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Brazos River, Texas
Report by Marc W. McCord

FM 1462 to the Gulf of Mexico
~ 56.2 miles

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

General Description

Below FM 1462, along the Fort Bend-Brazoria County Line, 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. In fact, the last 30+ miles are at sea level. This reach has at least eleven access points at intervals that allow for short to long day trips, as well as multiday trips. Coastal plains predominates most of the adjacent land along this reach where development is limited, though several small towns, including Rosharon, Angleton, West Columbia, Brazoria and Lake Jackson are nearby. The run ends in Freeport at or just above the Gulf of Mexico.

Like the four reaches above, this is not a heavily used part of the Brazos and it is unlikely you will see any other canoeists or kayakers during your trip, though powerboats may be occasionally seen. 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 are numerous access points in this 56.2 mile reach (58 miles, if you go all the way to the Gulf), especially in Freeport where this trip ends. 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 except in the small towns, but you would need to land and then walk to them, 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 is the final leg of the Brazos River ending at its mouth on the Texas coast at the Gulf of Mexico. As with other reaches of the Brazos you can expect strong headwinds much of the time, so factor that into your time estimates.


Fort Bend and Brazoria Counties in southcentral Texas, near Rosharon, Angleton, West Columbia, Brazoria, Lake Jackson and Freeport ending just south by southwest of Houston.

Distance from major cities

Waco 220 miles; Dallas 280 miles; Austin 190 miles; San Antonio 220 miles; Houston 40 miles; Oklahoma City 490 miles; Little Rock 480 miles; Kansas City 785 miles; Albuquerque 725 miles; Phoenix 1,190 miles; Denver 1,075 miles; Salt Lake City 1,565 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

FM 1462 (N 29° 20' 59.95" / W 095° 34' 56.77) West of FM 521 at Rosharon on river left at 0.0 miles; Riverside Drive (N 29° 19' 35.64" / W 095° 35' 23.84") just southwest of Lochridge and Rosharon on river left at about 2.1 miles; Harris Reservoir Road boat ramp (N 29° 14' 28.03" / W 095° 33' 43.72") on river left at about 11.8 miles; SH 35 Bridge (N 29° 08' 39.83" / W 095° 36' 21.97") at E. Columbia under the bridge on either side at about 24.0 miles; SH 332 Access (N 29° 03' 14.70" / W 095° 33' 24.70") at Brazoria on either side at about 33.4 miles; Brazoria CR 849 Access (N 29° 02' 53.04" / W 095° 32' 03.00") on river right at about 35.1 miles; FM 2004 access (N 29° 01' 40.02" / W 095° 28' 35.54") at Lake jackson on river left at about 42.2 miles; SH 288 Access (N 28° 57' 52.73" / W 095° 22' 27.37") off Levee Road in Freeport on river left at about 51.8 miles; SH 36 East access (N 28° 56' 50.11" / W 095° 22' 44.74") in Freeport on river left at about 53.0 miles; SH 36 West Access (N 28° 56' 48.02" / W 095° 22' 50.93") in Freeport on river right at about 53.1 miles; Bryan Mound Road Access (N 28° 54' 59.73" / W 095° 23' 11.93") in Freeport on river left at about 55.2 miles; Levee Road access (N 28° 54' 05.62" / W 095° 23' 04.75") in Freport o river left at about 56.2 miles (last practical access point above the Gulf of Mexico, though other possible access points may be available.) The Gulf of Mexico is about 1.8 miles below Levee Road access. There MAY be other access points along this reach of the Brazos River, especially in Freeport.

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

There are no known 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!

Technical Data
Class Rating I
Length 56.2 miles
Minimum Flow 200 cfs
Optimum Flow 500 - 3,000 cfs
Maximum Flow 5,000 cfs
First Put-in FM 1462
Lat/Long N 29° 20' 59.95" / W 095° 34' 56.77
Last Take-out Levee Road in Freeport
Lat/Long N 28° 54' 05.62" / W 095° 23' 05.75"
Elevation 6 - 0 feet msl
Gradient ~ 1 fpm av. (sea level for last 30+ miles)
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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Last updated September 9, 2015

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