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Brazos River, Texas
Report by Marc W. McCord

US Highway 90 / IH 10 to FM 1462
~ 92.3 miles

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

General Description

Below US Highway 90 / IH 10 the Brazos River continues as a coastal plains river with tree-lined, steep banks, a very flat gradient and a slow to usually imperceptible current all the way to the Gulf of Mexico at Freeport. This reach has eight access points at intervals that allow for short to long day trips, as well as multiday trips. Farmland predominates most of the adjacent land along the upper half of this reach where development is almost non-existent, though several small towns are nearby. It grazes the western outskirts of Houston as it flows past Rosenberg and Sugarland, so the lower part of this reach will be in a populated, developed urban setting all the way to FM 1462, though the last few miles again return to the rural nature found near the top of this reach. At Rosenberg the river flows right through the city, but at Sugarland it is actually remote to the developed heart of the city giving it a rural atmosphere, though the developed part of Sugarland is very near to the east.

Like the three reaches above, this is not a heavily used part of the Brazos and it is unlikely you will see any other boaters during your trip. High bluffs and sandbars are frequently seen along the river here with the sandbars providing ample opportunities to camp primitively at the water's edge. The sand bars are usually found on river bends and some are large enough to spaciously accommodate a large group. There is a chance you might see alligators along this reach, though they generally do not eat too much, so you will probably be safe enough. Snakes are also found along this run, but they also are shy of humans. In fact, your biggest threat to safety is probably the wind, high humidity and heat if you paddle here between May and September. Insect repellant, hats, sunscreen and other such items are good to have with you for a more comfortable trip.

You will not find any commercial liveries, campgrounds or other river services along this reach of the river. You will also not find any stores of any kind on this trip, so be sure to stock up before launching. This is definitely a self-supported trip, so either bring along a shuttle bunny or else run your own shuttle before starting the trip. Be sure to allow plenty of time for the distance you intend to paddle, and in low water conditions expect to walk and drag or carry boats periodically. This reach of the river begins to enter the coastal plains leading down to the Texas Gulf Coast. As with other reaches of the Brazos you can expect strong headwinds much of the time, so factor that into your time estimates.


Austin, Waller Harris and Fort Bend Counties in southcentral Texas, near Bellville, San Felipe, Rosenberg, Richmond and Sugarland just west of Houston.

Distance from major cities

Waco 170 miles; Dallas 246 miles; Austin 130 miles; San Antonio 158 miles; Houston 60 miles; Oklahoma City 455 miles; Little Rock 490 miles; Kansas City 743 miles; Albuquerque 848 miles; Phoenix 1,116 miles; Denver 1,037 miles; Salt Lake City 1,434 miles (all distances are approximate, and depend upon starting point, destination at the river and route taken.)

Water Quality and Flow Rates

Murky to muddy, getting muddier right after local rainfalls. Almost always enough water for recreational paddling except during periods of exceptional drought.

Best Times to Go

This section of the Brazos can generally be run almost anytime of the year, weather permitting. The optimum seasons would be late-winter through early summer and early through late fall due to more favorable weather conditions and more moderate temperatures.

Hazards to Navigation

There are no significant natural or man-made hazards to navigation along this reach of the Brazos River most of the time, though deadfall log jams can occur, especially on river bends, during or after major floods.

River Access Points

US Highway 90 / IH 10 Bridge (N 29° 46' 17.78" / W 096° 02' 10.72") on river right at 0.0 miles; FM 1093 (N 29° 40' 17.02" / W 096° 01' 17.64") on river left at about 16.7 miles; FM 1489 (N 29° 38' 23.84" / W 095° 58' 32.90") on river left at about 24.4 miles; Brazos Park / FM 723 (N 29° 34' 01.57" / W 095° 48' 36.86") in Rosenberg on either side at about 45.4 miles; Riverwood access (N 29° 34' 52.93" / W 095° 46' 45.91" in Rosenberg on river left at about 47.6 miles; SH 99 Toll Road (N 29° 34' 59.58" / W 095° 40' 42.52") in Sugarland on river left at about 61.2 miles; US Highway 59 / IH 69 (N 29° 34' 22.20" / W 095° 40' 00.42") on river right at about 62.3 miles; FM 1462 (N 29° 20' 59.95" / W 095° 34' 56.77) West of FM 521 at Rosharon on river left at about 92.3 miles. There MAY be other access points along this reach of the Brazos River.

Campgrounds and Accommodations

There are no known commercial campgrounds located along this reach of the Brazos River, though there are numerous natural, primitive campsites on sandbars, usually found on river bends, that allow for overnight trips of 2 or more days.

Liveries, outfitters and shuttle services

There are no known liveries or shuttle services along this section of the Brazos River. Make your own arrangements.

Reviewer's comments

In this next to last reach of the Brazos the river takes on the full character of a coastal plans stream with a very shallow gradient and little perceptible flow except during flood conditions. This reach of a little over 92 miles has numerous access points allowing for trips of a half day through several days depending upon what you want to do. Alligators and snakes inhabit this part of the river, but they will usually not bother you at all unless you step on them or try to handle them, which whichn case you may get bitten. Most of the gators are small and are of no particular threat to humans large enough to be boating on the river. The biggest obstacle on this reach is the headwinds coming off the Gulf of Mexico, which can be fierce and constant at times. The area is generally remote and unsettled with only a few small towns along the way, Rosenberg at about 45 miles being the first town actually abutting the river.

There are no outfitters, campgrounds or other river-related services on this reach, so be sure to bring everything you need and run your own shuttles. Be sure your vehicles are safely parked on public rights-of-way, and it is a very good idea to contact the local sheriff and/or Texas DPS giving them a description and license plate number, as well as location, of each vehicle being left at an access point so they know you are on the river and that the vehicle is not abandoned. Getting to the end of a long trip only to discover that your vehicle is not there would not make for happy paddlers! The low elevation, especially at the bottom end of this trip, make flooding of adjacent land highly probable after a significant rainstorm, so consider that possibility when leaving cars at an access point.

Technical Data
Class Rating I
Length 92.3 miles
Minimum Flow 200 cfs
Optimum Flow 500 - 3,000 cfs
Maximum Flow 5,000 cfs
First Put-in US Highway 90 / IH 10 Bridge
Lat/Long N 29° 46' 17.78" / W 096° 02' 10.72"
Last Take-out FM 1462
Lat/Long N 29° 20' 59.95" / W 095° 34' 56.77
Elevation 108 - 6 feet msl
Gradient ~ 1.1 fpm av.
USGS Gauge Web: Bryan
Boats Canoes, Kayaks,
Season Year-round, weather/flow permitting
Permits No

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

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

Houston Canoe Club

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Texas Rivers Protection Association

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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