Blanco - 3. RM 12 to Five-Mile Dam (20 miles)

Blanco, Texas, US


3. RM 12 to Five-Mile Dam (20 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 20 Miles
Avg. Gradient 10 fpm

Behind the Waterfall

Behind the Waterfall
Photo taken 05/12/12 @ 400 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Blanco Rv nr Kyle, TX
usgs-08171300 800 - 10000 cfs II-III 06h22m 0 cfs (too low)

River Description

Refer to Texas Whitewater for more specific beta.  Difficulty rating and recommended flow are taken from the book.  Numerous low-water crossings exist along this stretch of river, and some are known to create sieves and/or dangerous hydraulics, so use caution.

The Blanco tends to flash more quickly than most rivers its size, and it can go from moderate to dangerous in less than two hours.  Be sure to note if the river is on the way up or on the way down before beginning a run, and pay attention to the upstream gauges as well.  Even though it can flash quickly, the Blanco will also hold its flow for a relatively long time, so the best times to paddle it are often in the days following a moderate flood.

Distances and gradient measured using GIS tools in 2015.

WARNING:  Memorial Day 2015 Flood

In the early morning hours of Sun May 24, 2015, a historic (beyond 500-year) flood on the Blanco River caused the river to crest to 43 feet (8 feet beyond the previous record, set in 1929, and 28 feet above flood stage), destroying numerous homes and businesses and bridges (including Fischer Store Rd.), toppling numerous trees, and killing a handful of people.  The flood was strong enough to scour the river bed down to bedrock, so it is very likely that all rapids along this stretch have changed in character.  Current conditions and difficulty are unknown.  Please submit a comment or a trip report if you have run the river since the flood occurred.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-07-11 00:05:24


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0RM 12 BridgeN/APutin
2.8Little Arkansas Rd Low-Water CrossingN/AAccess Hazard
20.2Five-Mile Dam ParkN/ATakeout
20.3Five-Mile DamIIIHazard Playspot

Rapid Descriptions

Little Arkansas Rd Low-Water Crossing (Class N/A, Mile 2.8)

Texas Whitewater suggests this as an alternate put-in (with parking available along the nearby Flite Acres Road.)  Exercise extreme caution around this crossing (and all other low-water crossings.)

Five-Mile Dam Park (Class N/A, Mile 20.2)

Public park with lots of paved parking.  There is a paved turnaround at river left above the dam that provides riverside parking for shuttle vehicles.

Five-Mile Dam (Class III, Mile 20.3)

At levels where this stretch of river is worth running, Five-Mile Dam can create a dangerous hydraulic, and the downstream hole (the play spot) can become very sticky.  Because of a portruding shelf at river right, avoiding the hole requires some maneuvering.

See separate description of the play spot here.

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