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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Big Bend - Our Top Picks and a Few Tips

Our favorite activities in no particular order were:
  1.  Hike the park.  Our favorites were the Window Hike and the Santa Elena Canyon. Beware a "moderate" hike can be fairly challenging due to elevation, heat and little shade. Avoid hiking noon to 3pm, if possible. Remember sunscreen, water and snacks. 
  2. Raft or canoe the Rio Grande River.  It's a great way to see the canyon and stay cool.
  3. Drive the park. The 30-mile Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive was our favorite. There is about 100 miles of paved road in the park and many more miles of gravel roads to be explored.
  4. Visit Terlingua Ghost Town.  The Starlight Theater Restaurant was a gem!  Expect a wait, but it is well worth it and the time passes quickly.  It had delicious food, great entertainment, friendly people and was located in an interesting, eclectic town.
  5. Watch the gorgeous sunsets.  We enjoyed watching sunset on the the Sotol Vista Overlook on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.
  1. Sticker shock - gas is significantly higher in the park and gas stations are not common.  Fill up well in advance.
  2. Avoid Texas spring break, if possible.  Schools and colleges in Texas have a common spring break over two weeks in March. State and National Parks are filled to the brim with vacationing Texans. We love college students and Boy Scouts but not to share the showers and wifi.
  3. The Chisos Campground in the park would be our top choice for camping next time. It's surrounded by the Chisos Mountains, what a great morning view. 
Beautiful vistas, beautiful sunsets.

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