Hiking and Camping
Big Bend National Park, Davis Mountains State Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park offer dozens of hiking, trekking and back country camping opportunities. Check at the Visitor Centers or with the respective Ranger stations for trail information, camping permits and other information. Check the buyers guide for RV park reservation information.
The desert mountains of the Big Bend region offer some of the most scenic bicycle touring routes and challenging off road biking trails in Texas. You can plan your own adventure or consult with a local guide, outfitter or ranger to help you experience the best the region offers.
The Big Bend region is one of the most popular motorcycling destinations in the southwest. Two of Texas’ most scenic, highly prized and praised motorcycle touring routes are the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop and FM 170, River Road, along the Rio Grande between Terlingua and Presidio.
Over 500 bird species have been recorded in the Big Bend region of the Chihuahuan Desert, making this area a birder’s paradise. Just a few of the most popular birding sites are Davis Mountains State Park, Chisos Basin and Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park and The Post Park, south of Marathon.
Several area outfitters can provide an unforgettable experience of breathtaking scenery, adventurous touring, wildlife viewing, and history.
Balmorhea State Park
56 miles north on TX 118 &
Swim, scuba dive or just relax at this oasis in the high desert. Enjoy the cool, crystal-clear spring-fed waters of this large outdoor pool. Camping, picnic facilities, cabins and restored desert wetlands. Currently closed for renovations - check website for details.
Big Bend National Park
108 miles south on TX 118 to
Park Headquarters at Panther Junction.
At over 800,000 acres, Big Bend National Park is the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the U.S. The Park is known as “Three Parks in One”, with towering mountain, vast desert and thriving riparian environments, all situated along the “big bend” of the Rio Grande.
Big Bend Ranch State Park
102 miles south and west on
TX 118 and FM 170
This is the largest state park in Texas with 300,000 acres of rugged and remote Chihuahuan Desert along the Rio Grande. Stop at the Barton Warnock Center on FM 170 just east of Lajitas for information.
Fort Davis National
27 miles north on TX 118, in Fort Davis
One of the best remaining, restored and open to the public examples of frontier military posts in the American southwest. From 1854 to 1891 troops protected migrants, freighters, mail coaches and travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road. Opportunities for touring the fort, and hiking trails which connect with Davis Mountains State Park.
Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens
20 miles north on TX 118
Provides public awareness of the natural diversity of the Chihuahuan Desert region. Features a visitor center, outdoor exhibits, botanical gardens and hiking trails.
Davis Mountains Preserve
50 miles north on TX 118
The Nature Conservancy’s 33,075-acre preserve is open for outdoor activities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping and birding on selected days each year.
Davis Mountains State Park and Indian Lodge
29 miles north on TX 118
4 miles northwest of Fort Davis, the park comprises nearly 2709 acres with elevations ranging from 5000-6000 feet. Opportunities for camping, lodging, birding, hiking, and dining in the scenic Davis Mountains.
The Marfa Lights
16 miles west on U.S. 90/67
to viewing area
Mysterious lights first observed and recorded in 1883 by early settlers. Still a visitor attraction today. A video can be seen at Apache Trading Post in Alpine.
Texas Mountain Trail
A driving route through the six western-most counties of Texas. Highlights along the trail are historic sites, museums, state parks and unique mountain and desert communities.