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Devils River, photo by TRPA member Richard Grayson

Devils River – Bakers Crossing to San Pedro (15 miles)


Beware of the pitfalls of running this section at very low levels. The blind chutes through sharp saw grasses are fun (or not) if there’s enough flow to push your boat through. This stretch eats holes in plastic kayaks like a giant cheese grater. You will likely do as much dragging as paddling. Rent and shuttle only from a TPWD-approved Devils River outfitter. DRAP & Reservations Required. Camping is always allowed on islands, but safety considerations should be taken seriously. Official Paddler Camps at Bakers Crossing, M12R (Game Warden Rock) and M15L (San Pedro). DRAP & Reservations Required. Just below San Pedro camp is Dolan Falls. Be respectful of private property, including TNC Dolan Falls Preserve. There are some legal camps on many low-lying slabs near the river and within the gradient boundary, but please consider the potential danger, respect private property rights and try to camp out of direct view of resident cabins and homes. Do Not Trespass.

Bakers down can be more drag, less paddle.
Bakers down can be more drag, less paddle.

Recreation and Access

Quick Info

Length15 miles
Class (I-VI)I-II
Minimum Flow75 cfs (2.1 cms)
Ideal Flow100-200 cfs (2.8-5.6 cms)
Maximum Flow1,000 cfs (28.5 cms)
Current River ConditionsBakers Crossing Gauge: IBWC Water Data (CMS x 35.3 = CFS)
Put-in mapsBakers Crossing 0, San Pedro DRSNA (15 miles)
Take-out mapsSan Pedro DRSNA (15 miles), Devils Back (29 miles), Slaughter Bend (37 miles)
BoatsCanoes, Kayaks
SeasonYear-round, weather /flow permitting
HighlightRock art, bucket list fishing, crystal clear water
Distances to DRSNADallas 380 miles; Houston 410 miles; Austin 260 miles; El Paso 450 miles

Natural Features

Arguably the most pristine spring-fed river in Texas, flowing over a limestone and gravel river bed. Excellent bass fishing, beautiful camps, swimming holes, magnificent examples of ancient Native American rock art. Game Warden Rock, Dolan Falls, Three-tier Rapid, Dandridge Falls, Lake Amistad. Huge biodiversity of flora and fauna as the Chihuahuan Desert, Edwards Plateau, and southern Texas Plains ecoregions all meet here. Pristine water from the abundance of springs that supports state-listed threatened and endangered species including the Devils River minnow and Conchos pupfish. Golden-cheeked Warbler, Tropical Parula and Canyon Wrens are common. Smallmouth Bass, Large Mouth Bass, various sunfishes, catfish and gar.

Conservation and Threats

  • Over-pumping groundwater
  • Land fragmentation
  • Recreational over-use
  • Bed and bank disturbances
  • Proliferation of non-native, invasive species
  • Inadequate streamside septic systems
  • Over-grazing
  • Algae blooms
  • Cultural vandalism
  • Intrusive wind turbine development

Historical and Cultural

Magnificent examples of native rock art, both pictographs and petroglyphs. Traditional sheep ranching area where a 20,000 acre ranch is not exceptionally large.


The Devils River is a bucket list destination for fishers. The Devils provides excellent fishing for Smallmouth Bass, Large Mouth Bass, various sunfishes, catfish and gar. Leave No Trace

Additional Resources

Preparing for a Devils River Trip

Devils River State Natural Area Web Page

Paddler camps at M12R, M15L, M20L, M29L

TPWD Texas River Guide: “If A River Runs Through It, What law Applies?”

TPWD Devils River Fishing Regulations


Devils River Conservancy

Devils River Conservancy River Conditions

Devils River IBWC Gages (CMS x 35.3 = CFS)