Thursday, September 26, 2013

Big Bend - National Park of the Week #3

Big Bend National Park
Location: SW Texas.  320 mi. SE of El Paso, ~100 mi. S of Marfa and Alpine
Area: 801,000 acres
Major Attractions: Incredible cliffs and views in Chisos Mountains, Sheer canyons on Rio Grande
Miles of Trail:  150+
My Favorite Parts: South Rim, Ernst Tinaja, Santa Elena Canyon, Javelinas (I haven't seen any yet)
Getting There: 4 hours from Midland - W on I-20, S on TX-18, S on US-385
5 hours from El Paso - E on I-10, E on US-90, S on US-385

Big Bend lies in the Chihuahuan Desert and contains the entire Chisos Mountain range.  The park is named after a large bend in the Rio Grande, which makes up its southern border.  Major attractions at the park include floating the Rio Grande, taking in spectacular desert scenery from the South Rim, climbing Emory Peak, and getting in some of the best stargazing on the planet.  My favorite time to visit the park is in the spring when cacti are in bloom and temperatures allow for comfortable backpacking trips.  You will miss out on much of the park unless you take a vehicle that can handle the rough dirt roads that traverse the southern portion of the park.

My less formal piece on Big Bend can be read here.
Desert, South Rim, Big Bend National Park, Texas
South Rim

Sunset, Big Bend National Park, Texas by Johnnie Chamberlin

Cacti In Bloom Big Bend National Park
Cacti in Bloom

Ernst Tinaja, Big Bend National Park, Texas by Johnnie Chamberlin
Ernst Tinaja

Elephant Tusk Hike Big Bend National Park

Emory Peak
Big Bend National Park Map

View Larger Map

No comments:

Post a Comment