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The 6 Day San Marcos River Quest is open to paddlers of all skill levels.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to paddle an entire river? We did, so we paddled all 86 miles of the San Marcos River to Gonzales and immediately determined it was EPIC worthy. We thought is was EPIC and had such a great time we created a new trip so we could share it with everyone. If you are looking for some bragging rights this is a great way to get them! “Have you ever paddled down an entire river? I have!”
About the Trip
This EPIC Adventure pushes off from the headwaters in San Marcos and winds its way down 86 miles over 6 days and 5 nights to the confluence of the Guadalupe River in Gonzales Texas. Known for the hundreds of springs bubbling up from the Edwards Aquifer, its consistent flow, and for maintaining a perfect 72°F temperature all year long, the San Marcos River is often regarded as one of the premiere rivers in Texas for paddling year round. The majority of the river is class I and II with a class III rapid near Martindale. The vast majority of the river is surrounded by private land making paddling the best way to see the hidden secrets of the river! Following the entire river to the confluence of the Guadalupe River where it ends, we finish the trip about 4 miles further down in Gonzales.
This all inclusive adventure includes all of the boats, PFD’s, shuttles, guides, tents, sleeping bags, ground pads, and meals. The only thing not included is your personal items and any additional snacks you would like to have on the trip. We provide trail mix, crackers, and granola bars for snacks. All you need to do is show up and we will take care of the rest!
If you have ever thought about testing your skills on the world famous Texas Water Safari this is a great way to see how ready you are.
Do I need experience?
NO experience is required. We will spend time working with the less experienced paddlers teaching them proper paddling techniques, how to read water, and various other tricks of the trade to help ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable trip.
Do I need to own my own boat?
No you do not need to own your own boat. We will provide all of the equipment. However, if you do want to bring your own boat that is okay with us. We do recommend checking with us first just to make sure your boat is the right fit for the trip. There is a $100 discount for bringing your own boat.
What do I need to bring?
Mainly just bring yourself, a few changes of clothes, a headlamp, and a water bottle. You will get a suggested packing list once you register. We supply 90% of everything you need!
Can I come by myself?
How hard is it?
Generally participants in average shape with average physical ability should be able to complete the trip. The hardest part of the trip is maintaining mental toughness and remaining positive when tired. This is a marathon type of trip and not a sprint! Obviously, overall fitness level and paddling experience will have a big impact on how hard the trip is for everyone.
What if I decide this is not for me?
We will do our best to convince you otherwise and encourage you to keep going but if you decide you are not having fun, we can certainly get you home. There are numerous river crossings along the way where we can pick you up. There are no refunds or discounts if you decided to leave early.
How far do we paddle each day?
Each day we will average between 15-20 miles river miles per day.
How long of a day is it?
Depending on the water levels and ability of the paddler you can expect to be on the water about 8 hours a day.
What is the river like?
The San Marcos River is a relatively narrow river with many twist and turns. The river maintains a reasonable current for the most part but there are several sections of flat water. In addition, there are 6 dams that must be portaged. Most of the river is very tame and with class I and II rapids. Depending on the water level we may encounter a class III rapid that can be portaged if you are not comfortable running it or if we feel it is unsafe to do so.
Where do we camp?
Each night we will camp out along the river. We will provide all of the camping equipment.We have agreements with land owners along the river who allow us to use their property to camp. In addition we will also use some of the public campgrounds along the way. It is also possible depending on the river levels that we will set up a primitive campsite on an island in the river.
What type of camping will it be?
We will provide tents of various sizes depending on group sizes. It will be similar to “car camping” most nights with access to showers, fresh water, and restroom facilities. Depending on the water levels we may use primitive camp sites one or two nights along the way and they will not have any modern facilities.
How do we get our gear to camp?
We will shuttle the majority of the gear to and from each of the camp sites. We will also have camp set up when you arrive at the scheduled camp for the evening.
What about food?
Breakfast is continental style but we will also have at least one hot breakfast with bacon and eggs. For lunch we provide sandwiches and chips. Each night we will prepare an awesome hot dinner to celebrate the day’s accomplishments.
Can we fish?
Yes you can fish but only once we have made it to camp. Due to distances we are paddling we will not have time to fish throughout the day. Be sure to check the state laws for fishing and obtain the required licenses prior to the trip if you plan on fishing. We will shuttle your fishing pole to camp for you.