Big Bend Ranch State Park, the largest state park in Texas, over 300,000 acres of Chihuahuan Desert wilderness in a remarkably rugged, remote and unpopulated setting. The park extends along the Rio Grande from southeast of Presidio to near Lajitas in both Brewster and Presidio Counties. Embracing some of the most remote and rugged terrain in the Southwest, it encompasses two mountain ranges containing ancient extinct volcanoes, precipitous canyons, and waterfalls. The area has been a crossroads of human activities for over 11,000 years, as diverse people and cultures have been drawn by the abundant resources of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo corridor. Chase Fountain photo Tx. Parks & Wildlife Dept. View a larger version of this image. If you are looking for a wild west experience, Big Bend Ranch State Park has an abundance of options. Currently the park offers more than 66 miles of trails with many more in development. In addition to primitive roadside and backcountry campsites, the park also has food, lodging and Wi-Fi available at the Saucedo Complex. The three-bedroom "Big House" provides luxury accommodations that sleep eight and has a full kitchen. Meal service can also be arranged. Larger groups can be accommodated at the casual Sauceda Lodge Bunk House. With twenty-three miles of Rio Grande/Rio Bravo frontage Big Bend Ranch makes an excellent starting point for paddling excursions. Multi-use recreational activities such as hiking, backpacking, horseback riding and mountain biking is available on trails along River Road and in the interior. You can fish in the Rio Grande. The dark skies offer amazing stargazing opportunities. With over 300 bird species the area is a birders paradise. The park has picnic areas along the scenic River Road and offers guided jeep/four-wheel and horseback tours. Mountain bike and horse rentals are available at Sauceda. In addition to many other events the park also offers a semi-annual longhorn cattle roundup. Permits are required for use of Primitive Road and Front Country Campsites and for Backcountry Zone Camping. Day Use visitors are required to obtain a free permit for motorized entry into the Primitive Road Zone.

We were there in late September 2017, during a period of heavy rain. While it was not actively raining while we were hiking, puddles of standing water made the canyon impassable. Also, the wasps in this area were EXTREMELY aggressive (think they were paper wasps.) Beware if you're fearful or allergic.

2 months ago

This hike was a ton of fun with the kids! Very pretty drive through the state park to the trailhead.

4 months ago

Awesome canyon trail. Fairly easy, with some water when we were there. Beautiful rock colors.

8 months ago

9 months ago

Really fun trail, about 0.75 miles until the first big drop off that forced us to go back. Otherwise, easy to walk trail, small scrambling required. Amazing ~100ft tall canyon walls on both sides made for really incredible photography especially as the sun was setting.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Really fun trail to walk especially if you're looking for a trail in the big bend area that is dog friendly. Lots of scrambling and climbing to make up for the short distance. Also provides a lot of shade in a scorching hot part of the country.

mountain biking
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Surprised there are not more of the trails on here. Next time I'm there, I will record.
I love it down here!!

mountain biking
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Magical park! Cannot wait to go back.

on Big Bend Ranch Trails

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beautiful and amazing place you can't believe you have all these different environments in one same place. Beautiful in the border with Mexico. Big park so one weekend camping will not be enough to discover it all. Amazing to come back over and over again.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

I didn't make it very far into the slot canyon. It rained the night before, and the potholes were all full, and I didn't want to get wet. It is a great experience to even go into the canyon just a few hundred feet!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Surreal topography. Great walls 100 ft high. Short trail. We had hoped to make it all the way to rio grande but we got stymied. Drop offs became water holes. We got soaked. Worse we went down so e rocks and almost could not get back up.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Inside the canyon, the path is easy to follow; you'll hike across smooth rock with bars of small gravel around occasional puddles. As you continue south, the walls narrow and there are deep depressions created by rapidly flowing water. Depending on recent rains the depressions, known locally as tinajas (the Spanish word for jar), may contain fairly deep water and the pools could make scrambling or wading necessary to continue.

After the second tinaja, the canyon begins dropping steeply toward the Rio Grande with larger and larger steps (10, 12, 25, then 50 feet in height) that require rappelling gear to descend. Without the extra gear, plan to turn around about 0.75 miles from the road.

Caution: Check weather forecasts before tackling the hike, steep canyon walls leave no escape routes and flash floods are possible.

mountain biking
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

We've done this trail twice now and love it. Some of the pour offs close to the end are pretty high and we had to help each other get down and then back up but even the 8 year old with us loved it. It is one of two trails in Big Bend Ranch State Park that you can take a dog on.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

If you want to get away from it all, this is the place. Almost 300,000 acres, many of the campsites are serviced by "unimproved" dirt roads. The first time I went the campsite was a full 1.5 hours in 4-lo off the main (gravel) road. Our group of 3 didn't not see another human being for 4 days, except when going up to the Ranger Station/Park Hdqts. And this was over spring break week!
If you like the Chihuahuan Desert for its emptiness, ruggedness, and beautiful light, this is your place.
I'm going back!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

This hike is easy but so so beautiful! We saw no one. We were unable to complete the canyon because of impassable water in the trail. We definitely plan on going back.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I hiked this trail in April '12. It is pretty easy and, while short in duration, it is very impressive. Feels like 10 ft wide with 200 ft high walls though not quite that narrow. I was not able to make it all the way through due to water in the middle which reminded me that this is not a place to get caught in a flash flood. If you are in the area though definitely stop and check it out.