Because it is above Lake Georgetown, the Upper North Fork of the San Gabe doesn't run unless there is a heavy rain, but when it does, this stretch is one of the best playboating runs in Texas. Between 2000-2600 cfs, three large play waves form near the confluence of Bear Creek and the CR 202 "crossing". Eddy service is available on the left. However, because of the canyon walls and waterfall just to the left of the waves, this is not really an ideal park-and-play spot. At this level, constant wave trains and plenty of other play holes and waves will keep you entertained.
At lower levels, other features appear, including one great wave just above the U.S. 183 takeout and a surfing hole just below it.
The USGS gauge for this stretch is relatively new. Playable levels used to be keyed to the S. Fork San Gabe gauge. Current beta is needed regarding how the reading on the new gauge correspond to boatable and playable flows.
Distances and gradient measured using GIS tools in 2015.
There is no actual crossing here anymore, but you can access the river from either side using CR 202. This is a popular put-in for playboaters, since most of the good surfing opportunities are between here and U.S. 183.
Note that Bear Creek enters the river at this point and may contribute to the flow.
Public parking and access is available on the river right downstream side via a gravel road that runs along the highway easement.
Texas Whitewater recommended 400 cfs minimum on the South Fork gauge, which history suggests will tend to correspond to about double that flow on the North Fork, assuming the rainfall was relative even across both watersheds. This is the source of the 800 cfs minimum recommendation on the new N. Fork gauge, but actual beta is needed.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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