Scenic Trip (19.5 miles)
The 2 day trip, the nineteen and one-half miles from the Highway 16 crossing to the Dark Valley Bridge (Highway 4), is the most scenic, rustic and exciting trip the upper Brazos has to offer. The put in point for this trip should be the Highway 16 bridge below Possum Kingdom Lake. Although there are a few exciting rapids, especially one below the mouth of loni Creek. this is a trip to be enjoyed by everyone. Spring and Autumn are usually the best seasons for the trip. Water levels are better at these times and temperatures more bearable. The hot summer months are good only if there is adequate water flow for enjoyable canoeing. Even at low water levels, the river starts to deepen in the Chick Bend area. There will still be some shallows at low water levels, but they will be shorter and less tiring.
The One Day Trip (10 miles)
This trip is a favorite for families and small groups that don't want to spend the night on the river, but still desire the experience of a solid Brazos River canoe or kayak trip. "The One Day" allows you to get your feet wet with a quick take out point at Hart Bend, down river from the put in sight at Rochelle's Canoe Rental off Highway 4.
Full Upper Brazos Experience
The entire trip, Highway 16 to Highway 180 should be considered a four day trip. Highway 4 (see map above) cuts this trip in half and is a good take out or put in point for a two day trip. The Rochelle's live adjacent to the Dark Valley Bridge and will shuttle your vehicle and equipment for a nominal charge. The topographical quadrangle for this trip is the Abilene, Texas quadrangle.
FISHING AND CAMPING:
Fishing for pan fish, bass and catfish is usually good to excellent. This also is dependent upon water flow and conditions. There are many photogenic spots, especially the rocky sections of Garland and Chick Bend, or the small exciting rapids. Campsites are abundant and adequate. However, there are no parks or public camping facilities. All gear which is needed must be carried.
The craggy cliffs and boulders seem to echo the historic past of the Brazos. named by the Spanish "Brazos de Dios" meaning Arms of God. This descriptive name is suitable because of the great spread of tributaries. After the Spanish came the Comanche's, who ruled the river banks until the 1800's. Legend has it that a lone cowboy was scalped alive and left to die in the Garland Bend area of the upper Brazos. If history of the Brazos creates some inner stirrings of interest. purchase and digest "Goodbye to a River" by John Graves.