The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River is easily accessible from several locations in Big Bend National Park. Stand on the riverbank at Rio Grande Village, at the Hot Springs Historic Area, or along the Boquillas Canyon Trail, and you will view a portion of the wild Rio Grande.
A 1–2 day float trip through remote Mariscal Canyon, or a 2–3 day trip through Boquillas Canyon offers opportunities to run rapids, or drift at the whim of the river. You can explore a small portion of the Wild and Scenic River in less than a day by floating through Hot Springs Canyon, or through one of the quiet stretches downstream of Mariscal Canyon.
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River Use Regulations
For the river environment's protection and your safety, observe regulations on both sides of the river and on private land along the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River. For more information visit the river use regulations page.
Human Waste Disposal
To protect the quality of the Rio Grande ecosystem and enhance the wilderness experience of a river trip, all users must properly dispose of human waste. Visit the human waste disposal page for more information.
By giving forethought to your actions, you can have a safe, exciting, and rewarding experience while floating the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River. For more information visit the river safety page.
Information on guided trips, equipment rental, and shuttle services. For more information visit the Outfitters page.
Ten to fifteen miles per day is a normal pace on the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River. The feasibility of a particular trip varies with the season and river level. Always check current conditions before planning your float trip. Visit the river mileages and estimated days page for more information.
Private Property Rights along the River
Downstream from the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area, the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River flows exclusively through private land. Visit the private property rights page for more information.
Water Quality & River Users
The quality of water in the Rio Grande through the Big Bend region is highly variable. Big Bend National Park staff sample the water for bacterial levels on a monthly basis at several locations within the park. For more information visit the river water quality page.
Last updated: August 21, 2023