November escape? Check. Off-season, all-skill-levels-welcome expedition kayaking? Check. Soaring 1,200-foot canyon walls and stunning scenery? Check. This is a good one, people!
This adventure follows in the footsteps of our crowd-pleasing Utah Kayaking & Arches Hiking trips. We kick-off with a visit to breathtaking Carlsbad Caverns, before making our way to the Rio Grande River for a three-day paddle through Boquillas Canyon. The kayaking is straight-forward with class I-II riffles, but features absolutely jaw-dropping views. We relish two nights of riverside backcountry camping under the stars.
Did I mention there are hot springs? On our final two days, we take on a pair of mild to moderate hikes in the Chisos Mountains, soak in hot springs along the river, and return to a comfy basecamp each night.
Join me to get your adventure-fix this November. Register today!
Matt Stan, Bad Adventures founder
We run trips for fully-vaccinated travelers. You must have received your final COVID-19 vaccination dose at least 14 days before your adventure. See the Vaccinated and ready for adventure! page for details.
We keep it to no more than 10 adventurers plus a guide or two.
We spend the first night of the trip in a 2-star hotel. The second and third nights, we enjoy dark-sky camping in the backcountry on our self-supported kayak expedition. The final two nights we relax at a comfy Chisos Mountains basecamp in the heart of Big Bend National Park. Dome-style backpacking tents and self-inflating camping mattresses are provided.
Most of our meals are cooked together at camp. Your guides have prepared scrumptious recipes, will provision the trip, and lead meal preparations. This is sure to be a tasty affair!
We paddle single-person sit-on-top touring kayaks on days 2–4 of the trip. The physical activity is mild, but the paddling is sustained for a few hours each day. All kayaking gear is provided.
On our final two days, we explore Big Bend National Park. The hiking intensity is mild. The scenery is jaw-dropping.
This trip works well for couples, friends, and solo travelers. The adventures we plan seem to attract like-minded people. Odds are, you'll enjoy the company of your fellow travelers.
If you’re traveling solo and prefer your own hotel room, there’s a $71 single traveler supplement. We provide solo travelers with cosy single-person tents.
Your guides pick you up from any of our gateway hotels near El Paso International Airport between 7:00 and 7:30 AM.
We head to Carlsbad Caverns in the Guadalupe Mountains for a self-guided exploration of one of the highest-rated national parks in the US. We descend 750-feet via the Natural Entrance on our way to The Big Room, the largest subterranean chamber in North America! This limestone chamber is gigantic (it’s over 4,000-feet long with up to 250-foot ceilings!) and positively otherworldly. We return to the surface via elevator. No uphill hiking!
After dinner at a restaurant, our day concludes at our hotel in the town of Alpine, Texas. We organize our gear into the provided dry bags and prepare for our paddling expedition.
We drive to our put-in at Rio Grande Village and finish arranging our gear for our 3-day self-supported kayak expedition. We load our boats and set off to explore 35-miles of the Rio Grande. Each day we cover 10 to 15 miles of dramatic landscapes along the Texas/Mexico border, full of distant mountains and soaring canyon walls.
Nights are spent sandbar camping along the river. Dark skies and breathtaking stars punctuate the adventure.
The kayaking is straightforward class I to class II river conditions, suitable for both new and experienced paddlers.
This is what it’s all about.
Upon reaching the take-out, we load the van, drive into the Chisos Mountains, and establish our basecamp for the final two nights of the trip.
After a hearty eggs and bacon breakfast, we set off to hike Big Bend National Park’s Window Trail. We descend a drainage in a 5.6-mile roundtrip out-and-back full of desert panoramic views. Our destination is “The Window” rock feature.
Later in the day, we roll the van back to Rio Grande Village for a half mile hike to soak in natural hot springs along the Rio Grande River. This is the life!
On our last day, we rise early for a hike in the morning light on Lost Mine Trail, exploring east from our base in the Chisos Mountains.
