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eubanks

Texas River Vacation Spots

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eubanks

Crew - Looking for a new vacation spot for the family this summer that is not too far (<5 hours) from the DFW area.  We've done the Brazos off and on for many years but looking for a newer/cleaner waterway.  We were down in New Braunfels this past weekend on a family getaway (no boat) and stayed on the Guadalupe.  We were surprised to see a bunch of Malibus on that river as it's fairly narrow, but the water was beautiful.  So we wondered if there are some good places on that river to bring a boat for the week or other rivers in the state that would be better (cleaner, cooler, less crowded) than the Brazos.  We usually end up doing lake trips to Arkansas (mostly DeGray) so looking for a river alternative.

Thanks!

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srintx

Lake LBJ, can get rough but is a constant level lake.

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srab

Generally, the Guadalupe is too shallow and too narrow to do anything but rafting/canoeing, or floating downstream in a tube.  Right there in New Braunfels, it is dammed up to form Lake Dunlap.  Below there, it is dammed up again to form Lake McQueeney, and a little farther downstream, around Seguin, it is dammed up again to form Lake Placid.

Upstream of all of them is Canyon Lake, which has the prettiest water of them all, IMHO, but its hardly a "river alternative." 

As above, the Colorado River is another option.  Inks Lake, just below Buchanan, is also constant level.  It flows into LBJ, and the best water there is probably on the Colorado River just below Inks Dam and all the way down to Kingsland.  Below LBJ is Lake Marble Falls.  Still farther down is Lake Travis (also not a "river alternative"), and then Lake Austin.

All of the above are crazy busy/crowded on weekends, but weekdays are much quieter.

For what you are looking for, though, your best bet may be the Colorado branch of Lake LBJ.  There should be lots of rental options up that way.

 

Edited by srab

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srintx

Srab, you still at LBJ?

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srab

Nah, sold our place up there.  Kids off to college and all.  Moved the boat to Canyon Lake, where I can sneak up sometimes during the week, after work.

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Lptexastornado1

I don’t have a answer for you but I we have been to DeGray lake Last year in September and it was amazing!  We are down in North Houston and ride the San Jacinto river which is butter all the time but far from “clean” or pretty. 

 

Not to change thw the subject but we are headed to Possum Kingdom Lake next week, is the lake pretty deep and open or are there any shallow, rocky, tree spots to watch out for?  

 

And is there better riding spots where we might find some smooth water?  

 

Is is there any cliff jumping spots? We got 8yr old and 6 yr old kids so we don’t need 30’ cliffs. Just 10’ - 20’

 

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Txstoj

@Lptexastornado1, buy a good detailed lake map of PK, not too bad near the southern end of the lake but are some sand bars and stumpy areas at the northern end of the lake.

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Lptexastornado1

Awesome thanks for the heads up. I’ll definitely buy a good map now. 

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kerpluxal

Lake Meadows in Seguin, Bethy Creek in Riverside (cove that leads into the Trinity, beautiful area with a deep river that you can ride for miles (so long it has mile markers) very clean and clear as long there has not been a storm). 

Lake Bastrop and Lake Bryan if you like warm water. Lake Medina is way better than Canyon Lake for smooth water... 

No public boat ramps on Lake McQueeny... But this is the Ski Lake of Texas... Ski Club and all... 

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t a

I’ve heard that place in seguin is awesome, caddo also has some great water up by marshall.  I’ve been on LBJ Colorado arm twice granted it was a weekend but very early season and could not get any rideable water.  That was with one other boat in that whole river section.  It’s seawalls so the rollers stay once you get going.  Heard the same from some friends that booked a house there for a week.  I’m sure if you are the only boat it’ll prob be ok but that’s a slim chance to bet on.  The perdenales river off Travis is also supposed to be really nice tho, never been on it tho

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eubanks

Thanks for all the feedback. Need to check out LBJ. I’ve been on Lake Austin which i thought was beautiful. Crowded on the weekends but I would think ok during the week. The Brazos is great but the extended crew of family joining is not for the hot, muddy, gar infested waters. 😂

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eubanks
On 6/25/2018 at 7:44 PM, srab said:

Nah, sold our place up there.  Kids off to college and all.  Moved the boat to Canyon Lake, where I can sneak up sometimes during the week, after work.

How’s Canyon Lake for a week long trip?  Can you go up river on the west end of the lake?  Water looks beautiful but lake looks fairly small so would be concerned about getting good water. 

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srab
12 hours ago, eubanks said:

How’s Canyon Lake for a week long trip?  Can you go up river on the west end of the lake?  Water looks beautiful but lake looks fairly small so would be concerned about getting good water. 

