Rio Grande, Texas
In addition to being one of the most spectacular places for stargazing, Big Bend National Park also boasts one of the country’s best lazy river adventures. (There are a few class II-III rapids, so make that lazy-ish). Along the Texas-Mexico border, the Rio Grande moves gently for much of the 10 miles through Mariscal Canyon, where the 1,800-foot-tall limestone cliffs stand tight beside the Rio Grande, lending an otherworldly feel. Stay the night to see the sky put on a show.
Rental: Whether you bring a heavy-duty inflatable raft or an inner tube, make sure to follow the park’s equipment checklist. Start at Talley and get out at Solis, or consider going with Angell Expeditions, which rents inflatable two-person rafts as well as kayaks, and also offers overnight excursions.
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