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Colorado River in Texas

Trip Overview

Colorado River (above Lake Buchanan)

After reading about how beautiful the Colorado River is above Lake Buchanan, we headed there for a three day trip (it only wound up taking us 2).

We put in at the 190 bridge between Lometa and San Saba and left the car there. The put in was easy, though most of the shore was steep. We left another car at Colorado Bend SP ($4/day) The trip was approximately 30 mi.

The first 8 miles or so were beautiful--hardly a soul around and limestone bluffs everywhere. After that it opened up into a deeper river with some homes. It reminded me of the Colorado River in Bastrop County (cows and all). There were no islands here for camping and it was like paddling on a lake. We finally found an Island/sandbar about another 7 miles down river where it began to get shallow again (unfortunately near a busy road).

The next day we passed under the 580 bridge and saw a giant island not far down great for camping and went on to pass barefoot campground, where the terrain changed again back to beautiful bluffs. However from this point on until the take out at Colorado bend, there was not 1 place to camp and the shore and river was covered with people and homes. I was a little disappointed, as I thought we would be alone for most of the trip.

If I had it to do again I would camp at the big island about 9 miles down stream, then at the island just past the 580 bridge. Good camping spots are sparse on this river. There were plenty of small class 1 rapids to keep things interesting and the scenery was gorgeous; you'll even see a waterfall. We went when the CFS was about 300-400. The river is shallow most of the way and I would not want to run it on much less with a loaded kayak.

I saw giant white bass many times, but was not fishing. I suspect the fishing was good, especially when we had to navigate through a maze of about 25 fisherman all standing in one section of the river. I do not recommend going past Colorado Bend, as the river gets wider and the headwinds off Lake Buchanan are supposed to be awful to fight.


There are 2 private campgrounds about 15-20 miles downstream. (barefoot and Sulfur Springs) The take out is also at a State Park. Islands and Sandbars are VERY sparse after the first 8-10 miles.


Perception Search 13 SOT kayak and Tsunami 120 kayak.


No permits. $4/day fee for parking at Colorado Bend


The put in is on 190 between Lometa and San Saba. The road under the bridge is on the southwest side. The take out is at Colorado Bend state park off 580.

  • Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip