a room with a view…
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread; places to pray in and stay in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.— John Muir
Big Bend Ranch State Park is an extraordinary experience. It easily rivals its younger sister park Big Bend National Park. We found the quiet and rugged wilderness a welcome reprieve from the busier national park. Be sure to check out our highlights below while planning your trip!
Hoodoos Trail: An easy trip from Lajitas and Terlingua where you can see a completely different topography. The flora and fauna here are something different than anything you can see in the area. The wind and rain have shaped many incredible features among the rocks. You are right in a bend in the Rio Grande which provides the green grasses and trees. It is less of a trail and more of an area to explore. You can also bring a picnic for the covered area right off the highway. It is easy to get around but hilly, so walking sticks and/or proper footwear are recommended. Plan approximately one hour.
Closed Canyon Trail: Believe it or not, this is actually a wider part of the canyon. There are moments you can easily reach out to touch both sides at once. We loved scrambling over the boulders and sliding down the smooth rocks. It is about one mile until the turnaround where you could keep going if you had mountain climbing equipment (and skills!). We found the trail perfect for kids and active families, but it can be challenging. However, there is only one way in and out, so you can easily separate the group if some want more of a challenge. The rocks can also be slippery, but we had no issues. There is a picnic area right off the highway, and you can get here easily from Lajitas and Terlingua. Plan for about one hour.
La Cuesta Campsite: Can you spot our RV, Millie Falcon? We were completely secluded at this campsite in Big Bend Ranch State Park. We LOVED being away from the crowds and busier areas. We never had a neighbor during our Thanksgiving week stay, which is a busy season. The only downside is that this is dry camping. You might bring in extra water and generator if that is important to you. We had wonderful weather and didn’t need heat or AC at all. We enjoyed the escape from civilization! You can take a 4-5 minute walk down to the Rio Grande River, which was something we did each day. We didn’t try fishing here, but it is allowed. The local tour company uses this river entrance for many of their trips, so you will see lots of groups coming down to the water to begin their journey!
We deeply enjoyed our stay in Big Bend Ranch State Park! It was beautiful in every way and a welcome escape from the big city. Although the dry camping was an adjustment, we would absolutely do it again to have the solitude and ruggedness we found in the park. It is hard to pick, but we just might like the state park even more than the national park next door!