Amistad National Recreation Area

Amistad National Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Amistad National Recreation Area

Texas

(830) 775-7491

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

A splash of blue stands out against limestone cliffs. The honking of a great blue heron, interspersed with the descending trill of a canyon wren, can be heard off in the distance. This landscape, which at times appears stark and desolate, comes alive with color after a rainstorm. Amistad is a land of contrasts...and of hidden treasures. The same water that draws people to boat and fish today, sustained over 300 generations of hunters and gatherers. They left behind a record of their existence through colorful rock art panels, bits of tools, and fibers preserved for thousands of years by the arid desert climate. Situated on the United States-Mexico Border, Amistad National Recreation Area (NRA) is known primarily for excellent year round, water-based recreation including: boating, fishing, swimming, scuba diving and water-skiing. Amistad NRA also provides opportunities for picnicking, camping and hunting. The reservoir, at the confluence of the Rio Grande, Devils and Pecos rivers, was created by Amistad Dam in 1969. In addition to excellent recreation, this area is rich in archeology and rock art, and contains a wide variety of plant and animal life.

Map of Amistad

Latitude, Longitude: 29.462390, -100.975788

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Activities

  • Boating

    From open water to narrow, steeply walled canyons, Amistad NRA is a great place for boating. The park boundary extends 74 miles up the Rio Grande, 25 miles up the Devils River and 14 miles up the Pecos River. Protected coves abound, providing superb fishing and ideal camping spots. Amistad is an international reservoir. The United States-Mexico border is marked by buoys that follow the historic channel of the Rio Grande.

    The main launch ramps are located at Diablo East, Rough Canyon, Box Canyon, and Southwinds (LAFB) Marina. Ramps are also available at Blackbrush Point, 277 North, 277 South, Spur 406, Spur 454 and the Pecos River. Depending on lake conditions, these ramps may or may not be open.

  • Camping

    Amistad National Recreation Area's campgrounds are primitive. There are no hookups, though most sites will accomodate RVs. Numerous RV parks in the Del Rio area offer full services. All sites are on a first-come, first-served basis and may not be reserved. Except on Easter weekend holidays, campgrounds rarely fill up. Campgrounds are generally open all year. Most campgrounds have volunteer Camp Hosts during winter months. Pay at each campground; there is a fee station centrally located. Senior Pass and Golden Access holders are entitled to a 50% discount.

  • Fishing

    The clear blue water of Amistad Reservoir provides excellent fishing. Black bass, stripers, channel and yellow catfish attract many anglers to Amistad NRA. Texas fishing license requirements apply when fishing on the U.S. side of Amistad Reservoir. When in Mexican waters, anglers must adhere to Mexican fishing regulations, which differ considerably from Texas State Regulations in terms of size and catch limits. The border with Mexico is indicated by numbered buoys running along the main channel of the Rio Grande.

  • Hiking

    Amistad National Recreation Area offers hikers a number of trails to explore, whether it is just a short walk or a more ambitious hike. Guided hikes are available on Saturday mornings. Contact (830)775-7491 ext. 211 for more information. A short interpretive nature trail can be found at Diablo East and at the Pecos. Longer trails can be found at the Sunrise Trail and Figueroa Trail. Be sure to have a copy of Amistad NRA's Official Map and Guide, which shows the park's boundaries, since hiking on adjacent private land is not permitted.

  • Hunting

    White-tailed deer, javelina, turkey, rabbit, exotic mouflon sheep, exotic aoudad sheep, exotic blackbuck antelope, and feral hog can be hunted with compound, recurve, and long bows. Dove, quail, duck, and rabbit can be hunted with shotgun and birdshot. The use of rifles or handguns is prohibited at Amistad National Recreation Area. Hunters can obtain a National Park Service Annual Hunting Permit by appearing in person at the Visitor Information Center. A valid Texas Hunting License and photo ID are required. The Annual Hunting Permit authorizes the hunter to hunt in all five of the designated hunt areas for the entire hunting season, as indicated in the National Park Service Hunting Regulations.

  • Picnicking

    Relax and enjoy lakeside views at any of Amistad NRA's eight picnic areas. Each area is equipped with tables, grills, and shelters. There is no charge for picnicking. Group picnic shelters are available by reservation only.

  • Water Sports

    Amistad Reservoir has plenty of wide-open water along with steep-walled canyons, making it a great place for paddling your canoe or kayak. The park boundary extends 74 miles up the Rio Grande, 25 miles up the Devil's River and 14 miles up the Pecos River. Protected coves provide superb fishing and ideal camping spots. The lake is an international reservoir. The United States-Mexico border is marked by buoys that follow the historic channel of the Rio Grande. Amistad NRA does not require a lake use permit for non-motorized craft under 14 feet in length.

Seasonality/Weather

Amistad Visitor Information Center is daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for December 25. Visitor information center is located five miles north of Del Rio, Texas city limits on Hwy 90W across the road from Three Rivers RV Park. There are several movies available upon request in the Visitor Center movie theater. Exhibits interpret the history, natural and cultural resources of Amistad National Recreation Area and the region. Ask a ranger at the Visitor Information Center for the Amistad Junior Ranger Book. Work on fun and educational activities to earn a Junior Ranger badge and patch.

Winter is the busiest season at Amistad National Recreation Area with typically mild temperatures. Summer temperatures can be quite high, making it ideal for heat-lovers.

Park Partners

Big Bend Natural History Association Bookstore

The Big Bend Natural History Association (BBNHA) was established in 1956 as a private, non-profit organization. The Association's goal is to educate the public and increase their understanding and appreciation of the Big Bend Area and what it represents in terms of historical and natural heritage.

(432) 477-2236

Directions

Driving

Amistad National Recreation Area is located on the U.S. and Mexico border near Del Rio, Texas and is between San Antonio and Big Bend National Park. The park is 150 miles west of San Antonio on US Highway 90, and about 250 miles east of Big Bend via US Highways 90 and 385. Access to Amistad from the north or south is on US Highways 277 and 377. Public Transportation - Bus and Amtrak stations are located in Del Rio.

Flying

Continental Airlines provides service between Del Rio (DRT) and Houston.

Public Transportation

Bus and AMTRAK (rail) stations are located in Del Rio on 1 North Main Street. For AMTRAK information dial 1-800-USA-RAIL. For bus service call Del Rio Multi-Modal Transportation Center at (830)775-7515.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(830) 775-7491

Links