Far south of its muddy and turbulent headwaters in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and high plains of New Mexico, the Pecos River finishes its journey across the desolate landscape of the Permian Basin and descends as a clear travertine stream into a maze of canyons carved into the thick limestone bedrock of the Trans-Pecos Region. The Pecos Canyonlands area is part of the historic confluence of three river systems (Rio Grande, Pecos, and Devils), and served as the focal point for millennia of ancient Native American societies. As a result, the creeks, canyons, and caves carved into the porous limestone are rife with traces of ancient man’s activities and wonderings. The countless pictographs, petroglyphs, quarries, middens and all other signs of ancient human inhabitance add up to make the Lower Pecos Canyonlands the second largest concentration of Native American rock art and archeology in the United States.
A trip on the Lower Pecos is comparable to The Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande in its remoteness and ruggedness, though is unique and special in its own ways. For one, people often find themselves in awe as they float in blue Caribbean colored waters over giant schools of bass, perch, gar and other common and even endemic species. Once we leave the put-in we will descend into a wild country of near palpable history and beautiful, rough terrain. The Lower Pecos is not your standard turn-key western river trip and can be a demanding experience, but in the end is one that rewards in ways that make every mile well worth the effort.
One can expect class II rapids, a sprinkling of Class III features, and one easy lining/portage around Painted Canyon Rapid (III/IV). More experienced sit-on-top kayakers are welcome to try their hand at the rapid if they so desire.
Far Flung Adventures is the only company to offer guided trips on this incredible river, and in being so are proud and excited to accompany you on this trip of a lifetime!
Lower Pecos Canyonlands 8-Day River Trip: October 3-10
*All itineraries are tentative and subject to changes due to weather, water levels, and unforeseen and/or uncontrollable circumstances. Sit back and relax, its a river trip!
All participants will plan to arrive either in Del Rio at our rendezvous point or at the Del Rio International Airport the day before our launch date, where we will meet you and shuttle everyone to the Pandale Crossing Resort. We will spend the night before our trip going over some preliminary river safety information, relaxing at camp beside the river, and getting to know the rest of our group. We will provide dinner on this night.
*Riverside cabins are available for rent from the resort, if desired we can check availability for you. This will be an additional cost.
We will have an early breakfast, go over all remaining safety information and prepare to head downstream! Day one will take us through Mile One and Four rapids, Mile Five Ledges, and maybe Oppenheimer Rapid. Visit Bee Caves site and the pictographs and matates (grinding holes) around the cave.
Sip coffee and enjoy a hot breakfast as the sun rises on our first day in the Pecos Canyonlands. Day two should bring us to Oso Canyon petroglyph site, a stop at Everette Springs, and a hike to its nearby pictograph site that features what appear to be conquistadors and horses! We will hope to camp around Boyd Canyon pictograph site at the beginning of the Pecos Flutes.
*Bear in mind that hiking up side canyons can be difficult and appropriate clothing and footwear is highly recommended.*
Day three brings us into the heart of the infamous Flutes of the Pecos, a four mile long, river-wide section of limestone bedrock carved with numerous fluted channels. Finding the deepest channel is difficult here and going might be slow; you will likely be in and out of your boat many times on this day.
This will be a well deserved short day after making through the Flutes. We will plan to paddle a few miles to Chinaberry springs and then on to camp at Still Canyon, where the group can hike up to the Electric Shaman petroglyph and JJ’s Cave. If time allows we will make our way down to Lewis Canyon Camp. If you have had enough of history, feel free to grab a book, a cold beverage, or your fishing rod and take it easy!
Day 5 will be spent visiting Lewis Canyon archeological site, which is perhaps the most famous site on the Pecos River. It consists of over two acres of petroglyphs carved on a bare limestone creek bed, large pictograph panels, middens, flint points, and a quarry.
Day six should bring us to Painted Canyon Camp around mid-day. Again we will find ourselves in the wonderful position of taking a hike up the side canyon to several large rock shelters containing pictograph panels of up to 50 yards in length! Other evidence of long periods of habitation can also be found: grinding holes, sharpening stones, and large rocks with incised grooves from plant and animal processing. This hike is a difficult scramble over large boulders, and can be quite taxing. Your guide will help you to decide if it is recommendable to join on the hike.
Our last day on the river we will have an early start in order to knock out the last remaining miles and get to our take out early. After loading up and having out last riverside lunch we will drive the 60 miles back to Del Rio, at which point our scheduled service will end.
Lodging and Airport Shuttle:
We will plan to arrive back in Del Rio in the afternoon after we get off the river. We will say our final goodbyes, and those that have their own cars will depart. If you have flown and are looking for a hotel, The Del Rio Wyndam in downtown Del Rio offers a free airport shuttle. We are happy to help with your reservation there if you wish. Please contact us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will plan to meet in Del Rio, Texas. If you plan on driving please make sure to budget a safe and appropriate amount of time to make it to our rendezvous point on the day before our launch date.
There are luckily a few options for commercial flights into Del Rio International Airport, where we can pick you up and will then provide all transport needed for our itinerary. American Airlines offers two flights a day in and out of Del Rio from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
FYI: Airline service begins spring of 2019. If you are looking at flights make sure to go to the dates of our trip to ensure that flights will be available. Follow the links below to explore flight options.
American Airlines Website
Google Flights Website
Get ready to pitch a tent, sling a hammock, throw down a pad, and relax! Every day we will prepare and serve you a delicious riverside lunch, not limited to, but often including an array of home-roasted sandwich meats and homemade dips and salsas (see some of our recipes here). In addition, our camp dinners and breakfasts are a classic staple of the Far Flung experience, as 40 years in business has not only taught us the principles of reading white-water…but also of cooking and camp ambiance!
***Please let us know ahead of time about any allergies or special food requirements***
Following is a list of required and recommend items for this three-day camping excursion. You will also receive this list as part of your confirmation email. As part of the trip we will provide waterproof drybags for all of your personal items and camp chairs for fireside relaxation and enjoyment. Tents are included, though pads and sleeping bags are not. If either are needed we provide a sleep kit (1 sleeping bag and sleeping pad) for an additional $50/trip.
Please click here to look at a more in-depth list of required and recommended camp gear:
Going Camping? Here’s what you’ll need.