Gourmet river float trip

Expert chef included

3-day tour

Easy paddling

Since the ’80s, we’ve been hauling our gourmet chef (goes by the name of Francoise) out into complete wilderness to give us a taste of luxury in the wild. Leaving his restaurant behind, “Frankie” helps our guests connect the incredible flavors of gourmet food with the sights, sounds, and sensations of being in completely undisturbed remoteness. We bet you won’t find more cracking food, good company, and views to boot then on our gourmet river trips!


Trip Details


$899 per person
Children 12 and under receive a $10/child/day discount.

This trip requires a 20% non-refundable deposit with the balance due 5 days prior to the date of the trip.

Children 12 and under receive a $10/child/day discount.

Required minimum age

12 years old

Children must be able to:
*Fit into a Type 5 personal flotation device (known as a PFD or “life jacket”) with a maximum chest size of 52″. PFD’s are critical river running gear and are required by the National Park Service.
* Be able to climb into and out of a raft or canoe which may have wet or slippery surfaces.
* Navigate uneven terrain on hikes, at camp and by the river’s edge.
* Carry your own dry bag, sleeping bag and pad.
* Use an outdoor, non-flushing, chemical toilet.
* Willingness to wear a hat, sufficient clothing and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
* When the trip is run in canoes, a willingness and ability to paddle – not Olympic style – for extended periods.

Departure time

8:30 a.m. Please arrive at 8:15 a.m on day 1.


2019trip date: October 18-20

Minimum group size

4 people

Meeting point

Far Flung Outdoor Center. Click here to see how to find us.

Tour duration

3 days, 2 nights


Easy; this trip will travel through a primitive area with no formal restroom facilities or lodging

About the canoe/raft

Since our river flows are largely regulated by seasonal rainfall and dam releases from Mexico, our ability to predict water levels too far in advance is limited. When planning your multi-day trip on the Rio Grande, please understand that the trip may be conducted by canoe or raft.

About the guide

Certified in wilderness first aid and CPR, our guides are outdoor enthusiasts with many years’ experience of running rivers. They’ll haul the gear and, with a little encouragement, even provide entertainment. Realizing that personal involvement increases one’s enjoyment of a trip, they will welcome your interest in learning how to row, paddle, or better understand the desert plant and animal life. Our staff will enrich your experience by sharing their knowledge of Big Bend’s extensive natural and human history.

Perfect for Foodies Looking to Connect With Nature

Back in the late 1980s, we were sitting around camp one evening talking about how good food tasted in the outdoors. Some said it was the fresh air, some said it was because of the physical work of being outside, and some said it was pure imagination.

So, we decided to test that theory. First, we found a crackerjack chef by the name of Francois Maeder who owns Crumpet’s Restaurant in San Antonio. Then, we persuaded Francois (we call him “Frankie”) to help us settle this argument by preparing a fresh, “made in the outdoors gourmet meal” using our camp stoves, dutch ovens, and other river utensils.

And you know what? Chef Maeder’s food was the best chow we have ever eaten (indoors or out) this side of Mama. So good in fact, that we’ve been putting these gourmet river shows on now for over 30 years! But don’t take our word for it. Check out Southern Living’s opinion on Francois’ food – they like it so much they’ve been on about a zillion trips with us! Even better, come check it out for yourself. We’ve got a bunch of trips lined up for the fall. But be warned, you’ll go home heavier than when you left!


*See “accommodation and meals” tab for sample menus

What to bring

Comfortable, loose fitting clothing

Light jacket in cooler months

Long pants and warm socks for night

River sandals or old tennis shoes

One pair of shoes for camp

Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen

Insect repellent

Water bottle

Sleeping bag & pad (see sleeping arrangements below)

Small camp pillow

Small hand towel, soap, and toiletries

Moisturizer/skin lotion

Wet wipes (small package)

Personal medications

{Optional} Camera

{Optional} Your own supply of soft drinks (no glass, please!)

{Optional} Small ice chest (no foam chests, please!)

Accommodation & Meals

We furnish tent lodging which sleeps two people comfortably. If you are traveling alone, you will have your own tent, however, you should bring your own sleeping bag and pad. We have a limited quantity of sleeping bags and/or pads for rent at $6 each/night. Our pads are 2 inches thick and are much more comfortable than the traditional, thin pad you might take on a backpacking trip. Sleeping bags are 3 season and are freshly laundered after each use. Please contact our office at 432-371-2633 to reserve a bag and/or pad.

Francois Maeder, who owns Crumpet’s Restaurant in San Antonio, has accompanied Far Flung on our gourmet river trips since 1988. Francois designs and coordinates the menu, then oversees our staff in its production. Expect gourmet meals, white tablecloths, fine wine, and music each night.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there bathrooms?


Because the trip will take us through primitive areas of Big Bend, bathroom facilities are limited. The put-ins and take-outs along the half-day section have compost type toilets. Our guides will carry a basic toilet system, but your choice of restroom will be “pink or blue” bushes or large rocks. You will have access to the Far Flung Outdoor Center restrooms before and after the trip.

Do I need a passport or other documentation?


You will NOT need a passport or any form of identification to float the Rio Grande, however, due to Homeland Security regulations, we won’t be stopping on the Mexican side of the river for hikes, snacks or other activities.

If you are NOT a U.S. citizen, we strongly advise you to bring your passport, visa, or other related documentation which will not be required on the river but will be needed to clear Border Patrol checkpoints on your way out of the Big Bend area.

Tell me about the Far Flung store.


We have a retail store complete with t-shirts, shorts, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottles, and many other outdoor accessories. Our store will be open before and after your trip in the event you need to purchase any last minute article or trip mementos.

What is your cancellation policy?


This trip require a 20% non-refundable deposit with the balance due 5 days prior to the date of the trip. Cancellations 5 days prior to departure forfeit the deposit amount. Cancellations (including no-shows) within 5 days of the trip departure forfeit the entire cost of the trip.
(specialty trips will have stricter cancellation policies)

What about changes to the schedule?


FFOC reserves the right to alter, modify or cancel any trip or a portion of any trip due to weather, water levels or the safety and convenience of our guests. It is the intent of FFOC to operate the river tours in cases where the safety of our guests is not compromised. Guests should appreciate that inclement weather may not be cause for a trip cancellation.

What are the terms and conditions?


Trip participants must understand and appreciate that river rafting, canoeing, and wilderness travel involve certain inherent risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, loss of or damage to personal property, personal injury, or fatality resulting from: capsize of raft or canoe, collision with a vehicle, vessel, rock, log, tree or other obstacles; falling while aboard a raft; accident or illness in remote places with limited or no medical facilities; and exposure to temperature extremes or inclement weather.
We require all of our guests to sign an agreement and acknowledgment of risk before taking the trip. From time to time, we use photographs and videos of our trips for promotional and business purposes. By going on our trip, you consent to the use of your image, without compensation, for FFOC marketing activities. See you on the river!

Fresh coffee & merch

While you’re at the Far Flung Outdoor Center, start your day off right by indulging in a fresh cup of coffee, homemade muffins, bagels, and kolaches at our on-site coffee shop. Once you’re recharged and ready to go, head on over to our retail shop, pick up some merch, and head out into Big Bend wearing your new threads!