Marufo Vega Trail

HARD 10 reviews
#23 of 67 trails in

Marufo Vega Trail is a 14.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Boquillas Crossing, Texas that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

14.1 miles
2611 feet




nature trips




wild flowers




no dogs

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.

2 months ago

This trail is a day hiker’s dream. We hiked it on a warm day in December, the temps hovered in the 60s and the skies were overcast. I would NOT hike this trail in any kind of heat. We found the trail well-marked with cairns, and we never lost our way over the course of the 14 miles. Recommend hiking the loop counter clockwise. The South Fork is difficult and steep, but it was much better hiking down than up. Hiking up the North Fork is beautiful and breezy. It’s a great trail the whole way around, highly recommend it!

3 months ago

did this as an overnight solo recently, taking the south fork and pitching on the RG on day 1, then hiking out via north fork the following morning. it was a pretty crappy trip for several reasons, and i wouldn't do this hike again. the heat/sun exposure are a given, as is the need to hump in water, but footing on the trail is what makes it rate any harder than easy/moderate day hike. the trail starts in a wash and the footing doesn't ever really get much better - 90% of the trail is on various sizes of broken rock that makes for relatively slow progress, a reasonable amount is overgrown with thorny bushes/cactus (sort of similar to the Dodson), etc. this could all be fine if the pay off were fantastic, but frankly, 70-75% of the trail is ass ugly. 10% gives you the same view of the sierra del carmen as you have from the road, and 15-20% is pretty but not spectacular (i.e., no south rim or emory peak). the ugliness is probably part of what give the hike a remote feeling, because you think "nobody in their right mind would do this, of course i'm alone!" but on a per-mile basis, i actually saw more people here than on the OML. you'll get equal/greater feelings of solitude and magnitudes greater desert beauty in grand canyon, some of the utah parks, etc.

finally, as one other person noted - beware the wind. i bumped into some rangers who noted that extreme winds stir up "every time a cold front comes in." the wind down at the RG bent the poles of my copper spur 1, and the "sand" down by the river is actually very fine powdered clay that will blow right through tent mesh and coat everything / sting your eyes / make breathing normally impossible. of the three groups camped by the water while i was there, i and at least one other group were both up tinkering with stakes/tie-outs at 1am, and i and another group both left at 6am to GTFO.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The trail was magnificent! It has all you could ask for, the meandering river, deep canyons, and beautiful panoramic views! We did this as a two nite trek so could camp at various spots along the way and it was worth all the extra weight in water.

Friday, October 21, 2016

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!

Monday, April 04, 2016

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.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

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.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday, February 22, 2013