The stuff of movies & songs. The Red River in Texas has much history and legends attached to its name.
Generally forming the Texas/Oklahoma border for much of its length. Plus some of southwestern Arkansas. The total length of it altogether is 1,290 miles. But in Texas it flows for 695 miles.1 That's a bit more than half its course!
Lots of oxbow lakes along its course. Most unnamed & small. But a few larger & named.
Its Texas headwaters surround Canyon TX. Together we'll ride and flow along. Discovering all there is to see as we go!
With desert springs popping up & groundwater sources, the Red River in Texas source is westward just over the the New Mexico border.1 The headwaters begin with two creeks in the Texas Panhandle.
One is Palo Duro Creek a little northwest U.S. Hwy.60/87 junction.
The other arises from Hackberry Creek, flowing into McSpadden Lake. Adjacent to the lake (likely private access) is Southeast Canyon Park in Canyon TX for public access.
From the lake's dam is Tierra Blanca Creek. Its confluence with Palo Duro Creek is just west of I-27 exit 108. Together they meander & soon widen into a lake...
Palo Duro Club Lake - At 56 surface acres, it provides access for residents, guests & club members. The containment lets out into a stream, often locally named & intermittently dry. Widening out soon to form...
Currie Lake - Eastern side's roadway has lake views, no homes here upon this writing.
All along its upper reaches, barring its main source creeks, there aren't any real tributaries. Some scattered arroyos connect, bringing valuable rainfall water at times. As it trickles along, it now approaches an amazing place...
Palo Duro Canyon State Park - Excellent spot. As you begin to advance toward the park area, you'll be driving on Texas caprock & loamy type geography of the high plains.11 Then suddenly, very dramatically, you see a large hole in the ground! Out of nowhere it's this wondrous canyon. You'll take an elevation dip into it to go into the park.
Exiting the park, it resumes trickling twists & turns through desert. The banks widen & it's called Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River.
In the midst of this section, the first significant (although really not very significant - it's all relative in the Panhandle!) tributary cuts in from the north.
It's called Campbell Creek, in Randall County. Just before approaching Goodnight Canyon.
Soon a small dry wash called Tule Creek converges from the southwest. During rains it will certainly collect rainwater, adding to the Red River in Texas's flow.
Crossing the southeast part of the panhandle, it runs under the State Hwy. 70/256 bridge. As you can see, it kinda "dribbles" along!
As you're nearing the eastern border of the Texas Panhandle, the first real Texas Red River tributary enters from the north.
Named Salt Creek, it normally trickles along. With headwaters in an area of the plains with shrubs, trees & grassland. A bit northeast of Estelline.
The Texas's Red River ends at OK's border, just northeast of Childress TX. At the most southeasterly point of the Texas panhandle.
Now the Red River shares a meandering west-to-east border with Oklahoma.
Groesbeck Creek is a major tributary for the Red River in Texas. Its confluence is Northeast of Quanah TX.
Oklahoma Red River Tributaries - Coming next...
Approximately another 10 or 12 miles downriver, another lengthy tributary merges from the southwest.
The Pease River, it often seems more stream-like. If even that! But it usually manages to flow along.
Finally merging with the Red River in Texas, about 8 miles north of Oklaunion TX.
About 20 miles downriver, a feeder creek comes in.
Adams Creek has an odd confluence with the Red River in Texas. It flows in & then flows out!
Wildhorse Creek is the next notable confluent.
About 25 miles further on is an important inflow.
Wichita River is next. Converging with the Red River in Texas.
14 or 15 miles downriver, you can get across from Texas into Oklahoma. Take State Hwy. 79 out of Byers TX. Head north for about 10 miles to cross over here...
Beaver Creek is an important Oklahoma tributary. Flowing in on the OK side, northeast of Stanfield Texas.
The Little Wichita River confluence with the Red River in Texas soon approaches from the west. About 10-12 miles northwest of Ringgold TX.
The Red continues flowing until bubbling under U.S. Hwy.81.
Rolling through a large curve up to Red River Station. The basic starter & main crossing for the Old Chisholm Trail.
Still winding & flowing through lots of farming area. The Red River in Texas's bottomlands make for rich agricultural soils.
After a huge twisty bend, there's a major confluence from the west...
Fish Creek - Up-creek from its Red River in Texas merge, its waters come from Hubert M. Moss Lake.
About 4 or 5 miles downriver, an unnamed creek enters the Red River in Texas. The Red shortly passes under I-35.
The river then swings northward before curving east again to meet up with a southside confluence.
Hickory Creek just over the OK line. But flowing in from Texas.
The Red River in Texas takes an unmistakable horse-show bend when next approaching another confluence from the south.
Rock Creek combines with the Red.
Soon Sycamore Creek, somewhat an ephemeral stream comes along, that also connects to an oxbow lake.
Before you know it the flow abuts what seems to be a large lake! Yes it is...
Reasonably named! After all the shores are shared between Texas & Oklahoma.
Shortly after flowing out of the dam, the Red River in Texas takes in more waters.
North of Denison, it now flows under State Hwy. 75/69.
Duck Creek soon merges from the west, after the Red bent southward.
Pawpaw Creek then comes in from the south.
Choctaw Creek ahead, merging from the west after a few winding flows.
Brushy Creek adds to the flow before twisting back up.
Canney Creek is an eastward confluence after the Red takes a northward twist.
Sandy Creek & then Cottonwood Creek flow in after the Red River in Texas bends eastward again. That's just before reaching State Hwy.78.
The highway crosses the river, going from Texas into Oklahoma via this bridge...
Sycamore Creek comes from the south, after the Red just flows out from the bridge.
The Red River in Texas continues meandering along, jumping the TX/OK borders again & again. Through rural farm areas.
When a major northern confluence enters:
Oklahoma's Blue River. Next is...
Texas's Bois D'Arc Creek merge from the south.
Slough Creek, a lesser southern inflow.
A few more curves & a few more unnamed creeks flow in.
Just north of Arthur City, the Red River passes under State Hwy.271. Winding a bit further east an substantial oxbow adjacent.
Pine Creek is the next confluence from the south.
Oklahoma's Kiamichi River then adds Red River flows from the north.
Two creeks merge in on opposite border sides:
Cedar Creek, then Clear Creek - two confluences coming down from Oklahoma.
A newer oxbow lake has formed between TX/OK borders aside the Red River.
Accessed from Red River County, TX.
You can see it's aside County Rd.2381 or Farm-to-Market Rd.410. That's northwest of Albion TX.
Because of the ambling methods for the Red River, not surprising that 2 more named oxbow lakes (among so many more unnamed) are adjacent to the river flow.
New Lake - Typical horseshoe formation.
Brushy Lake - The smaller, thinner size.
At Texas Hwy.8, near Woodstock TX, north of New Boston, the Red begins its Texas/Arkansas border.
Whaley Lake comes along soon. A prime Texas oxbow lake example, adjacent to the Red river.
The Red River ends flowing through Texas at State Hwy.71 in Northern Texarkana TX. Right at the Arkansas border.
See References For Red River in Texas>
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