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#12338569 - 07/13/17 09:25 PM Kayaking/Canoeing Big Bend National Park?
CSSource39 Online   content

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 349
Loc: Texas
Myself and a few buddies are trying to figure out the best way to do a river float fishing and camping trip at big bend nat'l park from 7/27-7/30.
Need help with finding a rental place for either kayaks or canoes or both.
Preferably one with a drop off/pickup service.
Idea is to put in somewhere along the river, paddle to a decent campsite on the bank or sandbar, then fish and/or hike for the remaining days until we either paddle back upriver or on to a pickup zone.

Any advice or suggestions are appreciated and welcome!
Thanks in advance

#12338733 - 07/13/17 11:30 PM Re: Kayaking/Canoeing Big Bend National Park? [Re: CSSource39]
Neumie Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 07/25/06
Posts: 3138
Loc: Hutto, Hallettsville, Rockport
If y'all are not experienced paddlers then I would not recommend this trip. Too remote for rookies and too hot in the canyons this time of the year. Also, this isn't a trip you start planning for just two weeks out.

The best (and maybe only) reference books for the Rio Grande are written by Louis F. Aulbach. I have a couple of his books and they map rapids, springs (hugely important) and potential shuttle services.
"Water is life's matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water." -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." - Heraclitus

#12339357 - 07/14/17 11:37 AM Re: Kayaking/Canoeing Big Bend National Park? [Re: CSSource39]
Floon Swenson Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/06/16
Posts: 1418
Check out Desert Sports:

I used to paddle the Rio Grande out there quite often, and when we passed rental boats, they were usually from Desert Sports.

For that short of a trip, an up and back into Santa Elena Canyon would be nice (but I'm not sure how enjoyable it is in summer). You can paddle up from the mouth of the canyon on the western side of the park and stay overnight on a gravel bar inside the canyon. There's a neat side canyon you can explore on the Mexican side when you get back in there.

My only real advice would be to save this trip for fall/winter, avoid being tempted by anything you read about the Lower Canyons (remote stuff there - you don't want that for a first time Rio Grande trip), and skip the fishing. The paddling and scenery are world class - the fishing sucks.

#12341633 - 07/15/17 08:34 PM Re: Kayaking/Canoeing Big Bend National Park? [Re: CSSource39]
IslandJim Offline

Registered: 07/08/14
Posts: 305
Loc: Rockport, TX
A couple of years back, my wife and I were in the Davis Mountains on July 4th, and decided to try to get a room at the lodge in BBNP. I figured no way, on a holiday weekend. We called and they said they had a room. So, we drove down there, wandered around, and saw very few vehicles at all. We went to the resort, and it was almost deserted! We finally figured it out: NOBODY GOES TO BIG BEND IN JULY, IT'S TOO HOT!

You should do a lot of research, talk to the National Park Service about guided rafting trips, and plan your trip when the weather is better. The month of July is a very rainy time in the area, with occasional flooding. Before you go there, you should be over-educated on the river, the weather, and the possibilities of political/border patrol issues. When I was there, the border crossing at Boquillas was only open a few days in mid-week. The park doesn't always know what the border patrol's rules are for the day.

So, don't just drive out there and expect to be able to paddle down the river.

Plan well, and have a safe trip!

Island Jim
I'm an Eighth Day Adventist. On the Eighth Day, God went fishing!

#12341661 - 07/15/17 08:43 PM Re: Kayaking/Canoeing Big Bend National Park? [Re: CSSource39]
pelican Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 2486
Loc: Grapevine
I've been in that canyon in the summer time and it's a HOT SOB, I would not recommend this time of year.

Edited by pelican (07/16/17 06:23 PM)

I've never been good, But I've been Lucky!
I don't Lie or Exaggerate, but sometimes I remember BIG!

#12342196 - 07/16/17 08:37 AM Re: Kayaking/Canoeing Big Bend National Park? [Re: CSSource39]
mickeytfc Offline

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 194
Loc: Little Elm
We went to Big Bend in July, not paddling, it was an awesome trip. The day we left Dallas it was 105 degrees. At the campground in the Chisos Mountains the high that day was 85. However, the high that day down on the river just a few miles away, but thousands of feet lower, was 119. We did desert activities in the very early morning or very late evening. The hiking in the Chisos was great all day, we saw a lot of deer and even a few bears. The paddling on the river would be a great adventure, but I'd have to do that in the cooler, relative for that area, months.
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau


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