All good things must come to an end. Upon our return to the trailhead, we load up the van and point the wheels back toward our gateway hotels at El Paso International Airport. Please don’t book a flight home any earlier than 10:00 PM on the night of the last day.
Fully guided paddling trip on a class I-II river section.
Double occupancy is included. Solo travelers can arrange their own rooms for a modest fee.
We stay at beautiful sites! Tents and camping mattresses are included.
We'll bring a single-person sit-on-top touring kayak, paddle, lifejacket, dry bags, and more for you to use!
Friendly, accommodating, fully credentialed, and always professional.
We’re talking about meticulously planned yummy provisions.
Sit back and relax! We've got the red tape covered.
Ride in style in a comfortable Ford Transit passenger van.
Medical kit, satellite phone, navigation supplies, and more.
Your flights or other transportation to and from El Paso, your accommodations the night before and the night after the trip, dinner on day 1, lunch on day 6, your personal clothing and gear on the packing list, travel insurance, and guide gratuity.
You don’t need to be a professional athlete to take part in this trip! However, you do need at least a little base level of fitness. If you lead an active life or are willing to spend a couple of hours per week preparing for the adventure, it’s likely you’re up to it!
We hike up to 6 miles per day over rugged terrain with 8 to 10-pound daypacks.
Our day hikes on the trip are 4.8 miles and 5.6 miles in length. Each hike has less than 1,000-feet of elevation gain. We travel at a mild to moderate pace and promise to not leave you behind!
We kayak 10 to 15 miles per day at a mild to moderate pace. We stay together as a group and won’t leave you behind!
It’s no problem if this is your first kayaking trip! Our guides have decades of experience and will provide paddling instruction, beginning with the absolute basics.
Experienced swaggering river rat? You’ll fit in well, too.
We pick you up and drop you from any of these 7 hotels near El Paso International Airport:
Hotel pickups are between 7:00 and 7:30 AM on the first day. We get back to El Paso on the evening of the last day of the trip. Please don’t book a flight home any earlier than 10:00 PM on the last day of the trip.
The parts of Carlsbad Caverns that we visit are quite spacious. Experiencing a sense of claustrophobia in the caverns is unlikely.
Daytime highs are likely to be in the 70s to low-80s when we’re on the river and in the 60s to 70s when we’re hiking in the mountains.
Nighttime lows are likely to be in the 40s, but we need to be prepared to camp comfortably if we experience nighttime temperatures in the 30s.
Carlsbad Cavern is always 56-degrees inside.
Be sure to review the packing list carefully and follow it closely! The higher-value items you need to bring include a sleeping bag, a pair of hiking shoes, a pair of sport sandals or water shoes, and a rain jacket.
Try to avoid overpacking. Bringing too much stuff will just slow you down!
Absolutely. Please contact us to let us know what you’re packing so we can plan accordingly.
We tent camp nights 2–5 of the trip. Our first 2 nights of camping are spent in the backcountry on beaches along the Rio Grande river. We set up a comfortable basecamp in the heart of Big Bend National Park for our final 2 nights.
Dome-style backpacking tents and self-inflating camping mattresses are provided.
We can accommodate many common food allergies, sensitivities, and dietary requirements. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.
There are no significant moving water features on the stretch of Rio Grande we’re paddling. Expect class I to class II river paddling conditions.
Nah. That’s pretty unlikely. This trip is solo traveler friendly!
You can reserve your spot today by paying a $299 deposit. The balance is due 60 days before the trip. Be sure to read the complete Trip and Course Policies.
We recommend taking out a travel insurance policy. Bad Adventures reserves the right to cancel trips and a travel insurance policy keeps you protected. See the Travel Insurance Page for more information.
There's no cancellation fee if you decide to cancel 90 days or more before the trip and we'll even refund your deposit! However, if you cancel less than 90-days before the trip, your deposit is nonrefundable. Additionally, there are significant cancellation fees if you decide to cancel your registration 59 days or less before the trip. Be sure to read the complete Trip and Course Policies.
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