Since were driving east, we decided to visit Big Bend National Park. I really wanted to see Boquillas, Mexico and the Rio Grande. I was pleasantly surprised by how much there is to do at the park.
While only there for a few hours (we’ll have to go back) I learned the park has:
- An exhibit on dinosaurs. Apparently, all the land used to be under water and they’ve found tons of fossils and whatnot to prove it.
- Access to the Rio Grande and the Mexican town of Boquillos. You can hike down to the river and boat on it. You can also visit Mexico, as long as you have your passport with you.
- Lots of visitor centers, but Panther Junction (named for a cougar named “Panther” *shrugs*) is the center of the park. Almost anywhere you’ll want to go will take you by this center.
- A ghost town. Terlingua Ghost town is one of the only places in the park to rent an actual house. Most people seem to use campsites with RV hookups.
- A great overlook on the Santa Elena Canyon. It’s supposed to be a beautiful drive and there are amazing photos of the canyon online.
We didn’t get to see everything but not we have a game plan when we return. On this visit we only got to hike down to the Rio Grande. The park is HUGE and we will return. Here are a few things we learned about visiting and few snaps from our adventure:
Marfa has a fake Prada store and there is a fake Target store outside Marathon.
Alpine is a much better city to stay in because Marfa is small and far and Marathon seems to have nothing in it.
“The Window” is hard to find because the signage is bad.
The 1.5 hike down to the the Rio Grande from the trailhead is beautiful. My three year old did it with no problems. On the hike, we saw animals across the river. They were so close, I was afraid to walk to the river’s edge. In that part, the river is narrow and it makes you think a lot about international borders.
We really enjoyed Big Bend National Park and look forward to returning.