Marufo Vega Trail is a 14.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Big Bend National Park, TX that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
This is a strenuous, but spectacular day hike or overnight backpacking trip. The trail is named after Gregorio Marufo, who grazed goats along the river. Hikers today use the cross country section to join two ends of the popular desert trail making it a14-mile round-trip loop.
Yep. Trail is beautiful. Trail is remote. We almost died on this trail. Rangers suggest taking a gallon per person. That advice is no sh!t. Water water water. Saw a bear. Saw a gigantic snake in the Rio Grande. Experienced hurricane force winds during an epic electrical storm. None of this was enjoyable due to the fact we ran out of water in the first 6 hours of our hike and 2 of our team members had to go get water. They got lost. We thought they were dead. We linked up the next day. Had to go on another water mission. We eventually succeeded but not without drama and issues. On our way out we got caught in a huge storm with winds so strong we couldn't walk DOWN a mountain. Will probably never do it again because of its remote location, but every year we talk about it. Looking for an adventure? This might be the trail for you!
This might be the finest long hike in Big Bend - I'd have trouble choosing between this and South Rim. Marufo Vega winds majestically through 14 miles of desert. The trail is primitive, marked by cairns and is often rocky and uneven. Most of the path is flat, but there are several long, tiring ascents, including coming back up from the river. A grueling hike, and worth every minute. The silent, monolithic Deadhorse Mountains watch you as you walk. Across the river there are grand, towering cliffs. You are unlikely to see many people - I saw four (three were in the same group). I did this as a day hike in January. I would recommend against trying it in summer - there is no shade anywhere and people can die of heatstroke out here in the hot months.
One of the nicer, more isolated backpacking overnights you can do in Big Bend. There's a 1/2 mile side route about halfway through the loop that allows you to camp right down by the Rio Grande.