2017 Highlight – Big Bend National Park

One of my favorite trips from 2017 was camping in Big Bend. The park was around a 9 hour drive from our house so we left really early to make it before sundown. The drive was along the mexico border where not a lot of people live. It was actually a really beautiful drive with different cliffs, cattle ranches and cactus’s galore.

Inside the park you have quite a ways more to drive before you make it to any of the larger campsites. They have spots where you can primitively camp but you have to get special permits for those.

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We ended up staying at the Chisos Basin Campsite. It was so breathtaking! Its located on top of a mountain surrounded by other mountains. If we were there during peak season we would have moved sites but due to rain and possible flooding the other sites were closed. We ended up getting so lucky because it rained mostly overnight and only sprinkled slightly on and off during the day.

Day one we spent at Santa Elena Canyon. The drive we took slow to enjoy the view and the air. We pulled off a few times for the view. The canyon was LARGE. Seriously, pictures don’t do it justice. I’ve seen some people taking pictures from inside the canyon but there was no way we could get over there. The current was way to strong to swim in it and we never found a spot shallow enough to walk across.

I got a little ways into the water before the wasps attacked. Be warned! Big Bend is full of wasps. You can see all of the nests hanging from the cliffs. Jeremy and I never got stung but I did have one wasp chase me entirely out of the Rio Grande all the way to the car. I almost slipped and fell on my butt in the mud.

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Day two was spent hiking the window trail. Its a trail right off of the campsite we stayed at. Somehow we took and wrong turn and ended up on a two day trail by accident. Three hours into the hike we realized we should have finished and been back at the campsite so we stopped and turned around.

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Our third day was mostly driving around the park in the rain. All the trails we tried to go to were either too muddy for our car to make it in or it would start raining as soon as we got out to walk. It was mostly a fail of a day but we still had fun!

I would like to go back for longer than a weekend next time. Specifically when the weather is nicer. I’m sure we would see more wasps when the weather is nicer but it might be worth it to make it to the hot springs!

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