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Lake Amistad in Texas

Trip Overview

While visiting my folks in Del Rio for the holidays, I finally had an opportunity to paddle under the Pecos River high bridge! I've been under it in a power boat many moons ago in high school and have driven over it many times on the way to Big Bend, but until now have never had a chance to experience it from kayak level.

I paddled the Pecos downstream to its confluence with the Rio Grande and turned south, heading towards Parida Cave (or Painted Cave), about a mile down on river left. There is a small landing on the left, hidden by huge boulders. The State has fixed up walkways to make it easier to get to the back of the cave where the cave paintings are. There are several real good ones and many that have faded or been vandalized. Several small seeps of water have fern growing in them.

After eating lunch here, I headed up Parida Canyon on the Mexican side of the river. The water goes for over a mile up this canyon and has the most incredible water erosion artwork I've seen along the river. Many of the caves and cut-outs had spectacular erosion formations. This is well worth the trip!

Paddling back to the boat ramp, I saw an eagle's erie up on the side of the cliff, but no birds. Paddling under the high bridge was a tremendous experience-the 2nd highest hiway bridge in the US. It's an amazing feat of engineering as it spans the river gorge.

This is an easy day trip, as it's only about 6 miles total. More paddling could be added by heading up the Rio Grande or the Pecos. Something to do next trip.

On the way back to Del Rio, I stopped in for a short exploratory trip of Seminole Canyon. They have a very nice museum there covering the history of that part of Texas. The campsites are on a hilltop with a great view of the distant mountains in Mexico. Seminole Cave and a couple of others with cave paintings are only accessible by boat or by a tour from the headquarters.

Accommodations:

Boat ramp with a port-a-potty. The observation area on the highway has nice restrooms.

Fees:

No. If you plan on fishing or have fishing gear, you must obtain a permit for Mexico. Rangers are strict about catching someone on the Mexican side of the river/lake with gear and without a permit.

Directions:

The bridge is about 10 miles west of Comstock on Highway 90.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip

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