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Difficulty II+
Length 0.2 Miles
Gauge Brazos Rv at SH 21 nr Bryan, TX
Flow Range 11.00 - 23.50 FT
Flow Rate as of: 34 minutes ago 30.84 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 07/08/2015 2:16 am

River Description


Hidalgo Falls is a unique spot in East Texas, mainly because it has rapids!  It also has an interesting history, including mastodon bones found just downstream, and that it was used as a river crossing by Stephen F. Austin and the "original 300" anglo settlers in Texas.  Six miles downstream is Washington-on-the-Brazos, where Texas declared it's independence from Mexico.

Thanks to the generosity of local paddlers and paddling clubs, the Texas Rivers Protection Association (TRPA) owns 14 acres at Hidalgo Falls, including about 4 acres fronting the middle and lower rapids.  Access is through a locked gate, and you must have the combination in order to enter.  To see how to get the combination, and for more information about Hidalgo Falls, refer to the Hidalgo Falls web site.  From that web site, you can also get information about the Hidalgo Falls Festival held every April.

See the 'Flow Info' tab for more details on features at this play spot.

Distance and gradient measured using GIS tools in 2015.

 

 

Rapid Descriptions

The Slide

Class - N/A Mile - 0

The Slide, located at the far upstream side of the TRPA property, is the usual access point for Hidalgo.  It is a fast dirt slide from the top of the river bank down to the river.  During the summer, the overhanging brush and trees make it look like a tunnel to the river.  At the bottom is a 3-4' drop almost straight down, so lean back to avoid penciling in.  The Slide is the only way to access the upper right rapids, including the Rodeo Hole (which would otherwise require an upstream slog through the mud at river right.)

IMPORTANT UPDATE - The Slide caused 2 serious injuries in 2005 when paddlers pitoned at high speed into concrete sacks at the bottom.  The concrete sacks have been removed, but it is still a good idea to use the rope to lower yourself down and to probe the landing area before sliding.

 

Potholes!

Class - N/A Mile - 0.01

This does not refer to one specific rapid or area, but rather it is about a river-wide issue at Hidalgo.  The rocks that form the rapids at Hidalgo Falls are sandstone, and the force of the river is constantly reshaping them.  This has resulted in numerous potholes all over the riverbed.  They vary greatly in size; some are the size of cans, but others are big enough to form large whirlpools.

If you swim at Hidalgo Falls, KEEP YOUR FEET UP AND DOWNSTREAM UNTIL YOU REACH THE BOTTOM, DEEP CHANNEL OR AN EDDY!!  There are no known incidents of foot entrapments at Hidalgo yet, but that danger is definitely there.  Be careful and swim smart!

Comments

Gage Descriptions

This gauge is 50 miles upstream, so it takes about 18 hours for the water to arrive at Hidalgo Falls.

Level Description
11-13 feet The best features at this level are the upper right Rodeo Hole and the bottom wave train, where there is a glassy wave followed by a breaking wave to river right.
14-16 feet
There are numerous features at this level (too many to name), but here are a few of them:  Closer to 14 ft, the lower left Friendly Hole is 360 heaven.  As you get closer to 16 ft, it is less retentive but still playable (and deeper, for possible cartwheels.)  At around 16 ft, the upper left ledge has numerous play spots, but it is sometimes difficult to access.  At 15-16 ft (and up), the Ender Please spot is quite good (beware of the squirrely eddy line.)  The bottom right wave train is huge but difficult to catch in anything but the fastest boat.  The middle left stern squirt eddy line starts working in this range and continues to be fun at higher levels.
17-20 feet
Once again, at these levels there are numerous play spots all over the river.  Ender Please is great (especially at 17-18 ft), and the bottom wave train is huge but difficult to catch.  The best spot in this range, especially at around 19 ft, is the upper left ledge (at the bottom of the Bamboo Trail.)  It is a wide ledge with a big breaking wave where many tricks are possible.  This is probably the best spot at any level.
21-24 feet
I have not paddled at these levels very often, but there are numerous play spots at 21-22 ft.  Recently we discovered that at 23.5 ft there is an excellent, almost river-wide wave-hole near the bottom drop.  At these levels (and any level above about 17-18 ft), Hidalgo Falls is a big, powerful river with eddy fences, whirlpools, and boils all over the place.

 

Directions Description


Hidalgo Falls is located about five miles west of Navasota.  It is a little more than an hour's drive from Houston (depending on where in Houston one starts) and about a half hour's drive south of College Station.

From Houston:  take US 290 west to Hempstead, then SH 6 north to Navasota.  As you are coming into Navasota, take Business 6 (left exit) into downtown Navasota and turn left (west) on SH 105.  (If you live north of Houston, you can get to Navasota by taking SH 105 west from Conroe.)  Go 3.5 miles west on SH 105.  Immediately after you cross the Navasota River, but before you cross the Brazos River, turn right (north) on FM 159 and go 3.2 miles (past the cotton gin on the right.)  As the road bends to the left, you will see a gravel road coming in from the right and crossing the railroad tracks (White Switch Rd.)  At that point, turn LEFT onto the dirt road (Camp Road, small road sign) in the middle of the corn field and go 1/2 mile to the tall chain-link gated fence that marks the property.

From Austin:  go to Brenham on US 290 east and take SH 105 east toward Navasota.  Immediately after crossing the Brazos River, turn left (north) onto FM 159 and follow the remaining instructions above.

From College Station:  either take Wellborn Rd. (FM 2154) south to Millican and turn right on FM 159, or take SH 6 south and turn right on FM 159.  Drive 10 or so miles through Allenfarm and down through the farmland.  As the road swings back toward the train tracks you crossed in Allenfarm, start looking for the cotton gin (large white building) in the distance on the left side of the road.  When you can see the gin (but before you get to it), look for White Switch Rd. crossing the RR tracks on the left.  Imagine that White Switch Rd. continues to the right into the cotton fields and turn onto it (right.)  Go 1/2 mile on the dirt road (marked with the Camp Road sign) to the gate.

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County to Vote to Extend Closure on Guadalupe Tonight (TX)

7/11/2002
Jason Robertson

The Comal County Commissioner's Court is taking measures that will restrict access to the Guadalupe River indefinitely. AW's primary objective on the Guadalupe is to restore access as soon as possible and to make sure that boater access does not impede on-going rescue and recovery efforts.
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Bruce Litton

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DRC

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192567 04/08/09 Bruce Litton n/a
1204916 07/08/15 DRC