Dallas Downriver Club

Paddle and Camp On The South Llano River near Junction, TX 


Date: March 20-22, 2019 Sponsor: DDRC
River: South Llano Trip Leader: Dale Harris
Reach: US Highway 377 to South Llano River State Park Phone: 972-814-2633
Difficulty: Class II (some small ledge drops) * (See scale below E-mail: Dale Harris
Rendezvous: South Llano River State Park, 9:00 AM Saturday Required Skills: Moving water/Whitewater experience, proper protective gear, base camping
Campground: South Llano River State Park

Trip Description:

S. Llano Trip Trip Description:

The park is located 275 miles southwest of Dallas. It is about 3 miles past Junction, Texas on Hwy. 377. The scenery varies from tall cliffs to flats with over hanging pecan trees. This is a beautiful area with abundant deer, Turkeys, and other wildlife. You also will have a scenic drive thru the Texas Hill country to get there.

Everyone needs to make their own arrangements for lodging at South Llano River State Park. Book early spring is a popular time for this stretch of river. Plan on traveling on Friday so you’ll need reservations for Friday and Saturday nights.

You can reserve an elec. & water campsite in the park, or a hotel room in nearby Junction. If you want a park reservation, you need to make it A.S.A.P.( in January), because this park books up early. (You can always cancel later if you can’t make the trip.)

The dates to reserve are March 20 and 21 (plan on traveling on Friday – it’s a long drive). The TPWD reservation number is (512) 389-8900, or go to the TPWD website. .



Gear Requirements:

Boats made of tough plastic are OK - NO fiberglass canoes. It may be bumpy in places. Bring PFD's, a whistle and throwbag for each person. April should be mild, but could be cool at night. Bring sun protection - a hat and sun block - and light rain gear just in case. Also bring everything you may want for camping - tent, sleeping bag, chair, etc. Water is supplied at the park.


Bring all your own meals, utensils, plate, cup, etc. We will have lunch on the river Saturday, so bring a small cooler or bag for it, but PLEASE - NO GLASS OR FOAM POLYSTYRENE STYROFOAM CONTAINERS! We will eat in Junction at a restaurant on Saturday night.

Back-up Plans:

There is no backup plan for this trip. If, for any reason, the trip on the South Llano River cannot be made, then it will be cancelled.

Driving Directions:

This reach of the South Llano River is located in Kimble County at 1927 Park Road 73, Junction, Texas 76849-9502 (Phone: 325-446-3994) near .

From Dallas:

Go south on US Highway 67 through Glen Rose and beyond Chalk Mountain to the SH 220 cutoff (veer LEFT onto SH 220) and go south into Hico;
In Hico, turn RIGHT on SH 6, and a few blocks down turn LEFT (south) on US Highway 281;
Follow US 281 to Burnett, and then turn RIGHT onto SH 29;
Follow SH 29 to Mason;
In Mason, turn RIGHT onto US 377, and then follow US 377 to Junction;

The park is just a little past Junction on the left. You will pass two of the best barbeque places in Texas on the way down - Hammond's (on US 67 on the left in Glen Rose) and Cooper's in Llano (on left on SH 29 after you pass SH 16).

South Llano River State Park map

Please click on map to get a bigger map.

Google Earth Push Pin


* 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 October 7, 2019 1:08 PM