A canoe trip on the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande is essentially a mellow trip, with placid water and easy current alternating with short, slightly technical rapids (mostly Class II). One of the most commercially important rivers in the entire United States, many people envision the Rio Grande by what they have seen on the news; a river that is narrow and shallow enough to walk across in most places. While true in many locations, particularly downstream of Big Bend National Park, the Lower Canyons is easily the most rugged, remote and spectacular section of the nearly 1,900-mile long waterway that flows through the heart of the American Southwest from central Colorado to its terminus at the Gulf of Mexico.
The remote nature of the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande cannot be understated. For the duration of our 92-mile canoe trip, no bridges span the river and only a handful of rugged dirt tracks lead from the river corridor back to civilization. Travel in this area is only for the hearty and adventurous souls wishing to view a part of the country that is some of the most unique and breathtaking on the continent. While officially outside of the boundaries of Big Bend National Park, the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande have earned designation as a Wild & Scenic River by the United States government and traditionally sees less than 300 paddlers traverse its entire length in any given calendar year. For those looking for easily the most remote canoe trip in the lower 48 states of the United States, the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande is certainly the best option.
Guided canoe trips of the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande with Smoking Rivers begins at a small ghost town called La Linda, Texas, once home to a feldspar mine on the Mexican side of the river that has been clossed for nearly two decades. Once departing in canoes from La Linda, canoe trips on the Rio Grande pass into the first small, yet inspiring canyon before the terrain flattens as paddlers traverse through an area of lowlands called ‘Las Vegas de Los Ladrones’ or ‘Outlaw Flats’. We camp each night at primitive campsites on the river’s edge, watching the sun slowly set over the expansive canyon walls is spectacular in the desert spring and is something to be savored before entering the depths of the canyon. Star gazing, particularly throughout the Outlaw Flats is usually quite excellent; as the Chihuahuan Desert is considered a ‘high desert’ and far from any type of light pollution. In fact, Big Bend National Park and the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande claim the clearest skies of any National Park in the lower 48.
The Outlaw Flats and its gentle succession of desert flats and beautiful, sweeping vistas, at times marked by notable and stunning landmarks such as Castle Butte, slowly ends as guests will notice the canyon walls increasing in size and getting closer with every passing mile. Soon, you will feel as if the river is starting to narrow and the canyon walls begin to close in. This, for many paddlers, is an exciting feeling that is very unique on a canoe trip and heralds the entrance into the deepest and most remote part of our trip. Fed by a series of side-canyons, many of which we have the option to explore throughout the canoe trip, the canyons are nearly 50-full miles in length without a break, featuring one of the best opportunities for an extended length, canyon canoe trip in the United States.
Rio Grande River Canoe Trips
Trips Available: March
Trip Length: 9 Days
Age Minimum: 12
Price: 9-Day, Complete River Trip- $2,000/person
Deposit: 50% Deposit required at time of reservation. Remainder due no later than (21) days prior to trip departure (non-refundable).
Cancellations & Refunds:
0-59 days prior to trip- deposit non-refundable
60-89 days prior to trip- 35% deposit refundable
90 days or more prior to trip- 75% refundable
Group and Youth rates available. Rates are based off a 4 person trip subject to change depending on group size and duration.