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Old 10-01-2014   #1
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 135
Big Bend Beta

My brother wants to put together a trip for Big Bend on the Rio Grand in December. We know absolutely nothing about trips down there. Any info would be greatly appreciated. What flow is considered acceptable water, I would like to take my 16' raft is that doable or not. What sections are best.

We would like to do a 5 or 6 day float if that make sense. Thanks for any info.

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Old 10-01-2014   #2
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 17
Viva Terlingua!!

I've never boated this section, but did spend some time in the Terligua/Alpine area. Incredible and beautiful desolate terrain outside the National Park that is definitely worth experiencing - not just passing through.

Looking forward to learning more about the river!

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Old 10-01-2014   #3
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
This thread totally turned to shit, but if you can look past the bs there is actually a lot of good info in it....

Big Bend advice please
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 10-01-2014   #4
openboat's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 227
We ran it years ago over New Year's week in our canoes. Got a great shuttle in Terlingua. Put in at Lajitas and did Santa Elena Canyon. Camped out two nights - one right before entering the canyon (about 10 miles downstream from Lajitas), and one deep in Santa Elena at Fern Canyon. You don't need a ton of water to run. The shuttle folks in Terlingua can give you the beta when you contact them. Landslide Rapid can be tricky, but at winter flows, quite passable. They gave us a map to navigate the maze of that rapid.
We also did a day just above lajitas and the Park on a State land stretch ( I think it was called Colorado Canyon) that was fun for a day trip.

This was before 9/11, however, and I wonder what that might have done to change access, etc. They can tell you down there when you inquire. Good luck. Amazing stretch. Parts of the deepest canyon do not get sunlight at all that time of year.
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Old 10-02-2014   #5
eddy hopper's Avatar
DURANGO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 79
If the waters up you can link hundreds of miles between the 4 sections. Each section has it's own unique features and logistics. Most of if not all the water comes from the Rio Conchos in Mexico. If it's running the trip down there weather you're canoeing or rafting is well worth it.
"Eddies are our friends"
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Old 10-03-2014   #6
deadlizard's Avatar
peoria, Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 125
It has been a few years, but here is my Rio Grande TR

Rio Grande River - Oct 7, 2007 - Upper Canyons - Rancherias RAP to Santa

I found that the lack of standard USGS gauges made gauging flow somewhat difficult.

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Old 10-25-2014   #7
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 17

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