Lower Rio Grande – Boquillas Canyon Trip
The legendary Rio Grande flows through some of the most beautiful and desolate desert canyons on the continent and is truly one of America’s premier wilderness canoe tripping rivers. A true classic of the American Southwest, the Rio Grande forms the long, wild Texas/Mexico border and cuts through the heart of the intensely rugged Chihuahuan Desert.
One of Big Bend National Parks’ premier moderate length canoe trip on the Rio Grande River corridor. Canoeing through the southernmost tip of Big Bend National Park, our Boquillas Canyon canoe trip is suitable for all ages and skill levels to see the famous canyons on the Rio Grande.
The Boquillas Canyon canoe trip starts in the historic Rio Grande Village, a once thriving village of which little remains but where the relics still are visible. The Rio Grande is rather slow and open just upstream of the mouth of Boquillas Canyon. Along with the old Rio Grande Village, upon launch you can peer into the quaint Mexican town of Boquillas where it is common to have local craftsman bring authentic handmade crafts to the river’s edge for barter and sale.
A short paddle into the towering Sierra del Carmen Mountains and the party begins in a large way as the Rio Grande cuts through thousands of foot canyon walls deep amidst this magnificent mountain range. Easy and light white water reminds us to keep at least one eye on the Rio Grande itself, even though the immediate entrenchment of high canyon walls is breathtaking. Essentially an easy, mellow trip, the Boquillas Canyon trip offers an excellent light class I –II rapids that our Professional canoe guides will instruct your party safely through.
As the Rio Grande progresses through the Sierra del Carmen Mountains we see a transformation in the canyon walls from being sharp and steep to a larger expanse of the mountain range allowing for views of the notable El Pico, a 7,000-foot limestone pedestal. From these peaks and throughout the different terraces to the Rio Grande River, the full spectrum of the Chihuahuan Desert emerges.
Our guides like to leave enough time in the schedule to allow for ample side hikes exploring further into beautiful side canyons and elevated canyon viewing. Continuing down the relaxing Boquillas Canyon of the Rio Grande, the mountains begin a nice gradual retreat as our canoe trip leads us into the open lands. Canyon walls give way to large, open, and remote sky’s ideal for star gazing.
Due to the elevation, desert humidity and remoteness of Big Bend National Park, the American southwest experience wouldn’t be complete without getting to admire it from some of our seasoned canoe guides’ favored campsites along the Rio Grande River.
Traversing the desert flat lands with the mountains of Big Bend in the background, our trip passes through remnants of established early modern pioneers now forgotten by time. Remnants from cave dwellings of ancient man to the Candelaria factories and Wild West cowboy era, our seasoned canoe guides point out and offer history interpretation revealing these unique features, often just out of sight from the Rio Grande river banks, lost to everyone except those that know where they are.
Finally, the Boquillas Canyon Rio Grande canoe trip ends alongside the Mexican ghost town of La Linda. Once a booming DuPont mining town, La Linda stands as another boom and bust story of early exploration into mining in the Rio Grande river corridor, featuring an iconic Spanish church on the outskirts of town and marking the end of the Boquillas canoe trip along with the beginning of the lower canyons expedition.
If you are looking for a way to see the Big Bend National Park and leisurely enjoy the Rio Grande on a moderate schedule, then the Boquillas Canyon canoe trip is for you. We recommend doing this trip in a 5 day format for best mix of easy relaxed paddling pace and ample side hiking although we do have 3-8 day trips available.
Rio Grande River Canoe Trips
Trips Available: March
Trip Length: 5 Days
Age Minimum: 12
Deposit: 50% Deposit required at time of reservation. Remainder due no later than (21) days prior to trip departure (non-refundable).
Cancellations & Refunds:
0-59 days prior to trip- deposit non-refundable
60-89 days prior to trip- 35% deposit refundable
90 days or more prior to trip- 75% refundable
Group and Youth rates available. Rates are based off a 4 person trip subject to change depending on group size and duration.
"Our 6 day canoe trip went by way too fast! We were lucky enough to have some beautiful fall weather and the colors were amazing. The guys from Smoking Rivers completely made the trip. It just wouldn't have been the same without them. They worked hard and took great care of us. The food was delicious and they accommodated my vegan diet! We had so much fun and I've made some lifelong friends. I hope to do this trip again next year! Highly recommended!"
- Tonia Polak
"We decided to have a family canoeing adventure for our girls' 12th birthday. I can now declare that I wish most of the decisions we made in life were as brilliant! It's hard to nominate the star of this trip: The stunning river, the amazing woods and wildlife, the thrill of crossing a patch of whitewater, the blessed distance from the rest of the world- these are all good candidates, but the gold medal has to go to Jason and Dan, our guides. We never canoed before, let alone on a lively river, in what felt like the edge of the world, and we felt completely safe the whole time. These guys 'walk' the river on their canoes like we walk a city sidewalk, with ease and confidence and strength..."
- Dr. Anat Maril
"Just had a great camping & canoeing trip down the St. Croix- Maine at its finest! Beautiful scenes of the river, sky, and the woods with cool wildlife thrown in! Plenty of whitewater excitement too! None of our canoes ever flipped, while many others' did! That speaks loudly of the skills of our two guides, Jason & Dan, who provided us with great training as to any different paddle strokes and lessons on reading the river for the 'V's.' However more importantly they were always near to help when we happened to forget some of that training- they both are the consummate professionals - Our whole group loved the experience and wow can those boys cook !!!"
- Esq Mark J. Berardoni