Frio River

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This article is about the river in Texas. For other geographical features, see Rio Frio (disambiguation).
Frio River
Location of the Frio River, Texas
Origin Real County, Texas, U.S.A
Mouth Nueces River, Live Oak County, Texas, U.S.A
Basin countries U.S.A
Length 200 mi (322 km)
Source elevation 2300 ft (701 m)
Avg. discharge 26 ft³/s (1 m³/s)
Basin area 7310 mi² (18933 km²)

The Frio River is a river in the U.S. state of Texas. The word frio is Spanish for cold, a clear reference to the spring-fed coolness of the river.


The Frio River has three primary tributaries; the East, West, and Dry Frio rivers. The West Frio River rises from springs in northeastern Real County and joins with the East Frio River near the town of Leakey; the Dry Frio River joins northeast of Uvalde. The river flows generally southeast for two hundred miles until it empties into the Nueces River south of the town of Three Rivers. Along the way, the Frio River provides water to the Choke Canyon Reservoir in McMullen and Live Oak counties.[1]


The cool and consistent flow of the Frio River has made it a popular summertime destination. Garner State Park,[2] on the river about 10 miles south of Leakey and 75 miles west of San Antonio, provides camping, fishing and other activities. Numerous other privately owned campgrounds are also found along the river.


  • Frio County, Texas is named for the river.
  • Frio River is popularly considered navigable from well above Leakey TX to about 5 miles downstream of Concan TX. From that latter place the Frio River's water volume in summer months is insufficient to surmount the natural percolation down into limestone subsurface water courses; therefore the river bed appears dry intermittently, and the river is no longer efficiently navigable continuously year-round from that place to its confluence with the Nueces River. Applicable laws concerning navigability include statutes written in Spanish that are still in force in Texas. The river may only be accessed from public access points, and all river banks are private property. Accessing the riverbanks is only legal in the event of portaging canoes or scouting for obstructions. As stated by Texas Parks and Wildlife, who manages navigable rivers in Texas: "Senate Bill (S.B.) 155 strikes a balance between the navigation right and private property interests by providing that portaging or scouting obstructions do not create a prescriptive easement over any private property so used. Thus, under S.B. 155, if private riverside property is used to portage or scout obstructions, the landowner does not bear any risk of permanent loss of a property interest. Should it become unnecessary to use that particular riverside property to portage or scout obstructions (for example, because the river changes course), the public right of use disappears."[3]
  • The Frio River is mentioned in George Strait's song "All My Ex's Live in Texas". George Strait grew up in Frio County.
  • The Frio River also played a big part in the movie Race with the Devil. This is where the scene of the sacrifice took place.

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  1. ^ "FRIO RIVER," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  2. ^ "Garner State Park". Texas Parks and Wildlife. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  3. ^

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Coordinates: 28°26′15″N 98°11′19″W / 28.43750°N 98.18861°W / 28.43750; -98.18861