River Running 


The State Park’s Colorado Canyon on the Rio Grande is the first of the region’s major canyons, and is upstream of the series of canyons in the national park.

The river winds through Presidio and Brewster Counties along the Texas-Mexico border.  It is the southern border of  BBRSP, Texas and the United States. The scenic FM 170 highway generally follows the river through the park.

Colorado Canyon Permit

A BBRSP permit is required to float the river. They are available at Ft. Leaton and Barton Warnock

Colorado Canyon is the longest canyon in the state park at  about 7 miles long. It is followed by Dark Canyon and Madera Canyon. Arenosa is the furthest upstream put-in point in the Park. Furthest downstream take-out point, just outside the park, is Lajitas.

River Access
There are multiple access points along the river:

  • Colorado Canyon River Access
  • End of Colorado Canyon
  • La Cuesta River Access
  • Dark Canyon Entrance
  • End of Dark Canyon
  • TeePee Picnic Area
  • Madera Canyon River Acesss
  • Grassy Bank River Access
  • Lajitas River access


Beginner Friendly but….
The Colorado Canyon run is  beginner-friendly at low levels (<1000 cfs). Rafts can run down to 200 cfs but lower levels requires a hard boat. The river is generally not runnable at levels lower than 100 cfs.

Named rapids
The river has multiple rapids to liven up a float. The following are listed by the American Whitewater site

  • Rancherias – Class II
  • Closed Canyon Class II
  • Thread the Needle – Class II
  • Quarter Mile – Class II
  • Panther Creek – class II
  • Contrabando Creek
  • Ledge Rock Rapid – Class II
  • Fresno Creek Rapid class II
  • Contrabando Creek Rapid – class II 15.7

Resources:

TPWD

https://www.texasmonthly.com/list/go-with-the-flow/rio-grande/


http://southwestpaddler.com/docs/riogrande2.html


https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/2805/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g56758-d1006756-r543408471-Big_Bend_River_Tours-Terlingua_Texas.html

https://www.amazon.com/Upper-Canyons-Rio-Grande-Terlingua/dp/1505923743

https://texashighways.com/travel/hidden-canyons-of-the-big-bend/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=radjBlUUTLE

Outfitters/Guides/Local Support:
http://angellexpeditions.com/dark-canyon-colorado-canyon/

https://www.desertsportstx.com/

https://www.wildadventureoutfitters.com/

https://www.bigbendrivertours.com/coloradocanyon.html

https://www.hikingbigbend.com/

https://visitbigbend.com/colorado-canyon/

https://bigbendfarflung.com/activity/one-day-canyon-float-big-bend-national-park/

http://www.adventureclubsa.com/ClubPortal/EventDetailPublic.cfm?clubID=204&eventID=185092

River Gauge:
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/loader.cfm?csModule=error&vFile=master.cfm&indialog=0&msgOnly=0



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