Things to Do

Devils River State Natural Area: Not for the Faint of Heart but Worth the Trouble

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Devils River State Natural Area is located about 45 miles from Del Rio and features one of the most pristine rivers in Texas. Clear, spring-fed water tumbles past rugged ridges, scenic canyons, and brushy banks. Trouble is, it’s not easy to get there, but it’s worth the effort. Devils River State Natural Area is in a remote location in west Texas. Visitors will need to bring all supplies with them, as no stores are nearby and cell phone service is limited on the drive there and un­a­vail­able near and on the river. So, if the idea of a remote, untouched west Texas experience inspires (rather than frightens) you, read on!

Best for Experienced Paddlers

Devils River

Photo: Facebook/Devils River State Natural Area

Texas Parks and Wildlife experts recommend that only experienced paddlers should embark on a Devils River trip. The Devils River can flash flood and become dangerous very quickly. Check the latest weather forecast and water levels before going on your trip. Low water levels may cause canoes and kayaks to drag. You may need to portage around shallow waters. Strong southern head­winds can make for an exhausting trip and extremely high or low temperatures can occur unexpectedly.

However, if you’re experienced in kayaking and brave enough to give it a whirl, Devils River offers amazing views of one of the only remaining ecologically intact river systems in Texas. A series of springs, including Finegan Springs on the shoreline of the Del Norte Unit, provides a sub­stan­tial amount of the river’s flow.

Three types of stream conditions char­ac­ter­ize the river: long, deep pools; wide shallow areas; and relatively deep, tur­bu­lent rapids. The river has no impoundments and limited public access. As a result, it has remained essentially primitive and unpolluted.

Lots to Do On Foot and by Bike

Devils River wildlife
Photo: Facebook/Devils River State Natural Area

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