James (no known descents), Texas, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||18 fpm|
Listed in the Texas Whitewater handbook as a possible descent. It is unknown whether this river has ever been run.
Distances, gradient, and difficulty rating are as listed in the book. Difficulty rating is hypothetical.
Satellite scouting reveals a wide riverbed (frequently more than 100' wide and sometimes even more than 100 yards wide) consisting of both limestone and pink granite, with the granite becoming more prevalent on the lower part of the river near the Llano confluence. There do not appear to be any culverted low-water crossings, low bridges, dams, or other artificial hazards to navigation on the run that would be exposed during periods of high flow, but the locals reportedly string barbed wire across it. Given the width and composition of the riverbed, the James may resemble the Llano in character, which would mean that thousands of cfs would be required in order to make it worthwhile.
Use the LCRA Hydromet for the James River near Mason to determine whether the river is running.
The put-in is at the Ranch Road 385 low-water crossing of the James River. Parking appears to be available on a wide grassy shoulder on both sides of the highway and both sides of the river.
The takeout is on the Llano River, just below the confluence with the James. Ranch Road 2389 crosses the Llano via a quarter-mile low-water crossing, which spans a large island. Presumably this island is public land, since it resides entirely below the gradient boundary of the Llano. However, it is unknown whether the island remains dry, or whether the crossings on either side of it remain passable, when the Llano is high (which it undoubtedly will be if the James is running.) Parking appears to be available at a pullout on Ranch Road 2389 approximately 200 yards from the crossing on the southwest (river right, upstream) side of the highway, as well as along the highway right-of-way. The RV park on the northeast (river left, downstream) side of the Ranch Road 2389 crossing may provide river access and parking for a fee, but this is unknown.
Note that several possible shuttle routes for this run cross low-water crossings of the Little Devils, Llano, and James Rivers, so shuttle logistics may prove tricky if all of the above are running.