Dark Canyon and Colorado Canyon River Trips

Our most popular day trip is a float thru Colorado Canyon and/or Dark Canyon in Big Bend Ranch State Park! Both cut through deep 800 ft. high dark volcanic basalt and rhyolite rock, with several small or challenging rapids, depending on water flow.

This trip is ideal for travelers who can’t commit to an overnight float or a long, 8 hr. one-day Santa Elena boomerang (see Santa Elena for boomerang description).

The meetup location for this is either our HQ in Redford, or for those staying in Terlingua/Lajitas the meetup is a 20 min. drive west of Lajitas.

This float can end earlier than Santa Elena, usually around 1-3 pm, and the drive time for most park visitors to our meetup is the shortest distance, giving you the afternoon to pursue other activities. This is also the only trip we can offer as a half-day, which we can for groups of 6 or more.

During Spring we often offer multiple days of the week with half-day trips that groups as small as our 2 person minimum can join, please ask if this is an option during your visit. A half day is a 9 am meetup that finishes around 12:30 – 1 PM.

For kayakers and canoers, this day-trip requires less strenuous effort than a boomerang plus has several small but technically challenging rapids that can be scouted and ran, or bypassed.

On moderate water levels, the 7 miles of Colorado canyon can be canoed or kayaked; on higher water we can float large rafts or kayaks.

Dark canyon may be added at the end, which is an 2 additional miles; on lower water levels Colorado canyon can become too rocky and technical, in this case we only float Dark Canyon, and possibly are able to add the 2 mile Grassy Banks section after that.

All these names, options and routes might seem confusing, but when we talk on the phone we do our best to explain what will work best for your group which will be dependent on the time of year, weather forecast, and predicted water levels.

We want you to have the best time possible, so please trust in our judgement that what we recommend is the ideal trip given current circumstances. We know you have saved up time and money to spend your vacation here, and we are grateful if you decide to spend it with us. We try to do all we can to show that and always have open ears to suggestions!