Big Bend – Texas



Burros in Mexico | Santa Elena Canyon | South Rim view


Date of Visit: April 15-18, 2016

How we got there: Neil drove from Fort Worth and picked up Nick in Midland. 8 hours from Fort Worth. 8 hours total from Fort Worth, 3:45 from Midland/Odessa Airport.

Lodging: Chisos Mountain Lodge: Emory Peak Lodge Rooms (2 nights)
Big Bend Resort, Terlingua (1 night)


  • South Rim Loop Hike – 12-mile loop hike with 2,600 feet of elevation gain. Our route followed Laguna Meadows, South Rim, Boot Canyon and Pinnacles trails. Beautiful panoramic view of the park from the edge of the South Rim.
  • Visiting Boquillas Del Carmen, Mexico – From Rio Grande Village, pass through the customs station and cross the Rio Grande by rowboat to tour the Mexican border village with a local guide. We rode into town on donkeys, toured the area and had lunch at Boquillas Restaurant.
  • Santa Elena Canyon Hike – 1.7-mile out and back hike into the mouth of the stunning Santa Elena Canyon. 1,500 ft walls of rock rise straight up from both sides of the river. Requires crossing Terlingua Creek at the beginning.
  • Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive – 30 mile route from Panther Junction Road to Santa Elena Canyon. Passes through a variety of desert landscapes. Our favorite stops were: Sam Nail Ranch, Sotol Vista Overlook, Tuff Canyon and Castolon Historic District.
  • Sunset Horseback Ride – Two-hour ride at Big Bend Stables through sagebrush and ocotillo, dry washes and historic mine sites.

Tips: There is so much to do you could spend a full week here. Big Bend is one of our all-time favorite parks. Temperatures in the park can vary greatly, with the Chisos mountains more comfortable than the warmer desert below.

Next time: Hike to the summit of Emory Peak, highest point in the park. Backcountry Camping. Outer Mountain Loop Hike.