Brazos - Port Sullivan, North of FM 485 (1.5 miles)

Brazos, Texas, US


Port Sullivan, North of FM 485 (1.5 miles)

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 1.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 5 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Brazos Rv at SH 21 nr Bryan, TX
usgs-08108700 500 - 7000 cfs I-II 00h57m 36700 cfs (too high)

River Description

Short rapid upstream from the FM 485 bridge, created by a couple of sandstone outcroppings that become exposed at certain river levels.

Poor access, class I-II rapids, and the rarity of flows in the right range make this section of river less than desirable.  However, its proximity to the Texas A&M campus (25 minutes), great food at the Dixie Café in Hearne, and the ability to run it without being a member of TRPA (which is required in order to access Hidalgo Falls) make Port Sullivan a port of last resort for some Texas whitewater boaters.

For more information, refer to the Texas Whitewater handbook.

From an anonymous contributor (2009-01-29):

You need at least 500 cfs for this to be worth your time.  Really I would wait until it was close to 1000 cfs.  At this point, the river makes a wave train and several small surf spots on the lower ledge.  There are two rapids at Port Sullivan.  The lower was dynamited back in the 20's and 30's, and the upper is only accessible through private land past the cemetery.  The upper has three sandstone ledges that might create surf spots at high water (think 800+.)  You can see the lower rapid and the old steamboat lock from the highway.

Here you have a choice:

(1) Access the river from the bridge and paddle up, which requires you to portage 1/2 mile upstream to the top of the rapid.

(2) Take CR 259 north (the first right past the bridge, if you are coming from Hearne.)  The road winds through the woods until you reach a clearing and an aluminum double gate on your right.  If you hop the gate, the top of the rapid is straight across and down a cow trail.  Locals often enter here to fish for catfish off of the rocks, but for the most part this is a pretty secluded area.  (Editor's note: it is unknown whether this is public or private property.  American Whitewater does not endorse trespassing.)

The rapid itself contains numerous broken sandstone ledges.  There is a main channel on river right that has a decent wave train, until you reach the first boulder, which creates a ledge and a good eddy/ferry spot.  Below that, there are two more large obstructions, the last one located almost at the steamboat lock.  Both of these have strong eddies and ledges and are surfable under the right conditions.  On river left, the channel has numerous drops, boulders, and a sandbar island.  I've only seen this section at 10,000 cfs once, but the whole rapid washes out at about 7000 and creates a large wave train.  I would speculate that 3000-5000 cfs is the optimal level.  Of course, if the Brazos is that high, you might as well go to Hidalgo, if you have a key.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-07-08 01:34:45

Rapid Descriptions

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