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Big Bend River Trips: Do It Yourself (with Our Help)

Silhouette of the Rio Grande through Big Bend National Park at sundown

When we say Big Bend National Park has everything, we’re serious. From over 150 miles of hiking trails to roads like the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, there’s no shortage of ways to explore the backcountry. But suppose you’re here in the middle of summer. What if the heat is making it difficult to strap on your Camelback and go for a midday trek? What if your Jeep’s air conditioning breaks along the route? What can you do to make the most of your trip?

Luckily for Big Bend visitors, the park also features one of the most impressive rivers in the United States: the Rio Grande. This river is one of the reasons for Texas’ famous shape, since it’s the state’s southwest border. And, like the river itself, the number of opportunities for Big Bend river trips is enormous!

If you’re itching for a ride down the river but are a little hesitant about doing it yourself, have no fear. At Far Flung, we offer float trips anywhere from half a day to four days. Hop in one of our high-quality canoes and let your guide lead you across miles and miles of this vibrant river. Feel the breeze against your face as you keep an eye out for the wildlife that hangs out along the river’s edge. Whether you’re looking for a fun way to keep the kids entertained (and the whole family away from their phones!) or a delicious gourmet float for you and your sweetheart, we’ve got a guided river float for everyone.

For those of you who prefer to go it alone, we can help you out as well! Our wide range of canoe and equipment rentals are perfect for crafting your ideal trip down the Rio Grande. We offer everything from canoes and kayaks to sleeping bags and the oh-so-important portable toilet system. All you have to worry about is finding the perfect route!

And really, you don’t even have to worry about that. We’re always here to help you plan your Big Bend river trip—just drop us a line! We’ll help you handle everything from acquiring the necessary permits to helping you decide if you’re up for a 200-mile canoe trip. We’ve been in this business for over 40 years, so you can trust us when we promise this: we know what we’re talking about.

Is all this talk of heading out on the river making your inner adventurist twitch? Ready to give Lewis and Clark a run for their money? We offer lots of resources on our website for you to get started, so you don’t have to wait to start planning your trip. Get started with our pre-trip planning checklist to see what you need to craft the canoe ride of your dreams. Or, figure out what you need to rent or buy using our suggested equipment list. Our river mileage chart is also a handy way to figure out which path is best for you (and it’s okay if it’s not the 200-mile one).

If all of that sounds a bit intimidating to you, don’t worry! We’ve said it before, but we’re happy to say it again: we’re here for you. I can give you my insight into the best places to go to get in touch with nature or help you figure out if one tent is enough for your family.

Don’t be shy—send me a note at, and we can get the journey started.

— Greg