Yes, Texas Colorado River. Have you heard of the Colorado River in Texas? Of course, Texas has its very own.
It doesn't connect to the one you've always heard about bordering Arizona, etc. Fully within Texas, it's over 800 miles long & its watershed covers nearly 15% of the state.1,2
It has some wonderful sights & activities along its flow. Why not follow along with us to see what it offers. We think you can have some fun along its lengthy course!
The Highland Lakes & those in Austin are important reservoirs created from its waters. But there are even more. Yet, let's start at the beginning - at its source.
Its headwaters rise in northwest Texas, then generally flow southwest. Following this important Texas river, along its course, we'll discover its lakes.
In the spring-fed areas in arid lands southeast of LaMesa TX - that is where waters for Texas's Colorado River are sourced.
Lake J.B.Thomas - Is there water? It's a reservoir, but may not be nearly full. Its depth severely changes, depending on conditions. On the other hand, there could be lots of water, and some great fishing too!
From over 250,000 acre/ft. around 1960 to 63,471 acre/ft. by mid 2022. In 2014 it was nearly empty.3 Access from Bull Creek Park.
The river outlets at the dam on the east.
E.V. SPENCE RESERVOIR
Northeast of Edith, its waters begin backing up into another Texas Lake...
E.V. Spence Reservoir - A very rural, quiet area.
There are 4 public access points for camping, fishing & picnicking.
This Texas Colorado River reservoir's dam outlets waters to flow south of Robert Lee TX.
Flowing south of Bronte, winding generally southeasterly.
It nears a private oxbow called Lloyd Lake.
Then flows south of Ballinger crossing state highways 67 & 83. Southeast of town is a major confluence: Elm Creek. Not long after Mustang Creek converges.
Soon its banks expand as more lake shores begin...
O.H.Ivie Lake - East of Paint Rock, the landscape is still mighty rural.
A marina's on the South side, Padgett Red Area on the North side.
The Concho River tributary flows into the southwest arm. The dam is on the southeastern arm, where the Colorado outlet flows on.
And on & on, now tracking west to east.
Flowing just north of the Geographical Center of Texas!
Courses along by multiple adjacent oxbow lakes.
Wilbarger Creek is the next significant tributary & then the Pecan Bayou.
Until northeast of San Saba town, is the San Saba River.
South of Bend TX, the Colorado borders Colorado Bend State Park. Then winding its way a bit more south til forming another lake...
Lake Buchanan - About midway between Burnett & Llano.
The south side's dam flows the Colorado River, here in Texas, on out. But soon enters more lake waters...
Inks Lake - Very picturesque & well accessed via the state park. Waters exit at the dam on the Southwest side.
Soon the LLano River tributary enters from the west. As the two merge, more waters gather so that downstream there's LBJ Lake...
LAKE LYNDON B. JOHNSON
Lake Lyndon B. Johnson - Lots of private access.
But numerous public access parks on its shores can be found. Including McNair Park, Clear Cove, & most Granite Shoals City Parks. Almost everyone loves the peacefulness, sunsets, kayaking & fishing here.
The dam at the River's Authority is at the Southeastern shore, where Texas's Colorado River continues.
After some islands & shoals, a couple of bends, the river widens into Lake Marble Falls, with access via Lakeside Park.
Eventually you reach its impound source, Max Starche Dam.
Then the river undulates along, soon gathering further lake waters starting at about Smithwick Texas...
Lake Travis - Snaking through 2 counties, there's over 270 total shoreline miles. It's nearly 64 miles long.4
Quite popular, with good bass fishing. But there's a great many ways to enjoy it!
About midway along is the confluence of the Perdanales River.
Near Pace Bend Park just beyond. Very popular, & large. But a wildly excellent spot. Go early, they close when filled.
Or keep moving along the lake with more access/activities.
Finally you reach the dam amidst heavy suburban areas. The Colorado flows beyond, and soon into...
Lake Austin - Another zig-zaggy lake flow. Impounded by the Tom Miller Dam. Very nice visit, we recommend Commons Ford Ranch.
Soon after comes delightful Red Bud Isle & the City of Austin's other lake...
Lady Bird Lake - As it winds city-side, you have photographically idyllic views & an ideal walking path. There's also a fabulously scenic boardwalk!
Finally the Longhorn Dam outlets waters back as that Texas Colorado River...
Into Austin southeastern suburbs & then more rural vicinities.
Passing beautiful Texas Parks, then reaching eastern Bastrop.
Takes a sharp bend South of LaGrange. Passing under I-10 east of Exit 696.
And continues southward, until...
Finally nearing saltwater west of Matagorda. Where it empties into Matagorda Bay.
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