Kayaking Down the Brazos River – Your Ultimate Guide

All you need to know before you head out on a kayaking adventure down the Brazos River

As the longest river in Texas and one of the 15 major waterways in the state, the Brazos River offers more than 20 miles of kayaking opportunities for exploring the Lone Star State. An average trip should take you between 2 and 3 days, depending on your pace. But take heed: the Brazos trail can be moderately difficult at times, and isn’t advised for rookie since it’s known for its rapids.

Before we get into trip details, let’s just cover some basic information…


Brazos River Quick Facts:

Nearest City:                           Mineral Wells

Accommodation Nearby:       Four Rivers Ranch – you can their website here

More Information:                  Can be found by visiting this link

Best Times for Kayaking:      Between the months of March and October. Off season starts at                                                   around the end of November annually.


Before You Paddle Out:

  • Make sure that you’ve packed enough supplies and life vests before you head out onto the waters of the lake since the camping sites and pit stops in the area don’t have a lot on offer.
  • You’re going to want to ensure that you’ve picked up a fishing license from the Possum Kingdom State Park Store and Marina if you intend to do some fishing while you’re out there.
  • You’ll probably get exposed to a lot of direct sun while you’re paddling out there, so to ensure that you don’t risk contracting sunburn and dehydration, load up on the sunscreen and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.
  • You’re going to want to stock up on foods that are easy to prep: think oats, beans, and dehydrated foods which don’t require a lot of time or technique before you can chow down.


Thinking About Renting?

If you’re not in the mood to transport your own kayak out to the Lone Star State, you can always rent a kayak from either Rochelle’s Canoes or Paddle Bound River Outfitters, which are both located in and around the main tourists spots. Keep in mind that Rochelle’s Canoes offers a service which shuttles kayakers back to their vehicles after their excursions.


Now that you know a little more about the basics, it’s time we showed you how to embark on our Brazos kayaking trip and what the best routes are to follow.

Where and How to Start Your Kayaking Tour

Sure, the Brazos River spans more than 1,200 miles, but in this post, we’ll only be showing you what to expect in and around its most popular section, starting at Possum Kingdom Lake.


If you launched from Possum Kingdom Lake, you’ll travel down river about 3 miles before you reach Garland Bend. From here on out you’ll be traveling down a “U” shape until you reach the Crawford Bend. If you made it to Crawford Bend, give yourself a well-deserved tap on the back: you just did 10 miles, which means it’s a good idea to start considering a spot for camping out overnight.


The thing to remember is that while there are plenty of camping spots in the area, most of them lack basic facilities like washrooms and electricity. Make sure that you’ve packed enough of ALL the supplies you’ll need to rough it out in the wild.


On the lighter side of things, the fact that the river runs deeper at Crawford Bend means there’s plenty of kayak fishing opportunities here, which might lead you to a quick and easy solution for a camp-side dinner.


You may continue on past Dalton Bend in the morning, traveling towards the Dark Valley Bridge, at which point you would have accomplished 20 miles from the starting point.


For the Advanced Kayaker

If you’re confident in your kayaking skills and feel like you’ve got the stamina to push harder, you can take the trail from Possum Kingdom Lake all the way up to Lake Whitney. It might take up to a week to get through the trip, which obviously equates to a few campout nights.

Alternatively, you can also carry on paddling until you reach Mineral Wells, which should give you a total of 40 miles traveled from your launching site at Possum Kingdom Lake.


Just a Day Tripper?

If you’re planning on keeping things short and sweet, you’re going to want to turn back to the launching site when you reach Garland Bend, before you reach the rapids that are found on the way to Crawford Bend.


What about Take Out Points

There are various spots where kayaks and canoes are permitted to be taken out of the river, areas which offer convenient opportunities to get out of the water if you feel like you’ve had enough for the day.


Where Can I Get More Information?

If you still feel like you need to do a bit of extra research on what’s available in the area and what you can expect, there are a few sites that can shed some more light on the topic.

You may visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife site and check out the Texas River Guide.

You can also consult the Texas Kayaking, Canoeing and Rafting Guide provided by Texas Outside.

There’s a cool guide on River Safety provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife site, and lastly, the Canoeing and Scenic Brazos River guide sponsored by Texas Outside also provides some nifty info.


This post should provide you with all the info you need to plan your Brazos River kayaking trip. We hope that you’ve found it resourceful and that you’re now armed with the knowledge you’ll need to plan a kickass kayaking trip down the Brazos.