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Let the Water Do the Work: Texas Rivers

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Looking for an adventure that moves you? How about one that literally moves you? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We at Texas Highways have taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of the most inviting slivers of rivers in the Lone Star State. Check out the following list to help you decide which river to float down this weekend. You’re welcome.

By Carson Lane

The Llano River (Photo by Stan A. Williams)


A tributary of the Colorado River, the Llano, is a beautiful river to kayak, swim or float down. Two spring-fed tributaries converge in the small town of Junction Texas, forming the head of the Llano River. The river passes near Enchanted Rock and the Llano Uplift offering insane views of geologic rock and vast landscapes. Among the swimming spots on the Llano River, The Slab–popular with swimmers and tubers–lies in Kingsland on FM 3404, about a mile west of FM 1431. Fishing, camping and mountain biking are also popular in this area.



While it may be one of Texas’ shortest rivers at just less than 3 miles, the crystal clear Comal River, in Landa Park, is a go–to for tubers looking to enjoy an easy, refreshing ride. Spring fed and at a constant 72 degrees, this river was made for floating. In addition, Landa Park also has a spring-fed swimming hole and two chlorinated pools.

Admission typically includes renting a tube from one of the multiple river outfitters just near the entrance to the Comal.     


The most well known river in Texas is easily the Guadalupe. This river is a great weekend party river and is usually filled to the brim with young adults sipping on beverages and having a good time. If you don’t mind the crowds this river is a blast to float down.

The flow is ever changing with rapids and boulders and tube chutes! One of the reasons that this river’s character changes so constantly, is because it the flow rate is dictated directly from the water release at the Canyon Lake dam. Many tubers choose the Guadalupe River, especially the 20-mile stretch between Sattler and New Braunfels.

830-625-2385 or 800-572-2626.

The San Marcos River (Photo by Kevin Stillman)

San Marcos

The San Marcos river is home to the cleanest water you can find in Texas. So if you’re a little hesitant to swim in a river, this is the one for you. The water is 10 times cleaner than EPA standards for drinking water.

Another reason the San Marcos River rocks is because of the views. You will tube through part of the Texas State campus and Downtown San Marcos and feel like you’re floating in a nature reserve. The giant elephant ears that line the riversides really make this river stand out.

512-393-5900 or 888/200-5620.


We all know Texas is hot so it just seems natural that the perfect remedy would be a dip in the Frio. Spanish for “cold,” this beautiful, secluded river is perfect for tubers who are looking to avoid the crowds. The Frio river runs for 47 miles and offers tubers a relaxing time and exquisite views of high limestone bluffs and enormous cypress trees.

While the park lies outside of the traditional central Texas area, it is easily accessible from the bigger cities in the state with a little driving time.



On US 281 (at Park Rd. 23) in Blanco, Blanco State Park, on–you guessed it–the Blanco River, offers up a good swimming spot above the low-water crossing and dam. Most well known for being a kayaker’s paradise, the waters flow southeast for about 87 miles. Paddle right past the white limestone that lines the riverbanks that gave the river its name. But be careful because this river is not for the faint-hearted, there are whitewater rapids, occasionally. Hint: The best time to go is after a good local rainfall because well, this is Texas, ya’ll.


The Blanco River (Photo by Michael A. Murphy)

Read 4916 times Last modified on Friday, 13 July 2012 13:06
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