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Pecos River in Texas

Trip Overview

We started in Pandale, TX which is in the absolute middle of nowhere. We paid $50 to someone at the Pandale store (literally the only place in town) to take the truck to Amistad National Park.

The first half of the river is quite slow and there are a few low spots where we scraped across. The second half of the river suddenly moves much faster and there are a few rapids that will test your skills.

If you like to fish (we don't), this river is excellent because no one ever goes there and all of the fish are at least 1 1/2 feet long.

Solitude is the keyword for this trip. We paddled 55 miles only saw one other group of campers. The water is really clear and the trip is interesting because the plants and surroundings change a few times during the trip. Most of the time, you will be in a canyon. There are a few springs where you can refill water. Bring a water filter if you want to use the regular river water.

Keep in mind - there is no place along the entire river to stop for food or water. Come prepared. Cell phones do not work out there. No one lives there and hardly anyone goes there. It is the most untouched land I have ever seen.

The trip took us 3.5 days of steady paddling. It is a tough river. You will return with an aching body and a clear mind - which is why most of us do this, right?

Accommodations:

We slept on the ground as there are plenty of places with flat rock along the canyon walls. In late Spring through summer, you should not need a tent. There are zero accommodations along this river.

Outfitting:

Dagger Savannah - 14.5 feet long w/ rudder

Perception Carolina - 14.5 long w/ rudder

You will generally not need your spray skirt but bring it for some of the stuff down stream. These kayaks were really too long for some of the rapids but excellent for the open stretches like the last 15 miles.

Directions:

Pandale is about 50 miles north of Lake Amistad, which is about 15 miles north of Mexico - way out west. On maps, the road to Pandale does not actually reach Pandale. This is because it is unpaved for the last 15 miles but is does get there.

Resources:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/texaswater/sb1/econom/waterways/w_tx_01.htm#pecos-river

http://canoeman.com/SWPaddler/pecos4.html

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

Locations on this Trip