Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Narrows on the Blanco River in Texas


Some friends and I took a trip to The Narrows on the Blanco River in Texas. It is a gem.

However getting there was no easy task. 

This trip is physically and logistically challenging. The Narrows is on the Blanco River, but is surrounded by private property. There is no trail. There are no signs. There is no shade. The route traverses dry riverbed, sand, rocks, brush and water. 

The journey can take between 12 to 16 hours, cover 12 to 16 miles roundtrip and may require swimming 1 to 6 miles depending on the flow of the river. The route, water conditions and heat index may vary at different times of the year. The water may be clear and clean or murky and contain bacteria. One must be prepared and equipped for self-rescue, there is no cellular service near the access points nor the entire route.

Here's our story... 



WARNING:

Out of respect for the property owners I am not posting parking nor access locations.

Due consideration should be given to the landowners and their property rights. If you park illegally your car may be towed and you will be stranded. If you trespass on someone's land you may be fined up to $2,000 and receive a jail term up to 180 days. Follow the law and you should have no problems. Stray from the law and you may have issues. 

DO NOT attempt this journey during the summer. There is no shade on the riverbed. The riverbed is 10+ degrees hotter than the air temperature. 

DO NOT attempt this journey prior, during or after a rain; the river may flash flood.

DO NOT attempt this journey unless you are physically fit and can hike 20+ miles in one day.

Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace principles should be practiced. This means carrying a WAG bag and carrying out your poop. 💩 You will be traveling through a sensitive natural area, be respectful of the plants and wildlife.

There is no cellular service near the access points nor along the entire route. If you do attempt this hike be prepared with the proper conditioning, gear, food, water, water filter, sun protection and self-rescue equipment. One must be prepared and equipped for self-rescue. There are no bail out exits. There is no cellular service near the access points nor along the entire route.  

4 comments:

  1. Great video and story. The map link is NW of Fort Worth close to Brazos river. Is that correct?? Looks like a good time to go. Did the Boy Scout troop go in the same way ??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just a heads up - large volumes of people hiking in this year are having a large impact on the site itself, and the wildlife etc. in the riverbed people are hiking through. I'm an owner along the river a ways down from the Narrows, and I've never minded the occasional hiker. This year I've been watching a family of river otters slowly starve because they can hardly get a day of foraging in due to so many people hiking in the same route you used (from the downstream side). Something changed this year with Covid and people being cooped up or something, and consistent large numbers of people are hiking in. Previous years the otters did fine. This has actually been a good year for them in other respects (rainfall, etc.), but one of the otter pups has already starved since the family can rarely have an undisturbed morning to fish. My guess is that the parents will abandon this area soon if it stays so high in human activity. The water is also being kept cloudy and turbid from so many people wading through, and at least some of the hikers are not coming equipped to carry feces out, and are leaving them in the river bed.

    It's been a really sad situation for the pretty untouched stretch of the Blanco I've taken care of for years.


    *a species just coming back to our area after having been eliminated a long time ago historically

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for providing your insight and expressing your concerns. I share many of your concerns. I've updated my post to reflect this information with the hope that those that read it will consider the guidance provided, consider their own abilities and limitations and follow good LNT practices.

      Delete
  3. Also, I'm guessing most of these hikers going by aren't making it to the Narrows, just judging by the fact that people hiking through my property seem to be hiking back too soon to have gotten there from here. There's no way there hiking all the way there and then back to our area in the times we're usually seeing (assuming they're giving up in the 100ish heat). It's a ton of uncomfortable looking hikers damaging the ecology of the river here for nothing. I love the area I live on, but it's not much to look at.

    ReplyDelete

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