2024 Big Bend National Park… Again

Now that Jeff has his Jeep, our next stop was back to Big Bend National Park. Shortly after entering the park, we came across a coyote. We stayed in the park at the Rio Grande Village, as we did in 2023. It’s only a parking lot, but that’s ok because it has full hookups. Wild horses visited us while we were there, and down the road we found a family of javelina’s.

Besides wanting to do some off-roading, we wanted to do a hike the Santa Elena Canyon trail since we couldn’t last year. This year we were able to go across the dry riverbed to the trail. On one side of the cavern is the Mexico border and the other is the US. It’s a lot better to do this hike into the cavern than be on the outside looking in like we had to do last year. This canyon is amazing!

Coming out of the canyon, we drove the Old Maverick Road toward the west entrance and came across Luna’s Jacal which was the residence of Gilberto Luna, a Mexican pioneer farmer.

Outside the west gate is Terlingua Ghost Town. This town does have residents but very few. We checked out the general store, and the merchandise was quite unique.

We also did the much anticipated off-roading. First up was the Painted Gap Hills then Grapevine. I guess since we had done these roads last year and took pictures, we didn’t feel the need to take pictures this year.

Next was River Road East to Glenn Spring Road to Black Gap Road and back to River Road East and where we saw Mariscal Mine (mercury mine). This was a 58-mile trip that took 6.5 hours. The main purpose of this ride was Black Gap Road. This location is a Jeep Badge of Honor trail. One area in particular at Black Gap for me was pretty scary. Jeff had to get out a couple of times to figure out which was the best way to get over the rocks. Good thing Jeff has the experience!

Our last off-road drive was on Old Ore Road. This road is 26 miles, and it took us 4.5 hours to get to the other end. At the start of the road out in the middle of nowhere, we came across the grave of Juan de Leon who was buried right where he was found dead. The beginning of the road was pretty smooth, then we started coming to the big rocks and gulleys. There weren’t any areas like Black Gap, but there were a lot more rocky areas that Jeff had to navigate around. He asked if I wanted to try driving. No way! All-in-all our Jeep Eugene (Jeff named his Jeep Eugene) did amazing job offroad.  Jeff was a happy camper.