Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River

For 196 miles, the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River cuts through the rugged terrain of West Texas. You can have a fabulous multi-day kayaking adventure on this river. Stunning limestone cliffs rise above up to 1,000 feet in places along the river. There are many opportunities to stop and go hiking, and the river is a fantastic place to fish. You will find terrific places to stop and explore in Big Bend and the Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. There are also excellent restaurants and places to shop along the river. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River

You will need to get a backcountry permit if you plan to camp along the river. That extra step is worth it to go on an unforgettable float trip on the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River. Almost 70 miles of the route runs through Big Bend National Park. There are three large canyons to canoe through, along with many smaller ones.

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River

The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River enters Texas from New Mexico. The best place to access the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River in Texas is Big Bend National Park. Many choose to start their floating adventure near Lajitas. Park in the gravel parking lot a short distance west on FM 170 from the Lajitas General Store. It is easy to get to this location from Interstate 10 by taking the Van Horn Exit. Once you exit, take US 90 to TX 118 South in Alpine. Finally, turn left on FM 170. This road will bring you through Terlingua to Lajitas. Keep going about one mile beyond the general store, and you will find the parking lot on your right with the boat launch across the street. The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River continues until the Terrell-Val Verde county line. 

Since South Texas has beautiful weather, it is possible to make this trip throughout the year. Yet, it is faster to make this trip when the water levels are highest. Summers can be a busy time because of families enjoying this adventure. 


Lajitas Put-in, FM 180 Lajitas, Texas 79852

Fee: Entry Fee (per person)

There is no entry fee.

The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River is a terrific location for a float trip. Consider starting your journey in Lajitas. That allows you to float through Santa Elena, Mariscal, Boquillas, and the lower canyons before the Wild and Scenic part of the Rio Grande River ends at the Terrell-Val Verde county line. You will love the scenic beauty of floating through these canyons, and there are several places that you can camp along the river. You can find terrific things to do, especially in the part of the river running through Big Bend National Park. The best plan is to bring your RV. If you do not have one, rent one on