2023 Big Bend National Park

Next stop was Big Bend National Park. The main item on our bucket list for this park was to hike Santa Elena Canyon. Unfortunately, the path to cross over to the trail was flooded.  The park ranger told us the Mexican government had opened the reservoir because it was full from all the rain they had been getting. The water from the  reservoir then flows into the Rio Grand which flows through the canyon. It was still a beautiful sight.

We also did an off road ride on the Grapevine Hills Road in our VW Tiguan… yeah we need a Jeep!  We stopped at the end for a hike but stopped when the trail took us to an area where it was pretty steep, and we would have to climb up the rocks. Jeff was ready to climb, but I reminded him what goes up must come down. We decided the three miles we had already hiked was good enough.

Hot Springs Historic District in this park was a surprise to us. On our walk from the parking lot to the hot spring, we explored the buildings in this area that used to be the post office, a small motel and the J.O. Lanford’s bathhouse which housed the hot springs. On our way we also found pictographs which never cease to amaze us. Also we came across a road runner that followed us on our walk and seemed to pose for our pictures.

Overall this park is very  rugged yet beautiful in its own way.

On our way north as we left Big Bend, the route we chose took us past the McDonald Observatory. We’ve visited here years ago and decided to keep going and just take a couple of pictures as we passed. Even though we didn’t stop, I thought it was worth mentioning.