canyon Rapid from Asa Jones Pumphouse

Silber Canyon Rapid from Asa Jones Pumphouse
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs


Hot Springs Rapid (Class III+, Mile 40.7)

Hot Springs Rapid

Hot Springs Rapid
Photo of Harry House by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs

The rapid is formed by the outwash from San Rosendo Creek. Scout from the Mexican side. If running the rapid the preferred line is down the center.



Bullis Fold Rapid (Class II, Mile 44.4)

Bullis Fold

Bullis Fold
Photo of Jeff Bennett and Harry House by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs


Palmas Canyon Rapid (Class II+, Mile 45.5)

Palmas Canyon Rapid

Palmas Canyon Rapid
Photo of Harry House by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs

Large boulders in the center of the rapid require paddlers to choose a right or left line. At lower flows the lines are tricky and those who are indecisive will end up wrapping their boat on the center rocks.



Rodeo Rapid (Class II, Mile 50.1)

Rodeo Rapid

Rodeo Rapid
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs


Upper Madison Falls Rapid (Class IV, Mile 54.9)

Upper Madison Falls

Upper Madison Falls
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs

Upper Madison Falls is a two part rapid and the most challenging drop on the run. Most boat scout the first half and eddy out on river right above the second half. The main line is down the left. Many will choose to line the rapid down the river right channel.



Son of Burro Rapid (Class II, Mile 55.4)

Son of Burro Rapid

Son of Burro Rapid
Photo of Jeff Bennett by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs


Lower Madison Falls (Class III, Mile 57.2)

Lower Madison Falls

Lower Madison Falls
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs


Panther Canyon Rapid (Class II+, Mile 60.9)

Panther Canyon Rapid

Panther Canyon Rapid
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs

Generally run down river left along the bluff.



San Francisco Rapid (Class II+, Mile 66.3)

San Francisco Rapid

San Francisco Rapid
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs

The river course at this rapid is known to change. The river flows into a bedrock wall on the Texas bank and makes a hard turn to the right. The line is particularly challenging at lower flows.



Sanderson Canyon Rapid (Class II, Mile 78.9)

Sanderson Canyon Rapid

Sanderson Canyon Rapid
Photo of Doug by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 02/28/14 @ 80 cfs

The line is generally down the left along the bedrock wall while taking care to avoid the rocks that must be avoided.




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