Tuesday, October 30, 2007

San Jacinto GPS Coordinates

Many moons ago Clark and I did a canoe trip down the San Jacinto and said I'd post GPS coordinates of where I launched, landed, and had to portage around blockages. As usual, life got in the way of writing that info up. Luckily a reader reminded me so let's retrip San Jacinto!

We launched from McDade Park (3750 FM 2854, Conroe, TX 77304).
The spot marked on the map is just a little east of the park. The GPS coordinates of the actual launch site inside the park, just north/east of the parking lot are:
30 degrees 18'55.48" N
95 degrees 30'41.18" W

The first problem spot we hit was a big pipe blocking the river. The banks on either side were steep and completely overgrown which would make getting around it very difficult. The river was low enough when we went that we were able to shove Seeker's Fate under the pipe, but at the time the San Jacinto was almost dry and we spent most of the day dragging the canoe. If there's enough water to paddle then getting over the pipe is a challange left to the reader.
GPS coordinates:
30 degrees 18' 40.15" N
95 degrees 30' 40.23 W

After that it was pretty much clear, uh, dragging, until a fallen tree. getting around it was no problem.
GPS Coordinates:
30 deg. 18' 06.42" N
95 deg. 31' 31.83" W

The next blockage was much larger, and we needed to portage almost 0.1 miles to get around it. We probably could have gotten back into the river earlier, but we saw the biggest cottonmouth we've ever encountered swimming in the water behind the log jam.
GPS coordinates:
30 deg. 17' 59.50" N
95 deg. 31' 09.08" W

A large creek (I can't remember it's name) joined the San Jacinto at:
30 deg. 16' 03.64" N
95 deg. 29' 33.80" W
The San Jacinto becomes much nicer to paddle after this point due to the water flow almost doubling.

The biggest challange came at the railroad tressle just east of I-45. Years of flood waters had built a wall of logs five feet high and ten feet wide. The water on either side of this jam was nasty, brown, stinky and filled with trash. A person could take out here in the north side of the river.
GPS Coordinates:
30 deg. 14' 41.10" N
95 deg. 27' 22.48" W

Our plan was to make it all the way downstream to where the San Jacinto passes under Hwy. 59 north of Humble, TX. However, having to drag Seeker's Fate for half the trip coupled with being layed up by lightening storms we ended up taking out at the landing under Hwy 242, just northeast of The Woodlands.
GPS coordinates:
30 deg. 12' 37.68" N
95 deg. 23' 53.33" W

To get to this landing you need to exit Hwy 242 East at coordinates:
30 deg. 12' 30.62" N
95 deg. 24' 33.99" W
From there head east along Hwy. 242 for a little over 0.4 miles to where it makes a "U" under Hwy. 242. Do not take the "U" but instead keep heading east down the dirt road next to the mulch company. Keep heading east until you hit the river. This road is very rough, deeply potholed, and often muddy. A lot of people (fishers, paddlers, trash dumpers and drunk teenagers) use this launch under Hwy 242, so I do not reccomend leaving your vehicle there unattended. Actually, it was a pretty miserable place to end a wonderful trip and it really bummed me out.

It would have been about another 18 miles as the river flows to get to Hwy. 59 and that would have taken another 4-6 hours. The GPS coordinates for the Hwy. 59 take out are:
30 deg. 01' 45.99" N
95 deg. 15' 36.15" W
You can get out either north or south of the river under Hwy 59.

The San Jacinto is a beautiful river with tons of wildlife, but it's not the easiest river to paddle. Definately check the flow rate before heading out. I'm guessing it needs to be up around 60-100 cfs to make a drag-free trip.

1 comment:

champagr said...

I'm either too tired, or somewhat technology challenged. I looked at your profile, but while it showed your favorite book (The Boy Scout Handbook), I did not see an email address.

Anyway, thanks for posting the details of your journey and the lat/long information. If you could send the GPX file to champagr@gmail.com, that would be great.

Thanks Again,