It’s taking me forever to recap our Thanksgiving trip, but we are now at the final park! Big Bend was the whole point of the trip. The other parks just got thrown in because they were relatively close. Big Bend was the end all, be all though. I’ve got to be honest, before moving to Texas, the park wasn’t even on my radar. I had never had a desire to visit it. Things change though and I’m all about taking advantage of what is close to you.
The park is in southwest Texas and covers over 800,000 acres of the Chisos mountain range and a large swath of the Chihuahuan Desert. The park covers 118 miles of the border between the U.S. and Mexico. With the mountains, desert, and the Rio Grande, there is a variety of plants and animals, as well as any kind of hike you could want.
There is a lodge in the park, but it’s only so big and I’m guessing it fills up fast. There are a few ranger stations with stores, a gas station, and a restaurant as well. All good things, because there is nothing around the park. If you are camping or staying at the park, the nearest lodging is in Marfa, Alpine, or Marathon. We stayed in Alpine, which is 81 miles from the entrance to the park off 118 in Terlingua. There are a couple restaurants in Terlingua (we had dinner there), as well as a gas station. There isn’t anything else between there and Alpine though. It’s a long, dark, quiet drive.
Alpine had everything we needed though. There was not a lot of restaurants, but there was enough. They also had a decent sized grocery store that carried just about everything you could need. We stopped in and picked up lunch for the day. Easy things that could be eaten on our hike.
Since we only had a day, we picked a river trail and a mountain trail to hike. We wanted to see as much of the park as we could in the little time we had. We’ll have to go back again and stay a few more days. There was too much we wanted to see. I’ll get more into the hikes in separate posts.
Weather wise, it was perfect in late November. The river hike had us in short sleeves. On the mountain hike, we did throw sweatshirts on, but we couldn’t have asked for better weather.