Big Bend National Park, Texas

January 2004





Photo by Alan E.

South Rim, Big Bend National Park, Texas



A jewel in the southwest Texas desert, Big Bend National Park is a great winter destination.  Big Bend is located 320 miles east of El Paso and 217 miles south of Odessa, Texas, and is bordered on the south by the Rio Grande and Mexico.  In fact, Big Bend is so far from anywhere else, that you really have to want to visit it to go there, because there is nothing else to see for hundreds of miles.   However, once there, you will realize the beauty of this place and understand why you drove so far.  It's an alpine oasis in the desert, complete with the river, deserts, canyons, and mountains, representing almost every eco-system.  We spent three days hiking the Chisos Mountains, climbing Emory Peak, and enjoying some of the 200 miles of jeep trails.  Scroll down and enjoy the sights and scenery of Big Bend National Park.


Photo by Alan E.
On our second day in the park, Jackie begins the hike up Emory Peak via the Pinnacles trail.  The day began with low clouds and drizzle.  The climb up to Emory Peak is 4.5 miles.


Photo by Jackie E.
Alan stands on the summit of Emory Peak in heavy clouds.  Emory Peak is the highest peak at Big Bend and requires a 60 ft exposed scramble to reach the summit.


Photo by Alan E.
Jackie doing a down-climb of the summit block.


Photo by Alan E.
Jackie looks out over the east side of Emory Peak as the weather begins to clear.


Photo by Alan E.
Jackie arrives at the famous South Rim of the Chisos mountains.


Photo by Alan E.
Great views of the Big Bend desert, the Rio Grande, and Mexico.  On some days views of 100 miles are possible.


Photo by Jackie E.
Alan stands on the rim.  The hike to the rim is 6.3 miles with about a 2000 ft climb via a very well maintained trail.  Round-trip to the rim and back is 12.6 miles.


Photo by Alan E.
After the weather cleared, we finally get a great view of the southwest side of Emory Peak.


Photo by Alan E.
Jackie takes a break on the Laguna Meadow trail with the west face of Emory Peak in the background.  This hike is best done as a loop hike and gives you a grand tour of the Chisos Mountains.


Photo by Alan E.
The next day we enjoyed some of the 200 miles of Jeep trails offered by Big Bend National Park.  This shot was taken of the southeast side of the south rim near Juniper Canyon.


Photo by Alan E.
The Mexican town of Boquillas can be seen on the southeast side of the park near Rio Grande Village.  At one time, you could take a ferry across the Rio Grande and visit the village; however, they have now closed the crossing due to increased homeland security.


Auto Photo by Alan E.
Alan and Jackie

One could spend weeks at Big Bend and not see everything.  It is the least visited national park which makes for fewer crowds.  We enjoyed our Big Bend adventure and hope you do also!





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