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Salado Creek, Texas
Report by Marc W. McCord

Main Street (Salado) Access to FM 1123
~ 13 miles

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

General Description

Salado Creek is a short stream of less than 20 miles in length. It forms near Jarrell in Williamson County and flows northeast into Bell County through Salado to its confluence with the Lampasas River. The area surrounding the creek is mostly flat, rural and lightly vegetated farm adn ranch land. For practical purposes the creek above IH 35 cannot be navigated due to fences strung across it and a normally very low flow condition.


Bell County, Texas, about 50 miles from Austin to the south and Waco to the north. The Town of Salado, in which this run starts, is situated along IH 35. Salado Creek is a tributary of the Lampasas River, which is an indirect tributary of the Brazos River via the Leon River.

Distance from major cities

Waco 50 miles; Dallas 145 miles; Austin 51 miles; San Antonio 130 miles; Houston 180 miles; Oklahoma City 338 miles; Little Rock 464 miles; Kansas City 687 miles; Albuquerque 696 miles; Phoenix 1,033 miles; Denver 898 miles; Salt Lake City 1,314 miles (all distances are approximate and depend upon starting point, destination point on the river and route taken.

Water Quality and Flow Rates

Water quality is generally excellent, though mirky immediately after heavy rainfall. Typically, Salado Creek is a low volume stream that is generally navigable with some walking except after moderate to heavy rainfall. Low head dams along the river create pools of occasionally deeper water, and must be portaged. It has been reported that game fences obstruct the creek in a couple of places.

Best time to go

Salado Creek is best for canoeing and kayaking right after significant rainfall, but parts of it are navigable almost all the time other than in the summer months or during a prolonged drought period.

Hazards to Navigation

Low head dams and game fences are generally the only obstructions in Salado Creek.

River Access Points

Campgrounds and Accommodations

Liveries, outfitters and shuttle services

Reviewer's comments

Technical Data
Class Rating I-II+
Length miles
Minimum Flow cfs
Optimum Flow cfs
Maximum Flow cfs
First Put-in
Last Take-out
Elevation msl
Gradient max.
USGS Gauge Web:
Boats Canoes, Kayaks
Season Year-round, weather/flow permitting
Permits No

Gear Up for Adventure

Salado Creek map courtesy Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Salado Creek map courtesy of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Canoeman River Guide Service - Guided river trips in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah

Dallas Down River Club - Promoting paddlesports, safety and environmental protection

Alamo City Rivermen - Paddling the fine line between geek and bubba

Houston Canoe Club

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Brazos River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

Brazos River
[ Brazos River Homepage ] [ SH 16 to US Highway 180 ] [ US Highway 180 to US Highway 281 ] [ US Highway 281 to FM 1884 ]
[ De Cordova Bend Dam to Lake Whitney ] [ Lake Whitney Dam to SH 6 (Waco) ] [ SH 6 to SH 7 ] [ SH 7 to FM 979 ] [ FM 979 to SH 105 ]
[ SH 105 to US Highway 90 / IH 10 ] [ US Highway 90 / IH 10 to FM 1462 ] [ FM 1462 to Gulf of Mexico ]

Tributaries Little River
[ FM 436 to FM 437 ] [ FM 437 to FM 1600 ] [ FM 1600 to US Highway 190 ]

Lampasas River

[ FM 1047 to Rumley ] [ Rumley to Youngsport ] [ Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir to Little River Confluence ]

Leon River
[ Proctor Reservoir to US Highway 84 ] [ US Highway 84 to Belton Reservoir ] [ Belton Reservoir to Little River Confluence ]

Other Tributaries

[ Paluxy River ] [ Salado Creek ] [ Bosque River ] [ Nolan River ]

Southwest Paddler
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Canoeman River

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© October 1, 2002. All rights reserved.
Last updated September 10, 2014

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