US & Canada / Texas
Big Bend Hiking and Rio Grande Canoeing Tour
Hike in the Chisos Mountains and Canoe the Rio Grande River
Big Bend National Park, named for the great turn the Rio Grande River makes in southwest Texas, is America's least visited national park due to its remote location. Join us for this week-long glimpse into the splendors of the "Last Frontier of Texas" as we hike to the rim of the Chisos Mountains and canoe along the Mexican border through magnificent Santa Elena Canyon.
Days 1-2: Fort Davis-Big Bend National Park
We shuttle from El Paso to Marathon, Texas ("Gateway to the Big Bend") with a stop at Fort Davis National Historic Site, a frontier military post during the Indian wars of the late 1800s. Then it's on to the Park for two spectacular hikes in the Chisos Mountains, featuring grand vistas and the diverse plant and bird life found in this transition zone.
Day 3: Big Bend National Park
Today we do the Park's signature hike--a classic loop to the South Rim, with unparalleled views of the Rio Grande nearly a mile below and the mountains of Mexico in the distance. We first ascend through the Pinnacles, follow Boot Spring to the Rim and return via Laguna Meadows. The trail features oaks, pines, junipers and madrone trees — and few other hikers — concluding back at our lodge.
Days 4-5: Rio Grande River
Get set for two days of breathtaking canyon and river corridor scenery as we canoe along the Mexican border on the Rio Grande. After canoeing through beautiful limestone and rhyolite canyons, a barbecue and Dutch oven dessert await at our camp site as reward for a great day of paddling. We launch the next day into incredible Santa Elena Canyon, with its walls towering 1500 feet above. Bring your camera!
Days 6-7: Ten Bits Ranch-Big Bend Ranch State Park
An interpretive hike unveils the geologic and archeological history of the Big Bend. Our final Tex-Mex dinner is set in the fun west Texas atmosphere of the historic Starlight Theatre in Terlingua. Our final hike en route to El Paso is into a narrow slot canyon where the walls are an armslength apart.