Things to do
Terlingua, Texas
Hiking
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Window View Trail (Paved)

Big Bend National Park

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 0.3 Miles (loop)

Elevation Gain: Flat

This easy trail offers great views of the Window at Chisos Basin. 

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Balanced Rock Trail

Big Bend National Park

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.0 Miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 200 feet

At the end of a 6-mile dirt road, this trail goes through the scenic Grapevine Hills. To get to the Balanced Rock requires a short stretch of rough, rocky terrain.

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Santa Elena Canyon Trail

Big Bend National Park

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.5 miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 600 feet

This trail starts with a steep, paved climb then turns to dirt and heads back into the Canyon. Can be muddy by the river.

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Closed Canyon

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.8 miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 300 feet

A shady retreat from a sunny day as you hike into a narrow canyon with towering walls!

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Emory Peak

Big Bend National Park

Difficulty: Hard

Distance: 10 miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet

Highest point in the park at 7,832'! This hike is strenuous, but offers great 360-degree views of the entire park!

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Hoodoos Trail

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.1 miles (loop)

Elevation Gain: 100 feet

Trail leads to need Hoodoo rock features and also has views of the Rio Grande. Be careful on the small pebbles so you don't slip!

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Boquillas Canyon Trail

Big Bend National Park

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.2 Miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 200 feet

This trail has a stretch that runs along a steep cliff. Caution advised if you're scared of heights! Plenty of great views!

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The Window Trail

Big Bend National Park

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 5.2 miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 900 feet

This trail heads down into the Window that can be seen from Chisos Basin. Be careful as you get into the water draining as the rock can be slippery!

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Lost Mine Trail

Big Bend National Park

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 5.0 miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet

A steady climb up to a great overlook with great views and wildflowers along the way!

 
Biking (Mountain and Road)
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Scenic Paved Roads of the National Park

Big Bend National Park

Type: Road/Pavement

Difficulty: Easy to Strenuous

Distance: Sky is the Limit!!!

Elevation Gain: Varies

The National Park has over 100 miles of lightly traveled paved roads, which makes it a great destination for road cyclists! Check out: Panther Junction to Chisos Basin, Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, Panther Junction Road, and Park Route 12, to name a few!

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Dirt Roads and Trails of the State Park

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Type: Mountain

Difficulty: Easy to Hard

Distance: That's up to you!

Elevation Gain: Varies

BBRSP is a mountain bikers paradise! The Contrabando Trail System is easy to access and classic desert mountain biking! 

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Rugged Dirt Roads of the National Park

Big Bend National Park

Type: Dirt Road

Difficulty: Easy to Strenuous

Distance: Sky is the Limit!!!

Elevation Gain: Varies

The National Park has over 160 miles of backcountry dirt roads! So, bring your MTB or gravel bike and explore! Some classics include: Old Maverick Road, Old Ore Road, Grapevine Hills Road, Paint Gap Road, and River Road!

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Lajitas Airport Trails

Lajitas, TX

Type: Mountain

Difficulty: Easy to Hard

Distance: Varying Distances

Elevation Gain: Varies

Easy to access. Fun loops ranging from a few miles to over 14 miles. 

 
River Activities
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Big Bend National Park Approved Outfitters

Big Bend National Park

Click the photo to the left for a list of outfitters approved to operate in Big Bend National Park. 

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Big Bend Ranch State Park Approved Outfitters

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Click the photo to the left for a list of outfitters approved to operate in Big Bend Ranch State Park

 
Restaurants
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Starlight Theater

Terlingua, TX

This food never disappoints. The wait can be LONG, but grab a drink and enjoy people watching on the patio!

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Taqueria El Milagro

Terlingua, TX

$5 tasting fee, free with bottle purchase. Pets allowed on the patio! 

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Bad Rabbit Cafe

Terlingua Ranch, TX

A little off the beaten path, but this place is known for its home cooking. They also have CHEAP beers!

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Restaurant Rio Bravo

Terlingua, TX

Another great Tex-Mex restaurant. Make sure to BYOB if you want a drink with lunch or dinner!

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Long Draw Pizza

Terlingua, TX

In the mood for pizza? You won't find any better in the Big Bend area! Of course, there's cold beer, too!

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Chisos Mountain Lodge Restaurant

Chisos Basin in National Park

Your only dining option in the National Park! Luckily, the food is pretty good and not too expensive! 

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Los Muertos Kitchen

Marathon, TX

Tex-Mex and cocktails. Doesn't get much better than that! Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

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Chili Pepper Cafe

Terlingua, TX

Great Tex-Mex food and cold beer just a few minutes walk from the campground!

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La Posada Milagro

Terlingua, TX

Serving up great coffee and delicious breakfast and lunch foods. Often a line, but it moves quick enough. 

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Big Bend Resort Cafe

Terlingua, TX

Located in the Alon gas station near the resort, this place has a great breakfast buffet. Open from 7am-7pm.

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DB's Rustic Iron BBQ

Terlingua, TX

It wouldn't be Texas without some great BBQ! Don't pass up this food truck if you're in the mood for BBQ!

