The Big Bend region of Texas is untouched, under-touristed, and just a little bit funky. This trip brings you into the heart of the region with hiking in Big Bend State Park and Big Bend National Park, paddling the Rio Grande and a trek up into the Chisos Mountains- a trail that Backpacker Magazines includes in their ‘100 Best Miles of Hiking in the US’. You will experience the eclectic style of West Texas people, nature, and history. This desert that on first glance seems so lifeless is filled with hardy vegetation and a myriad of desert creatures. We think the Big Bend Region is a world set apart and suspect you will too. We agree with the the folks in the Big Bend region- “West Texas is the Best Texas!”
Not included: Travel to and from El Paso, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities and travel insurance
This trip is designed for women who enjoy hiking in the mountains and desert surrounded by breathtaking scenery. We will be hiking 6 - 10 miles a day in hilly terrain with steep ascents and descents, along rocky and uneven terrain. Previous hiking experience is extremely useful, as is having a sense of adventure and a good level of physical fitness. A rating of 4 requires aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week. Additional endurance exercise (e.g. going for a 2-hour hike once a week) and/or strength training is appropriate. Rating: 1 2 3  5.
This trip combines hiking with an immersion into the uniqueness of this fascinating area - there is no better way to understand the this park than by foot and from a kayak. Some of the hikes are quite challenging in terms of length and elevation gain, and it is an excellent trip for fit intermediate and experienced hikers who like hikes of intermediate or longer length.
The lodging on this trip will vary as much as the landscape. The accommodations will include a historic hotel, casita (little house in Spanish) and a National Park lodge. The lodging will have en suite bathrooms. The casitas will have a small kitchenette. There is an option at an additional cost to get a single room. You can select this option at registration.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
Each day our guides had a mini meeting with everyone to discuss the day and what was expected for the upcoming hike.
I wanted to walk far and we did!
Since this was a 1st run trip, there were a few hiccups. But I thought our guides worked thru them very well. The town of Terlingua was really fun and unique. I really enjoyed the hike of the Mesa de Anguilla. The kayaking day was my favorite. The river was low, so it was just a float. The views of the canyon walls were just amazing. We had lunch on the bank of the river. It was a humorous and lovely day. There is substantial van time on this trip. This is a big NP and remote. So, it is part of the deal. The road from the Chisos Lodge to Marathon had amazing views of the park and was very enjoyable. Our group was fun. We laughed a lot.
Hiking in extraordinary Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park (especially the South Rim) and kayaking the Rio Grande in Santa Elena Canyon with the usual great group of participants and guides were definitely the highlights, though I didn’t consider it a “true” level 4 trip.
Enjoyed all of the hikes and the kayaking. The lodge and hotel were great. The tipis were interesting; the only downside was the trek to the washroom during the cold and windy nights. The guides were great!
The activities were terrific, accommodations were 2 out of 3 great, guides were fantastic. I was disappointed that there was not much socializing during our downtimes, and would have preferred less driving. Low light of the trip was the border crossing/hot springs--would have preferred another day of hiking or kayaking
I loved seeing the variety of the area but I was not expecting so much driving - albeit inevitable!
Worthwhile; varied; good mix of exertion and rest days. Beautiful place. I’m so glad I went. 12 mile hike in Chisos was the BEST. Kayaking in the canyon second.