Texas Bob Travels

The Mouth of the Rio Grande

Boca Chica




The mouth of the Rio Grande River is a place I wanted to see. I wasn't sure if it was possible. I found that it was possible and I'm going to tell how to get there and what you may need to know.

I started my trip to the Mouth of the Rio Grande going East on Boca Chica Blvd (Hwy 4) out of Brownsville, Texas. Along the way you will pass several interesting things:

As you travel through prairie / wet lands you will drive right by the Palmito Hill Battle Ground. It was a Confederate victory, but it happened on May 13, 1865, more than 30 days after Lee surrendered at Appomattox. For more details on the last battle of the Civil War go here: Handbook of Texas - Battle of Palmito Hill.

Next you will pass the Space X Launch Facility. When launches are schedule, Boca Chico beach access is closed.

Adjacent to the Space X Launch Facility is the UT Rio Grande Valley Stargate building. Today its primary task is Spacecraft Tracking and Astronomical Research into Gigahertz Astrophysical Transient Emission and more

Then you come to the end of Boca Chica Blvd. It is possible that access to Boca Chica Beach is closed. If conditions are not favorable, Cameron county will put a road barrier to keep vehicles from entering the beach. DO NOT DRIVE AROUND THE BARRIER! Boca Chica Beach is a very narrow strip of sand with sand dunes on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. Bad weather, abnormally high tides are a few reasons beach access may be blocked.

If the beach is not blocked, you may decide the condition don't look good to you, if so turn around and come another day.

If you arrive and the beach and things look great, you are good to go.   I recommend a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Does that mean your Toyota Corolla can't drive on the beach?  When there are a lot of people on the beach I would estimate that 7 out of 10 vehicles have 4-wheel drive. While I was there, I did not see any vehicles stuck in the sand. Condition were good and it was near low tide. If you are in your Corolla and there is a crowd at the beach you are probably good to go. If you get stuck in the sand, those 4-wheel pickups will help you out.

You arrive at Boca Chica Beach, before you drive into the Gulf of Mexico, turn right. Then drive about 2.6 miles down the beach and when you can drive no farther, you are at the mouth of the Rio Grande River.

When I arrived at the at the mouth of the river, I was surprised how many people were on the Mexico side of the river. What were they doing? The same thing everyone was doing on the U.S. side of the river, fishing, kids playing in the sand and cooking.

Boca Chica Beach is a local's beach. If you are there during Spring Break you are unlikely to see any spring-breakers.


Things you need to know

  • Cameron County may close the beach if conditions are unsafe.
  • Space-X launches will close beach access.
  • You should check the tide tables before you go.to Boca Chica beach.
  • If you are not driving a 4-wheel drive vehicle, go on the weekend. That way if you have a problem you won't be alone
  • My Verizon Cell phone had good service up and down the beach.

Resources:

Space X Launch Facility
Space X Launch Facility
UT Rio Grande Valley  Stargate
UT Rio Grande Valley Stargate
4-wheel Drive Truck
4-wheel Drive Truck
4-wheel Drive Truck
Mexico on the left Texas on the right

8 Apr 2019