Guadalupe River near Spring Branch, TX

Date: January 16-18, 2016 Sponsor: DDRC
River: Guadalupe, Texas Trip Leader: Earl Atnip /Bryan Jackson
Reach: Bergheim to Rebecca Creek Rd Phone: 972-882-0952 / 972-9792519
Difficulty: Class I & II* (See scale below) E-mail: /
Rendezvous: Guadalupe River SP 9am Saturday

Required Skills:  Class I and II rapids. Should not pose great difficulty to beginner or intermediate paddlers

Campground: Guadalupe River State Park




Trip Description:
Due to flooding on the Illinois River we have decided to cancel that trip and move south to the Upper Guadalupe River.

We will be base camping at Guadalupe River State Park Friday night through Monday (for those that have a long holiday weekend)
and doing day paddles. As of this writing, there were about 20 campsites available. I would advise making reservations ASAP. 

We will plan pot luck dinners for Saturday and Sunday. More on that after people sign up. We will have lunch on the river, so you will need to pack food and water each day.

The Upper Guadalupe has class I and II rapids on it depending on the water level, but it is a good river for beginners as many of the rapids can be bypassed and non are particularly dangerous.

The weather is not currently forecast to be cold. but be prepared Also bring cold water paddling gear as you will  particularly cold, but be prepared just in case as you will probably get wet on this river.

Gear requirements:
Any Kayak or Canoe can handle this river. If your Kayak is not self bailing, spray skirs are recommended PFD, spare PFD, paddles and spare paddle, whistle and throw bag.

Base camping equipment. (tent, sleeping and cooking gear, etc.

This is winter paddling and camping, please bring warm water-resistant clothing. Avoid cotton clothing such as blue jeans.

Bring all your own utensils, plate, cup, etc. Plan for breakfasts and a pot luck dinner in camp and lunches on the river. PLEASE - NO GLASS OR FOAM POLYSTYRENE STYROFOAM CONTAINERS!

Back-up Plans:
We will either cancel or change to the trip to another river due to foul weather or high water.

Driving Directions: 

 Dallas  (approx 300 miles)

·        From Dallas, follow US 67 South to Glen Rose, TX

 ·        Follow US 67 west of Glen Rose and turn LEFT on TX 220

 ·        Follow TX 220 to Hico, TX. Turn LEFT on US 281 (South).

·        Follow US 281 to Spring Branch TX. Turn RIGHT on TX 46.

·        Follow TX 46 to Park RD 31. Turn Right and follow to Park Office.



Guadalupe River Basin map

* International Scale of River Difficulty

Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight, self-rescue is easy.

Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed.

Class III: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims.

Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting is necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong eskimo roll is highly recommended.

Class V: Expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is difficult even for experts. A very reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential for survival.

Class VI: Extreme. One grade more difficult than Class V. These runs often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. This class does not represent drops thought to be unrunnable, but may include rapids which are only occasionally run.


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Last updated December 8, 2016 9:14 AM