While it takes a bit of work to get to the southwestern side of Texas, the wonderful hiking adventures that await you in Big Bend National Park are well worth the trip. In all of our travels, it amazes us how few National Park lovers make their way down to this part of the country. In fact, many people put visiting the Texas National Parks off until later on in their lives, when hiking in Big Bend National Park is beyond their capability or interest.
While there are only a couple Guadalupe Mountains National Park campgrounds in the park, they are very unique and in completely different parts of the park. Both offer the serenity that you want in a National Park campground, but with different nearby activities and services.
Located along the Rio Grande River in Texas, the Santa Elena Canyon Trail in Big Bend National Park gets you up and close with canyon walls as you hike riverside. Since the Santa Elena Canyon is one of the few places inside of Big Bend National Park to find shade, this hike is fairly easy and a peaceful way to spend 90 minutes while you explore the unexpected landscape of southwest Texas.
Home to the highest point in Texas, Guadalupe Mountains National Park has spectacular views, diverse wildlife and interesting foliage throughout the park. Though it is one of the lesser attended National Park Units in the United States, it is a fantastic place to explore. What makes this park unique is that there are very few roads to access the park’s most famous sights and viewpoints. However, with just a short walk, you can easily see some pretty impressive sights, making it good for all ages.
The Window Trail is just one of the great spots in Big Bend National Park’s Chisos Basin Area. This moderately challenging, out-and-back hike features a stroll through a valley on the way to a “pour-off” with impressive views, making it a great place for photos. If you have a few hours, make sure you take the time to explore this fantastic trail!