white water raftingClear and cold, the spring-fed streams of the Hill Country attract more whitewater rafters in Texas than any other rivers in the state. This area stretches from the central section of the Texas-Mexico border to the Colorado River in the east. The San Marcos runs year-round and its clean water appeals to all levels from beginner to expert. Naturalists can find several species of plants and wildlife that are said to be unique in the world. While paddlers fish for bass, perch, catfish and bluegill, they can observe hawks, owls, kingfishers and herons overhead.

Texas whitewater rafting in the Hill Country streams typically offers the experience of whitewater rapids, small waterfalls and boulder gardens. Riverbanks are lined with tall bald cypress, sycamore, pecan and live oak trees, and cliffs are crowned with mesquite, cedar and yucca. The Guadalupe River, flanked by rolling hills and rocky bluffs, has rapids for novice and expert as well as good fishing.

In the west lies the Rio Grande, offering some of the most exciting white water rafting in the state. At the center, is Big Bend National Park, an amazing wilderness of desert canyons. Big Bend’s deserts abound with cacti, while river cane, mesquite, salt cedar and cottonwood line the Rio’s banks. Texas whitewater rafting can be enjoyed all year, but many paddlers say the best period is from Thanksgiving to Easter. In summer the river is at its lowest and the air temperature often rises above 110 degrees. Along the river are fern-covered waterfalls and cool swimming holes. One of the most popular Texas whitewater trips in the Big Bend is Santa Elena Canyon, a 17-mile float between 1500-foot canyon walls. It is enlivened by the “Rock-slide” rapid, side canyons, fern-covered waterfalls and cool swimming holes. Wildlife along this stretch includes eagles, rare peregrine falcons, bank beavers, and wild burros.

The nice thing about Texas whitewater rafting is that you can do it all year round. The outfitter guides are friendly and enjoy describing the flora and fauna, geology, folklore, and history as they steer the rafts through the canyons with rapids Floaters can enjoy fishing, camping, swimming and paddling lessons.

Those wishing to row, however, should be in good physical condition. It is not a sport for the weak or the weak of heart. Choose your tour carefully. They have rafts for all levels of rafting.

Source: Rafting in Texas.” Texas Whitewater Rafting. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.

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