Brazos Point, photo by Bob Smith

Middle Brazos, Hwy 67 to Brazos Point FM 1118 (16 miles)

Overview

This Class I section of the Brazos is very popular in the summer, probably due to its proximity to DFW. Also it is what remains of flowing, lotic water between De Cordova Bend Dam and lentic water of Whitney. Flow is normally dependent on releases from Lake Granbury. Friends of the Brazos River conducts annual river clean up events on this stretch in the spring. Optional access may possibly be had at Sandlin’s Camp, river left and at Tres Rios RV Campground, river right, but make contact ahead.

Recreation and Access

Quick Info

Length16 miles
Class (I-VI)I-II
Minimum Flow200 cfs
Ideal Flow300-1,500 cfs
Maximum Flow5,000 cfs
Current River ConditionsUSGS East of Glen Rose
Put-in mapHwy 67 Bridge east of Glen Rose / Brazos Outdoor Center
Take-out mapBrazos Point at FM 1118 / FM 1175; Sandlin’s Camp
BoatsCanoes, Kayaks, SUP
SeasonYear-round, weather/flow permitting
HighlightThis 16 miles was the last day of John Graves’ canoe trip in Goodbye To A River

At Brazos Point, he takeout on river right below the bridges is steep and can be a strenuous work out. Outfitters may have access to private property on river left above the bridges. The gravel and sand beach on river left just upstream of the bridges is a perennial tire trap where hundreds of tires have been dug up and hauled off by Friends of the Brazos River Clean Ups.

Natural Features

This part of the Upper-Middle Brazos has some small riffles and rapids with gravel bar campsite opportunities. Vegetatively, this stretch is within the Cross Timbers area. Cedar and Ashe juniper cover the hills plus elm, willow, and oaks. Sand and gravel bars provide excellent riverside campsites. Flow begins to slow just below Brazos Point as it reaches Lake Whitney.

Conservation and Threats

There are environmental challenges such as Brazos River Authority over-allocation, very inconsistent dam releases, excess algae cover and occasional outbreaks of Golden Algae. Power plants contribute excessively warm water. Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants must keep pace technologically with a quickly growing population to contain excess nutrients. The Upper and Upper-Middle Brazos have naturally high levels of salt. Gravel mining and rock quarries are a real and present danger to water quality in this stretch of river. Tires and trash are common along the river with careless tubers in the summer and bait fishermen year around. The tires, seemingly, are on a treadmill. Bridge-dumping to landowners who accept thousands of tires to rot in their usually dry arroyos and creeks. Intense rainfall dislodges tires in every big storm that rolls across the Upper-Middle Brazos basin.

Historical and Cultural

John Graves memorialized the Upper-Middle Brazos River in his classic book, “Goodbye To A River” from his canoe trip in 1957 before De Cordova Bend Dam and Lake Granbury were created. Graves began his three week canoe trip at Hwy. 16 below Sheppard Dam and PK Lake and ended at Lake Whitney. This 16 miles stretch was the last day of John Graves’ canoe trip. This part of the Brazos was home to Comanche before the 20th Century and was a ‘Hardscrabble’ existence for many 19th and 20th Century pioneers.

Fishing

The common fishes in the Upper-Middle Brazos include catfish, smallmouth bass, white bass, striped bass, sun fishes. The record Brazos Alligator gar is 190 pounds.

Additional Resources

Brazos Point Bridges
Brazos Point Bridges photo by Bob Smith