I've been quite a ways up river at Canyon Lake . . . in a center console outboard rental (fishing for white bass).  That river is lined on both sides with submerged trees, branches sticking up out of the water.  I've taken my Malibu up to the first bend in the river many times, but I've never taken her any farther upstream, and I wouldn't really recommend anyone else doing so (However, I do know some hardcore slalom guys that take their  DD up that way regularly).

Just before my daughter moved away for grad school, I took a day off from work mid-week, and she and I skied to our hearts content on Canyon Lake.  There was no wind that particular day, and the whole lake was still glassy smooth well past noon, when we quit.  Typically, though, there is a breeze, usually coming from the south, and sometimes it'll come in gusts that reach into the high teens.  The south side of the lake, over by the spillway, is protected by some steep hills, and I can usually find decent water there even with the wind.  There are a few other spots where good water can be found, depending on the direction of the wind, including a small bowl right at the mouth of the river and on up to that first bend.  Sometimes, Comal Park has some great water as well. 

Weekends, though, I try to get on the water before the sun comes up, lest I share the best water with a half dozen other boats.  I would think that weekdays would provide very little competition for the best water.  But, to be fair, I've never actually taken off a whole week to spend on Canyon Lake.  It could be great, but you'd have to hope for single digit winds. 

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Leftlane

Newbie here but we have a place in Kingsland on Lake LBJ, on the Llano side close to where it meets the Colorado.  I love this lake and have been coming here for a long time - the big water in front of our place and then up the Llano always is awesome for surfing, etc.  The Colorado arm is gorgeous and has some unreal homes, but because it is fully developed on both sides of the river and it’s not very wide, it gets sloshy with any decent amount of activity or wind.  There are spots you can find with smooth water, but the locals might beat you there.

I’m partial but I think the constant level of LBJ is the bomb compared to other lakes in Texas - I don’t want to worry about stumps and such just below the surface.  I’d check out vrbo for houses in Kingsland, Sunrise Beach or Granite Shoals and check it out yourself.  We just moved from the Dallas area to San Antonio, and the door to door was a 3:45 drive - pretty scenery but too long every weekend.  Now we are an hour away and in hog heaven.  Come on down!

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Brad B

Yes Lake LBJ should be added to your adventures.

And also Bethy Creek on the Trinity

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srintx
On 6/25/2018 at 7:44 PM, srab said:

Nah, sold our place up there.  Kids off to college and all.  Moved the boat to Canyon Lake, where I can sneak up sometimes during the week, after work.

Congrats, we have been over on A dock for years now.  You still have the same boat?

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srintx
7 hours ago, Leftlane said:

Newbie here but we have a place in Kingsland on Lake LBJ, on the Llano side close to where it meets the Colorado.  I love this lake and have been coming here for a long time - the big water in front of our place and then up the Llano always is awesome for surfing, etc.  The Colorado arm is gorgeous and has some unreal homes, but because it is fully developed on both sides of the river and it’s not very wide, it gets sloshy with any decent amount of activity or wind.  There are spots you can find with smooth water, but the locals might beat you there.

I’m partial but I think the constant level of LBJ is the bomb compared to other lakes in Texas - I don’t want to worry about stumps and such just below the surface.  I’d check out vrbo for houses in Kingsland, Sunrise Beach or Granite Shoals and check it out yourself.  We just moved from the Dallas area to San Antonio, and the door to door was a 3:45 drive - pretty scenery but too long every weekend.  Now we are an hour away and in hog heaven.  Come on down!

What kind of boat do you have?  I'll look for you...

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Leftlane

We have a 2014 23 LSV - black with silver sparkle (?) - and I usually have a boat full with my daughters and their friends all surfing, or sometimes on a big tube.  We’re there a lot since we are so close now,  and we’re ready for the 4th - the Aquaboom fireworks show is directly across from our house so it’s like we have front row seats on the party deck above the boathouse.

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Steve B.

In the old days when we loved seclusion and kind of desolate the San Bernard was the choice. But, my friends moved to Austin so Traverse is it.  Off hours especially, you can find good ski/surf water.

Steve B.

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srab

edit for double post

Edited by srab
double post

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srab
17 hours ago, srintx said:

Congrats, we have been over on A dock for years now.  You still have the same boat?

Yep, same boat. 

Have off and on considered moving down to a more slalom friendly boat (bought the v-drive for the kids), but this boat still looks new and runs flawlessly.  And, I'm still having plenty of fun with it.

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Steve B.

I did stay at Lakeway for a couple of days (mentioned above). Wow they upgraded. That place is really nice !  When I went there weren't very many people there and the service, food, everything was really good !

Steve B.

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