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This page I wrote for my old rv website RVforSaleGuide.com before developing the Vanabode as the best travel vehicle for cheap easy long term road trips. People still like big rv's despite the much greater cost and trouble to operate, so here's what I know about them.
Amistad National Recreation Area
Amistad National Recreation Area in Del Rio Texas for unlimited boating, fishing, camping and hiking opportunities. We drove hard from Cape Canaveral, Florida and did nothing of consequence until day 2 when we hit Lake Amistad in Del Rio Texas on the Mexico border. Saw border patrol dragging big tires behind their trucks to smooth over the dirt road so they could see footprints from illegal aliens that crossed over in the night. Generally not worth the time or the heat unless you are within 3 hours. AVOID I-10 anywhere but the stretch found in Florida. It is hot, boring, terribly maintained, with hundreds of miles of roller coaster, denture breaking, bone jolting, car shaking, rattle making cracks, bumps, and holes with heavy construction. It is very dangerous in many areas due to tight lane changes.
I HATED this part of the rv vacation. If there is a next time, we will have to take more time here to do more water activities. It's all about the water here. You really need to go to the visitor's center and get information on the best places to go with your particular needs. With kids you take summer vacations, however this area would be best visited during spring and fall due to heat and humidity in the summer months. I think that was our biggest issue at Amistad. Go ahead and rent a boat and really get into the place with a refreshed attitude.
Amistad Dam is open for visitors, most days. There are five primitive campgrounds throughout the park for tent or RV dry camping. For a scenic drive take the Viewpoint Road at Diablo East. It is unpaved but a good view of things around the lake with stopping points to get out and takes pictures and picnic.
Above: Lake Amistad railroad bridge on the left of Devil's River Bridge that I am standing under taking the photo. Amistad National Recreation Area is a large area but far less scenic than Lake Powell in Utah or even Lake Mead which is near beautiful Las Vegas. That's because it is a reservoir along the Rio Grand. The borders of the lake vary with vertical limestone cliffs as well as grassy slopes making the shoreline restricted to land activities. That is why you will see more people in the water than on land.
Amistad is the United States portion of the International Amistad Reservoir, formed on the Rio Grande along the border of the US and Mexico. The reservoir is known for excellent water recreation, especially boating and fishing. Lake Amistad is home to 22 species of fish. Lake Amistad is surrounded by a landscape rich in prehistoric rock art, a wide variety of plant and animal life, and a vibrant border culture. Amistad NRA is known for world-class 4,000 year-old Native American pictographics which you can see by boat or on foot. The park's museum collection contains an estimated 1.4 million prehistoric artifacts which has the 3rd largest collection in the National Park Service.
Above: With over 64,000 acres one might think that the skittish wildlife would keep away from any public spaces. But as you can see the jackrabbits were coming around this camping spot which overlooks the lake.
Long distance hikers can walk the shoreline, especially in the San Pedro and Spur 406 areas. There are three established trails, at Diablo East, at the Pecos, and the new Sunrise Trail connecting the visitor center and San Pedro Campground. Hiking is even permitted in the five hunting areas, when hunting season is off, obviously. San Antonio is a fantastic city to spend a few days, visiting the Alamo and strolling through Riverwalk.
Because of this the mixed species of birds in the area creates great opportunities to see a wide variety of birds. It is also a winter refuge for thousands of ibis, herons, ducks, geese, coots, and other waterfowl and shorebirds. The area is host to dozens of migratory species of warblers, vireos, buntings, grosbeaks, flycatchers, and other songbirds. The surrounding hills and canyons are inhabited by a unique collection of desert reptiles, the commonly seen Jack rabbit, and thousands of bats inhabit the caves. Monarch butterflies migrate through the area in the fall and roost in the trees by the thousands in Amistad National Recreation Area.