Explore the most popular Historic Site trails in Big Bend National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Cool road across the desert. Washboards are pretty rough in a 3/4 ton. Keep your speed up and it's not as bad. Camped at Rattlesnake Mountain, primitive so only a bear box.

hiking
26 days ago

Walk around and see a windmill But for 5 minutes and in order to complete every trail at big bend it has to be done

hiking
rocky
27 days ago

Rougher than what i remember.

backpacking
no shade
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

This was a tough hike. We did this trail in a clockwise direction with an additional detour of sleeping on the South Rim for our last night. Total of 4 days hiking, 3 nights, and 38 miles. Fresno creek was available for water. That was THE ONLY WATER SOURCE on the trail. We carried between 5-7L each of water, and cached at Homer Wilson. We elected not to cache at Juniper because the length of time it was going to take to drive in. We planned to not see water until Homer Wilson, with the "pleasant surprise" of having water available at Fresno. This is tough, and we did a significant amount of planning to make sure that it was enjoyable with minimal dangers. Not for the faint of heart! Definitely pack light, except your water source, and know your limits. We saw almost no one. The park emptied out from the Thanksgiving crowd and it was desolate on the trail. Weather was great. 60-70 during the day, maybe down to 40 on the coldest night. Thanks BiBe for the mental reset!

scenic driving
2 months ago

4wd not even needed when trail is dry. 2wd trucks and SUVs would do just find. some dry creek bed crossing and a few sandy spots that have been packed down.. but if it's rain and the trail is muddy, dont try with 2wd and street tires..

hiking
3 months ago

Easy and quite pretty

Pretty drive around the park. Saw lots of good scenery and the flowers were blooming which was nice.

ohv/off road driving
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

After reading reviews we used this trail as a short cut from Santa Elena Canyon to Terlingua. It was great and saved us about 45 minutes. We were in a 4 Runner with 4WD. We took the entire road in 4 high however, we didn’t really need it. At the time of our drive this trail was more like a gravel road. The low areas were still flat and easily traveled. As conditions change I would still recommend 4WD to travel this trail.

One of the most beautiful drives you will take (though all the park is beautiful). Lots of opportunities to hit offshoot hiking trails or stop for overlooks and information boards. Castolon is currently in a state of disrepair due to being burned in a wildfire.

ohv/off road driving
7 months ago

Short cut from Terlingua to Santa Elena Canyon. Rocky and dusty with wash-outs, so definitely don't do if it's rained w/o 4x4.

scenic driving
7 months ago

Beautiful drive at dusk!

So pretty! look for the Batman Mountain!

Very nice scenery, fairly easy drive.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a good trail to get away from crowds during busy seasons. I would avoid during rains. Nit as scenic as the more popular trials but enjoyable. This will be hot in the summer.

hiking
11 months ago

This rating isn't for the drive itself, though it's every bit as scenic as you'd imagine it is, but for the numerous off-trail hike opportunities lining the road. One such spot is my absolute favorite in the whole park, Cerro Castellan, which is just north of Castolon. If you're willing to make the somewhat sketchy hike (on incredibly loose footing) up to the base of the actual rock formation, the area and the view will take your breath away...

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

Nice hike that does have a brief rocky incline. The ruin and view from the top is worth the trip.

hiking
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
11 months ago

On 2-22-19, three of us set off from Chisos Basin Lodge to complete the OML. We set off with the plan to move West to East, finishing with the Pennicle Trail. Mileage reports for this trail vary, as All Trails reported 34.8, while other GPS put us just over 40 miles. (I'm not convinced All Trails tracks the switch backs accurately) Either way you go from the Basin Lodge, expect a 3-4 mile climb out of the Basin followed by a 3-4 mile decent. I recommend stashing water at Homers Ranch ( bear box about a 1/2 mile climb off the trail) as well as Juniper Junction ( Bear box on the trail). Moving east from Homers Ranch, alot of the trail is in the river bed, marked only by rocks stacked or placed in a way that is obvious. We lost the trail twice, which required extra water, but all trails app saved us by tracking our course even while phone was in airplane mode. This is not flat land, as it has several ups and downs over and around the mountains and fingers. Very Rocky with transition s to shale at times. Fresno Creek was flowing, and is about 1/4 mile east from the first little trickle Creek you cross, moving from west to east. We were able to refill water and press on. After Juniper Junction, you will have about 3 miles of flat land, or very low grade before climbing out of the canyon. Expect another 3-4 mile climb up to Boot Creek, which had stagnant water, so we avoided it. We camped at Boot Creek, and finished the last mile or so climb to Emery peak junction. From there, expect 3-4 mile decent back to the Basin Lodge. The trail up the Pennicle, and down to the Basin is very Rocky and narrow at times. From Boot Canyon to the Basin, we did mostly in the dark, very doable. I would not recommend traversing the trail from Juniper to Boot Creek in the dark, very narrow at times. We did not do this for the scenery, but it was beautiful. We did this as a challenge and that it was! One heck of a kick in the rear end! Good luck

ohv/off road driving
11 months ago

This is written for persons interested in off-road driving. The is a must do trail and ideal for your orientation to Big Bend National Park. At the end of the trail you should go to the observation and then the hiking trail to the Santa Elena Canyon Along the trail stop to visit Luna's Jacal and read up on this remarkable man. Detour onto the Terlingua Abaja trail to visit the ruins of a farming commuity. Most of the ruins are on the opposite side of the Terlingua Creek. The drive itself is nothing special. My experience was particually jarring because most of the road was covered in washboard washouts. Distance 12.6 miles.

February 15, 2019: did this entire hike in one day - started at 6:00AM and finished around 9:00PM, averaging 2.5 miles/hour. Do not recommend doing this in one day if you have a low pain threshold for blisters, pain, and get thirsty too quickly. However, if you want a challenge and to test yourself, give it a go, but have a plan for water, and to touch base with someone at certain points in the day if you’re doing it by yourself (as I did). Cellphone service is not bad throughout. Oh, saw a black bear near the visitor center where I stopped to refill for water.

scenic driving
11 months ago

Must do if you’re in the park

hiking
Mon Jan 07 2019

Great paved main road through many of the western Big Bend areas. Multiple opportunities to get out and hike great short and longer trails depending on your level of comfort. All signs are well marked and descriptions are good. Unfortunately the road was closed at the Cottonwood area due to government shutdown but we still spent close to six hours exploring.

It was nice

scenic driving
Thu Dec 06 2018

Nice drive with lots of places to pull off and explore

hiking
Wed Nov 28 2018

Nice, quick. easy walk. It's interesting to imagine how the Nail's survived there.

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