The Rio Grande
Rio Grande River Trips
The Rio Grande is known less as a river and more to most people as the international border between Texas and Mexico, and many have unfounded fears based on news reports and third-hand accounts from people who’ve never been here. The beauty of this river is often overshadowed by these stories, and the only way to really get to know it is to see it firsthand. A Rio tour should be high on your list of excursions when visiting the Big Bend, and even as locals, it’s something that we do as often as we can.
There are four river outfitters operating in the Big Bend, each providing their own unique approach to guiding you along the remote reaches of the awe-inspiring Rio Grande and beyond. The choice is yours, but know that with any of these fine folks, you are in the good hands of some of the most interesting, knowledgeable, and highly-trained professionals that the Big Bend has to offer.
If you are looking to run the river on your own, some have options for you to rent equipment, and depending on their availability, may be able to offer you shuttle service. Calling well in advance of your trip to book a trip or make arrangements is highly recommended as spots fill up fast, especially in the busy season from October–April.
Far Flung Outdoor Center – Terlingua (432) 371-2633The longest running river company in the Big Bend, Far Flung offers full-service, guided river trips on rafts, canoes, and kayaks ranging from a few hours to multi-day options that include meals and gear as needed. They also offer guided Jeep and ATV tours. Call directly for availability and booking. www.
Big Bend River Tours – Terlingua (800) 545-4240BBRT offers full-service guided river trips, backroad tours, and hiking tours as well. If you are lucky enough to get Darren Wallis as your guide, you’ll be on the river with one of the absolute best, who’s been out here for longer than almost anyone.
Desert Sports – Terlingua (888) 989-6900In addition to full-service guided river trips, Desert Sports is your go-to for guided mountain bike tours and/or mountain bike rentals. Their HQ on FM 170 is also our local bike repair shop and sells a fair amount of gear, including Chaco sandals, our preferred choice of footwear on the river, in the desert, or anywhere.
Angell Expeditions – Redford, TX (432) 384-2307Headquartered on the bank of the Rio Grande about an hour west of Terlingua in Redford, Charlie Angell and crew offer river trips on rafts, canoes, kayaks and SUPs (stand up paddle boards, if you don’t yet know). They also do guided hiking and mountain bike trips, backcountry 4WHD tours, and even guided trips into Ojinaga, Chihuahua, MX, and Copper Canyon, also in Mexico. If you caught the last season of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on CNN, Angell Expeditions was the river outfitter that guided their trip down the river.