Class II-III Rio Grande, TX

Mariscal Canyon (Talley to Soils)

Rio Grande

Mysterious and intimate, Mariscal Canyon is the most remote canyon in Big Bend National Park.  Here the Rio Grande swings northward, forming the “big bend” of the river.  Mariscal Canyon is accessible only by a dirt road which, although lengthy, affords spectacular and seldom-seen views of the Chisos Mountains. This section (Talley to Soils) covers a 10-mile stretch of the Rio Grande through beautiful rock formations that have narrow canyon walls reaching 1,800 feet above the river.

Since you need a high clearance vehicle to reach Mariscal Canyon, it is a wonderfully remote day or overnight river trip. It is the shortest canyon in the park, 10 miles long, with varied scenery and stunning limestone cliffs rising up to 1,400 feet. A few Class II-III rapids (depending on water levels) give this excursion some excitement. Check with a ranger about road conditions before embarking on your journey.  


View into Marsical Canyon from Rim - Credit: cindysueroche, Flickr Public Use



The Marsical Canyon section of the Rio Grande offers primitive camping and fishing in a deep gorge along the Texas/Mexico border.  It has stunning views of limestone cliffs and a few class II-III rapids. It can be done as a full day or overnight trip.

Section Details

Trip Length One Night, 10.0 Miles
Fishing Yes
Camping Yes
Permit Yes
Manager National Park Service
Wild & Scenic Yes
Water Trail No
Partner Information
Description American Whitewater
Photo Credit: Mariscal Canyon from above. - Big Bend National Park. (Flickr Public Use)