Big Bend is an expansive location so if you ever wish to go, be sure to alot at least a week or more of time. You will need every minute. The great thing about Big Bend? Is that it has a history just as massive and diverse as its location, From dinosaurs to cowboys to Pueblo Indiands to Volcanos, Big Bend National Park does not hesitate in telling its story to everyone in a number of ways. We hiked some of the shorter, more popular hikes like Santa Elena Canyon and the Boquillas Canyon. The walls reach high above and, during the golden hour, you are immersed in a world of your own that encompasses just you, blue water that you can see all the way down into, and sand. A real break from the desert and cacti. You can even yell across the Rio Grande into Mexico if you like. The best spot in Big Bend though has to be the Chisos Basin. These mountains used to be a part of an active volcano. It now plays home to bears, roadrunners, fir trees, and mountain lions. Who knew you could find this in the middle of hours long drive of desert? If you like camping, this is definitely the location to do it in. It reminded me a lot of the mountains in Colorado, and we were lucky enough to see it during the winter blizzard that swiped through in Dec. of 2020 meaning cacti and snow-capped mountains were in the same place at the same time.
Side note, I have an elderly dog so I was not able to camp this trip. It was important to have a home base for this little guy where he could be comfortable and safe while I walked miles in a hot desert or in the snow. That's where the tiny town of Terlingua comes into play... Looking for an artsy community that embraces the starlit canopy, characters of all shapes and sizes, and night life to its fullest? Then Terlingua is the spot for you as well. We stayed at the Big Bend Holiday Hotel in their dog-friendly room and could not have had a better home base! We woke up to gorgeous sunrises overlooking mesas and adobe homes. It was like taking a step back in time. And when we were hungry, it was a simple quarter mile walk to some good ole southern and mexican cooking.
To sum it all up, I definitely understand why this is a national park now. We all loved our time there (even the old fur baby) and want to go back again for a more rustic adventure.
Also, we did all of this in January and the weather was perfect. It was a nice 65 degrees most of the day and dropped to the high 20s in the night. I do NOT advise anyone to go during the summer months unless you know how to survive in over 115 degree heat.
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