View of Tule Canyon and the Rio Grande from Burro Bluff
NPS/Big Bend National Park
Lose yourself in the Lower Canyons
A five to 10 day float trip, the journey through the Lower Canyons offers a true wilderness experience. The trip begins at Heath Canyon near La Linda and ends at either Dryden Crossing (83 miles) or Foster’s Ranch (119 miles), which is at the end of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River. Some river runners continue to Langtry (137 miles). If that is your chosen take-out, be sure to portage the dangerous weir at Foster’s Ranch. The Black Gap Wildlife Management Area is a secondary option for put-ins.
The terrain along the Lower Canyons is open desert, rugged hills, and deep canyons. Access to the river is difficult below La Linda and most of the land above the riverbank is privately owned. The rapids in the Lower Canyons are Class II-IV.
Put-in and take-out information
Put-in: The Heath Canyon put-in is located on the U.S. side of the river, just downstream of the La Linda bridge. Permission to take-out at Heath Canyon should be obtained by calling Heath Canyon Ranch at 432 376-2235. River access at Black Gap WMA is available at Maravillas 10 miles downstream from Heath Canyon. There is a $12 per person fee and the access pass is available at Barton Warnock, on-line or anywhere hunting/fishing licenses are sold. Maravillas is closed for river access during deer season.
Take-out: Permission to take-out at Dryden Crossing should be obtained by calling Jon Tom Lowrence at 432 940-3609 or 432 345-3300.
Lower Canyons release form
All visitors who float the lower canyons are required to fill out the following release form:
Assumption of Risks and Agreements of Release and Indemnity form [40kb PDF file]