El Castell on the Llano River was recently featured in an article by Texas Highways Magazine.

By Scott DuBois for Texas Highways Magazine, June 2024

Beat the Summer Heat at River Retreats

Three major rivers define the shape of Texas: the Red, the Sabine, and the Rio Grande. But our state has a dozen other major rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, and in the heat of summer there is nothing finer than a plunge into your favorite swimming hole.

But these rivers otter more than relief. They are a place of personal pilgrimage, with many families returning to the same streams year after year to spend time together in the great outdoors. Here are four retreats on four rivers to consider visiting. Whether you prefer kayaking in the misty dawn or are more apt to rope swing off a limestone bluff, it’s time to start making memories on the river.

El Castell on the Llano River

The Llano River flows over pink granite boulders, creating shallow pools that roil the water all the way to Lake LBI. At the Castell low water crossing between Mason and Llano, you’ll often find anglers fly-casting for bass and rainbow trout stocked by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “It’s one of the clearest and purest rivers in the state, which makes the waters ideal for swimming, fishing, and kayaking, says Cuatro Tolson, owner of El Castell on the Llano.

The camp’s four cabins are comfortable and decorated with canoeing and fishing paraphernalia. A large fire pit, an outdoor grill, a hot tub, and a sauna overlook the water. The units are available individually or as a full buyout for groups of friends and family.

El Castell is an ideal base to explore local attractions like Enchanted Rock. but it’s also a destination unto itself. The quirky Castell General Store across the street is known for its excellent hamburgers and suggestive T-shirts. Still, the best things around here are the sound of water outside your cabin and the sight of the Milky Way floating overhead at night.

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