Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Only A Day

If time allows, drive to the Chisos Mountains Basin to take in the spectacular mountain views. Walk the 0.3-mile self-guiding Window View Trail to get a feel for the mountain scenery.

A trip along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive will give you a taste of the Chihuahuan Desert and will lead you to the Rio Grande. There are scenic overlooks and exhibits along the way. Sotol Vista, Mule Ears Overlook and Tuff Canyon are all worthwhile stops. The short walks to the Sam Nail Ranch and Homer Wilson (Blue Creek) Ranch and a visit to the Castolon Historic District will give you a glimpse into Big Bend's past.

A highlight of the trip is the short (1.7-mile round trip) walk into Santa Elena Canyon—one of Big Bend's most scenic spots. Drive to the end of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to access the trailhead. You may return to the main road by returning on the Ross Maxwell Drive or on the Old Maverick Road, a 13-mile gravel road linking the Ross Maxwell Drive to the Maverick (west) Entrance. Be sure to check on road conditions first.