Comal River

Coordinates: 29°42′16″N 98°6′50″W / 29.70444°N 98.11389°W / 29.70444; -98.11389
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Comal River
The Comal River as it runs past Schlitterbahn water park.
Location of the Comal River
CountryUnited States
Physical characteristics
SourceComal Springs
 • locationNew Braunfels, Comal County
 • coordinates29°42′46.62″N 98°8′15″W / 29.7129500°N 98.13750°W / 29.7129500; -98.13750
 • elevation645 ft (197 m)[1]
MouthGuadalupe River
 • location
New Braunfels, Comal County
 • coordinates
29°42′16″N 98°6′50″W / 29.70444°N 98.11389°W / 29.70444; -98.11389
 • elevation
600 ft (180 m)[1]
Length2.5 mi (4.0 km)
Basin size130 sq mi (340 km2)
 • average312 cu ft/s (8.8 m3/s)

The Comal River (/ˈkmæl/ KOH-mal) is the shortest navigable river in the state of Texas in the United States. Proclaimed the "longest shortest river in the world" by locals, it runs entirely within the city limits of New Braunfels in southeast Comal County. It is a tributary of the Guadalupe River. The Comal begins at Comal Springs in Landa Park and flows 2.5 miles (4.0 km) until its junction with the Guadalupe.

The Comal was originally called the Little Guadalupe in early Spanish accounts. After Spaniard Pedro de Rivera y Villalón identified the longer river as the Guadalupe in 1727, the Comal was given its current name. The name means basin or flat dish in Spanish.

Historically, the Comal was used to power watermills and cotton gins by early German settlers,[2] and later to provide hydroelectric power. The river is primarily used for water recreation today, being the location of the original Schlitterbahn water amusement park. The water is administered by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.

The river is also one of only two rivers to host the fountain darter (Etheostoma fonticola), a fish now in danger of extinction. The only other river inhabited by the darter is the nearby San Marcos River.


Mild currents, clear water, and a host of lost items left behind by tubers make the river a common locale for scuba diving.[3] Because the Comal maintains a temperature of approximately 72 °F (22 °C) year round, divers are present in both the summer and the winter. Thousands of people tube down the Comal River in the spring and summer.[citation needed] Tubing on the Comal provides a less intense alternative to tubing on the nearby Guadalupe river, where one may encounter frequent rapids and boulders to paddle around.[citation needed] The Schlitterbahn Water Park is built along a 16-acre (65,000 m2) stretch of the river.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Google Earth elevation for GNIS coordinates.
  2. ^ "Comal River". WorldAtlas. 2021-10-06. Retrieved 2023-04-03.
  3. ^ "New Braunfels scuba diver hunts for treasures lost by tubers". 16 July 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2020.

External links[edit]