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Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is a 30.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Big Bend National Park, Texas that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for nature trips, road biking, and scenic driving and is best used from October until March.

Length 30.9 mi Elevation gain 1,725 ft Route type Point to Point
Wheelchair friendly Kid friendly Nature trips Road biking Scenic driving Paved River Views Historic site
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Reviews (46)
Photos (32)
Recordings (13)
Completed (229)
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David Platt
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Scenic driving

Stantard paved NPS road, but what views!! Only time I've ever enjoyed the scenic drive in an NPS park more than the backcountry hiking (Outer Mountain Loop)

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Trent Long
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Hiking

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

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Trisha Cleveland
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Hiking

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.

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Javy Rodriguez
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Scenic driving

Beautiful drive at dusk!

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Jade Hernandez
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So pretty! look for the Batman Mountain!

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William Dalmeida
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Very nice scenery, fairly easy drive.

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Dov Doviak
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Hiking

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...

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Luke Higbee
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Scenic driving

Must do if you’re in the park

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Theresa Cook
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Hiking

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.

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Matt Dozier
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Hiking

A nice, quiet drive, but the low speed limit throughout the park makes this a half to full day venture.

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Julia Baxter
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Although it’s not a hike, the drive is spectacular!

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Cindy Keller
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Scenic driving

Our favorite scenic drive in the park! Loved it!

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Stephen Loewen
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Beautiful drive to make when you first enter the park.

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Breck Tuttle
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Scenic driving

Nice scenic route on a paved road that takes you past several old abandoned ranches

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Doug Neidholdt
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Scenic driving

The paved route takes you through the core of Big Bend NP to numerous trailheads and scenic overlooks. It is a must do to get a good taste of the area.

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Vanessa McKnight
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Excellent drive. My dogs were pretty tired of the car by the time we got home.

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Ron Angerer
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Nice drive ending at Santa Elana Canyon. Recommend stopping at all the turnoffs along the way as there are many terrific photo opportunities.

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Brent Treadway
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Pretty

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Santiago Loetz
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Scenic driving

There are a few trails along this road. The views are always more amazing after every turn!

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M Weber
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I really enjoyed stopping and exploring all the stops along the trail. Interesting history!

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Homer Patino
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Scenic driving

One of the most beautiful drives in the park! Many trailheads are along this road.

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Jack Tatsch
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I've been visiting Big Bend since 1958. This drive did not exist in the '50's. You traveled the Old Maverick road to get to Castolon & Santa Elena Canyon. The road travels to the west of the Chisos, and turns southwest to Santa Elena. Very scenic.

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Emily B
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Scenic driving
First to Review

My partner and I did this drive in May and July of 2009. The sky was cloudless and blue on the first visit, and there was a brief but cool storm the second time. It's mostly Chisos Basin views and rolling hills covered in desert shrubbery and sotol, but there are many unique points of interest along the way with info plaques on geology and history. There are also shorter walking trails spread out along the drive, as well as Santa Elena Canyon in the southwest corner of the park. The drive was a nice, clean, and pleasantly people-sparse break from the heavy hiking available in the Basin.

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S Photohiking
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Scenic driving
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Jennifer Floyd
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Scenic driving
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Calvin Colbeck
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Scenic driving
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Rl Colbeck
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Hiking
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Deb Colbeck
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Off Road Driving
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Rachal RoessBoss
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Hiking
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Rebekah Burnett
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Hiking
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