March 5-15, 2017: We had always heard how beautiful this area is and it did not disappoint. One of Don’s cycling buddies had recommended it and we just had to go! I don’t think words would do it justice so enjoy the pictures.
There are three very distinct regions in Big Bend National Park: Chisos Basin, Rio Grande Village, and the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. This is a very large area to explore, we made sure to start out each day with a full tank of fuel and lots of drinking water in the jeep.
Chisos Basin is a scenic, winding road that rises 2000 feet above the desert floor. The first day we went we were not prepared for the drastic temperature change from the rest of the park, but we quickly returned the next day with sweaters and coats. Throughout the Chisos Basin there are miles of beautiful hiking trails. Also, located at Chisos Basin is a visitor center, a campground for campers 24 feet or less, a lodge, restaurant, gift shop, and camp store. Save this portion of the park for when you want to escape the heat in the rest of the park.
Rio Grande Village is another scenic drive but this one follows the Rio Grande River with views of ancient limestone and beautiful vistas. Rio Grande Village has a visitor center, campground, RV hook-ups, camp store, gas station, and picnic area. There are several good hikes including one to a popular Hot Springs near the river. That’s Mexico on the left side of the river!
Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is the final scenic drive and it highlights the geologic features of the park with many scenic overlooks. Along the drive is the village of Castelo, which has a visitor center, camp store, and the nearby Cottonwood Campground. We began this drive by taking an old gravel road, called Old Maverick Road, which was a lot of fun in the jeep.
Yes, this is a beautiful place and should be on everyone’s bucket list.
See our campground review here.