Big Bend National Park
1 Panther Dr
Hike Through the PastBig Bend recalls the past: remote and heart stirring, its terrain blends desert, canyon, and mountain landscapes. Inside the park, you’ll find the dramatic Chihuahuan Desert, as well as the 7,400-foot high Chisos Mountains. Temperatures swing suddenly from hot to cold, while black bears, mountain lions, snakes, and javelinas abound. Alpine, the nearest town with hotels, sits almost a hundred miles away. You might be tempted to camp—many do—but whether you drive in each day for afternoon hikes, or tramp from tent site to tent site, a slew of well-marked trails await. Consider the Lost Mine, a 2.4 mile, tree-covered ravine hike; or, Hot Springs, a 3-mile amble that crosses a desert landscape and overlooks the river gorge. Without a doubt, though, the crème-de-le-crème for the hiking boot hearty is the South Rim Trail, which crosses 16 miles of varied terrain. On this more difficult scramble, you will stand atop cliffs that overlook the Sierra Quemada Badlands, and stomp up the haunting Chisos Mountains. When you finish, you’ll like it so much, you’ll want to do it all over again.