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Candelilla Cafe/Thirsty Goat

Lajitas, TX

Both places are side-by-side. Go to Candelilla for a restaurant atmosphere or Thirsty Goat for a pub vibe. 

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Brick Vault Brewery & Barbeque

Marathon, TX

If you find yourself in Marathon stop in for some great BBQ and the only brewery in the area!

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Old Gringo Coffee/Cocktails

Alpine, TX

Great food and drink menu if you happen to end up in the town of Alpine!

 
Places to Grab a Drink
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Starlight Theater

Terlingua, TX

It doesn't get more "West Texas" than this! This place fills up FAST, but it worth the wait. Grab a drink in the shop next door while you wait! 

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Chili Pepper Cafe

Terlingua, TX

Walking distance from the campground for a cold beer and some great Mexican food. 

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Presidio Trading & Cantina

Presidio, TX

If you decide to do the entire scenic drive between Lajitas and Presidio then stop here for good food and cold beer!

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Brick Vault Brewery

Marathon, TX

If you're searching for a brewery then this is your place! Stop by for a beer and some great BBQ!

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High Sierra Bar & Grill

Terlingua, TX

Another great option for a cheap beer and good food. Outdoor patio seating available. 

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The Thirsty Goat

Lajitas, TX

Great place to stop in for a drink after exploring Big Bend Ranch State Park!

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White Buffalo Bar

Marathon, TX

Take a little break from exploring the National Park and check out their huge tequila selection! 

 
Shopping and Groceries
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Our Landscape Photographs

Mandy Lea Photo

We've been photographing this area for years and have an extensive collection of images! If you're thinking about buying a photo from a local gallery, please check out our site first! 

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Terlingua Trading Company

Terlingua, TX

Located next to the Starlight Theater. Stop in to shop around and enjoy a cold drink if you're waiting on a dinner table at the Starlight!

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Many Stones

Terlingua, TX

Neat shop that sells gems, rocks, fossils, jewelry, cactus, and lots more!

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Porter's Grocery Store

Alpine, TX

In need of a little more grocery selection? Well, your best bet is in Alpine--80 miles away. Come prepared for your stay in Terlingua!

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Cottonwood General Store

Terlingua, TX

Best grocery store in the area. Decent selection of most groceries, especially when you consider how remote Terlingua is. Decent beer and wine selection, too!

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Local Art Galleries

Study Butte, Terlingua, Lajitas,

There are several local art galleries in the area selling jewelry, ceramics, paintings, sculptures, and more. 

Image by Nathan Bang

Quilts by Marguerite

Study Butte, TX

Hand-made quilts that make the perfect souvenir! 

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Shot Time Liquors

Terlingua, TX

In need of a beer run? Well, this is the place for you! Only liquor store in town to our knowledge. 

 
Sightseeing
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Chisos Basin

Big Bend National Park

The beautiful drive into Chisos is a true mountain drive in the heart of the desert. Head to over 5,000' elevation for some cooler air and beautiful mountain views! 

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Towering Canyons

Big Bend National Park

Boquillas Canyon and Santa Elena Canyon are situated on opposite ends of the park. There are great overlooks for each and you can hike into the canyons, too!

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Scenic Paved Drives

Big Bend National Park

Pretty much every road in the National park is a scenic drive. It's hard to go wrong here! Click the photo for a link to paved scenic drives. 

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Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Big Bend National Park

This 30 mile stretch of road if full of amazing views, scenic overlooks, and has access to several hiking trails. Make a loop out of the drive with Old Maverick Road (a 14 mi. dirt road, rough in a few spots, but not bad)!

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Improved Dirt Roads

Big Bend National Park

Sure, there are rough dirt roads, but there are also improved dirt roads that don't require high clearance 4x4's. Click the photo to the left for a link. 

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Lajitas to Presidio

Big Bend Ranch State Park

This is probably the most beautiful drive in Texas. You don't have to go all the way to Presidio for amazing views either! 

 
Other Activities
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Off-Road Trails

The Entire Region

With 100's of miles of backcountry jeep roads between the National and State Parks this area is a dream for off-road exploration! Here are suggestions for the National Park. Here are suggestions for the State Park. 

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Air Tours

Terlingua, TX

Specializing in scenic flights over the most beautiful part of Texas! Gain a new perspective on the region by getting up in the air!

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Golf

Lajitas and Terlingua

The area has two golf courses: Black Jack's Crossing at Lajitas Resort and Big Bend Golf Club. 

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Zipline

Lajitas, TX

Interested in a little adrenaline rush with your sightseeing? Then head to Lajitas and hop on the Zipline!

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Horseback Rides

Study Butte and Lajitas

Big Bend and Lajitas Stables both offer scenic hourly rides as well as horse ride/river trip combo packages! 

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Motorcycle Rides

The Entire Region

The area is home to lightly traveled, incredibly scenic roads that are a delight for motorcycle riders. So, bring your bike!

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Jeep Tours

Terlingua, TX

There are several companies offering guided Jeep tours of the area. Cleck the photo to the left for a link to some of these companies. 

Massage

Agave Spa

Lajitas, TX

Feel like pampering yourself after a few days in the desert? Then head to Agave Spa at Lajitas Resort for massages and a variety of other treatments!