In my last post, we covered the not always fun part of exploring new places, logistics. Now I’d like to talk about some of the must see and do’s that I discovered during my 2 weeks in Big Bend.
While I was still struggling with Big Bend, I went to the visitor center and watched the mini documentary. This is a must do! The park is so vast and diverse, the information I learned through that documentary really helped me appreciate where I was and what I was seeing. I found out, amongst other things, the temperature and terrain changes dramatically from one end of the park to the other and that Big Bend is the only National Park to contain an entire mountain range within its boundaries! I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to spoil the movie for ya but it’s well worth 20 minutes of your time.
Since the park is so diverse, the trails are too. I hiked trails that were like the Sahara desert. Blazing sun and no shade stretching as far as the eye could see. I hiked where trees dotted the landscape and streams trickled along the trail. I hike in between canyon walls, on the bed of what was once a river bottom, caused by a flash flood. I hiked to dikes. I hiked to a hot spring. I hiked to secret pictographs and petroglyphs. I did a lot of hiking and I think maybe I just scratched the surface of this bountiful park.
So without further ado, in no particular order, here are the hikes and things I saw that really made an impression on me.
Two days after finding the secret pictograph/petroglyph spot, it was time to leave. I will wrap up my posts on Big Bend with these final words: Big Bend is not for the faint of heart. It has a true feeling of wildness that most overrun national parks just don’t have anymore. You need a certain level of grit to hang with the Double Big B. There’s a gold star sense of pride you get after tackling this park (how is there not an “I survived Big Bend” product line yet!?). Sure, you could go, play it safe and just stick your toe in, but that’s a long way to drive to not make it count. There is absolutely something very special about Big Bend that has people coming back year after year. I think the difficulty and vastness of it makes you feel like a true explorer, which is not a feeling easily acquired nowadays. I suppose the breathtaking beauty of the place might win some folks over too. Visually, there is something for everyone. I’d go back for the sky alone. Even with its lack of user friendliness, it’s getting busier and busier every year so if it’s on your list, I suggest you get to gettin’ before the cat is totally out of the bag. Just remember, bring more water and give yourself more time than you think you need and make sure your tires are in tip top shape!
*More Big Bend Pictures on my Patreon!*
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