The February 2016 issue of Trailer Life Magazine features our travel story about RVing at Big Bend National Park in Texas. Big Bend National Park is extremely remote, located about 150 miles due south of I-10, an interstate that runs east-west across Texas for almost 900 miles. This extraordinary National Park offers stunning canyons, wild rock formations, towering pine forested mountains and the iconic Rio Grande, a slow moving river that separates America and Mexico.
Big Bend National Park is enormous and full of variety. The drive across the width of the park is 45 miles long, and it climbs and descends through large sweeping turns that take you through many different terrains. At the far west end of the park, we found an utterly unique hippy enclave in the small town of Terlingua where the ghosts of a former Mexican mining camp come alive each year on Dia de Muertos, the Day of the Dead, on November 1st.
At the far eastern end of the park we took a “ferry” across the Rio Grande (this is actually just a rowboat ride!) and we crossed the international border to spend a delightful day in the tiny village of Boquillas del Carmen in Mexico.
Dusty streets, colorful buildings, and a friendly local guide who took us on a tour around town all brought back precious memories for us of our nearly four years of traveling throughout Mexico on our cruise. As close to the border as this small town is, it is as authentic in flavor and genuine in soul as any Mexican town we have ever visited.
Big Bend National Park is a hiker’s dream, with short ‘n easy and long ‘n strenuous hikes available in every kind of landscape, from mountains to desert to walking along the Rio Grande.
A hike in Santa Elena Canyon along the cliffs that line the Rio Grande in the southwest corner of the park gave us a beautiful glimpse of this very calm and quiet river, while a hike into the Chisos Mountains in the middle of the park took us through the pines to a window in the rocks that gave us a view of mountains in the distance. Traipsing through the hot desert portion of the park, we climbed a series of switchbacks to find ourselves face to face with a massive balancing rock.
There is something in Big Bend National Park for everyone, and perhaps most intriguing is that the National Park Service operates the entire park as a dry camping campground, which makes it possible to “boondock” within the limits of the park, something no other National Park offers (that we know of).
To see what Big Bend National Park looks like, here are all our blog posts from our RV travels there:
- How to “Boondock” at Big Bend National Park in Texas
- A Quickie Overview of Big Bend National Park
- Vast Views and Landscapes in Big Bend National Park
- Hiking Big Bend National Park – Mountain, Desert and River hikes
- Terlingua, Texas – A Living Ghost Town at Big Bend
- Boquillas del Carmen – A Taste of Mexico next to Big Bend Texas
While you are taking your RV to or from Big Bend National Park, a stopover at the phenomenal Caverns of Sonora is an absolute must. This is by far the most beautiful cave system we have ever seen, and there is a small RV park at the Caverns as well:
Here is a Google Maps link to all these places. Boquillas del Carmen is a very short distance from the Rio Grande Village RV Campground in Big Bend National Park:
- Location of Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, Boquillas (Rio Grande Village) and the Caverns of Sonora
Trailer Life Magazine is an excellent magazine about all aspects of RVing with towable rigs, and they are celebrating their 75th birthday this year. The first issue was published in 1941, and the editors have written two charming articles about what Trailer Life and the RVers it serves were like in the early days:
Throughout the decades, Trailer Life has inspired campers with creative ideas and stories for fun things to go see and do with a trailer. They have also educated people on what to look for in a trailer, how to match a trailer with a properly sized tow vehicle, and outlined important maintenance procedures and discussed all kinds of other things related to traveling with an RV.
We were avid readers of Trailer Life long before we began making contributions to the magazine, and we highly recommend it to others that are learning about RVing. Subscribe to Trailer Life here!.
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