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Difficulty II+
Length 12 Miles
Gauge Barton Ck at SH 71 nr Oak Hill, TX
Flow Range 150 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 41 minutes ago 3.11 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 05/17/2016 2:38 am

River Description

This section of Barton Creek is very scenic, is surprisingly continuous (very little flat water), and is generally runnable at lower flows than the sections below Lost Creek.  With the exception of the dams and other man-made obstacles (all of which are described below), the rapids are all Class II.  However, if there has not been a flood recently, the natural rapids will likely become clogged with saplings and strainers and may require some Class II+/III- moves to avoid these.  This stretch of the creek is also notorious for downed trees, some of which can create river-wide must-portage hazards, so be vigilant.  The banks are all private property, so there is no way to shorten the run.

Distances and gradient measured using GIS tools in 2015.

Rapid Descriptions

State Highway 71 Bridge

Class - N/A Mile - 0
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Very limited parking is available on the river right downstream (southeast) side of the bridge, by accessing the highway easement via a turnout located near the end of the bridge guardrails.  If you are heading toward Bee Cave, this turnout will be on the right before you cross the bridge.  Despite being a high bridge, the abutment is gently sloped and can be used as a ramp for accessing the creek below.

Low-Water Crossing

Class - N/A Mile - 1.08
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Diagonal dam/low-water crossing creates a mild hydraulic at low runnable flows (behavior at higher flows is unknown.)  It can be run at river left if there is sufficient water.  A manky creek line exists at river right, although it can frequently become clogged with debris, and its runnability is unknown.  Scout & portage on river left.

Low-Head Dam/Low-Water Crossing

Class - N/A Mile - 4.37
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This dam/low-water crossing creates a significant drop, and the downstream side of it is effectively undercut due to the culverts that run through the dam.  Thus, it creates a significant recirculating hydraulic when the water is high enough to overtop the dam (which is known to be the case at low runnable flows.  Behavior at high flows is unknown.)  Can be boofed at river left by experienced whitewater paddlers.  Scout & portage on river left.

Barton Creek Blvd. High Bridge

Class - N/A Mile - 9.25
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Reference point (no access.)

Trivia: this bridge, which was built in 1986, is the only single-girder fin-back bridge in the U.S.

Car Dealer Dam/Low-Water Crossing

Class - II Mile - 9.64
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Remnants of a broken dam (formerly called "Car Dealer Dam") create a straightforward rapid.  The low-water crossing just downstream of the old dam should be fully submerged-- and thus should not present a hazard-- at all runnable levels, but always use caution around low-water crossings. Scout & portage on river left if necessary.

Low-Water Crossing

Class - N/A Mile - 10.56
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Should be runnable by whitewater paddlers, but always use caution around low-water crossings.  This particular one has a portruding pipe that must be avoided.  Scout & portage on river left.

Foot Bridge/Low-Water Crossing

Class - N/A Mile - 11.45
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Cart crossing for the Lost Creek Country Club.  The low-water crossing is known to be a must-portage sieve hazard at low runnable flows, and the foot bridge likely creates a hazard at higher flows.  Portage river left.

Bend of the River Dr. Low-Water Crossing

Class - N/A Mile - 11.8
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This low-water crossing (the former route of Lost Creek Blvd., before they built the high bridge) has numerous narrow pipes, so it is frequently clogged with debris and creates a sieve at low flows, and it creates a deadly recirculating hydraulic at high flows.  Portage/take out at river left.


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10 years ago

Be sure not to try and put in or take out at Crystal River Dr. The landowners will call the cops.

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Jeff Houseal
13 years ago

I love this run of the creek. The most rapids by far. Maybe not as big as the other parts but well worth it. 12miles is perfect for a good day trip. Fastest we ran it and we were not trying was 4.5hrs, lots of breaks. Most senic part too

Gage Descriptions

Gauges are at the put-in and takeout.  Since Barton is often paddled during a runoff event, make sure that both gauges are running.  Drainage area is 90 square miles.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports




article main photo

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

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.



Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1204743 06/26/15 DRC
1204751 06/26/15 DRC
1204917 07/08/15 DRC
1206430 05/16/16 DRC
1206434 05/17/16 DRC
1206433 05/17/16 DRC
1192675 05/01/07 n/a n/a
1204747 06/26/15 DRC
1204739 06/25/15 DRC
1204752 06/26/15 DRC
1204781 06/29/15 DRC
1202086 05/10/13 Matt Muir fixed link.
1204764 06/28/15 DRC