Test Hike: Big Bend, Texas

Big Bend sign

Test Hike: National Park, Big Bend

There are few places warm enough to hike this winter time of year. Even spring has its iffy weather.

As I’ve been to Big Bend, I’m going there in March before humans ruin it, the desert sun kills, and the toxic plants and animals still dormant.


It’s fairly inexpensive to fly to El Paso, and hitch hike south to the ‘Bend.

I’ve been there  many times before and the Park’s rugged isolation appeals. Folks are really friendly, helpful, it’s hilly, and it’s warm.

Deadly Ecosystem

However, the ecosystem kills: everything evolved thorns or toxins for defense or go without water for months. 

Being a relatively frail human, I have to be more careful. Going with a small group and hiring a guide.

It’s a dangerous, beautiful, even exotic place. The nearest health provider is hours away.


I will test-drive my stove, boots, power of attorney, and tune up my hiking legs.


Big Bend has limited altitude, the exact variable needed to really test myself.

Oh well, one must do the best one can. Right?

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Comments 2

  • David Harding : Jan 28th

    I’ve been there 50 times in winter, in my opinion, the best time to go.

    South Rim is my favorite hike. In winter, be sure to include Northeast Rim in the South Rim itinerary. It adds a mile and a half (2.5 km) to the loop but that distance is all extra scenery that you came to see. I’ve hiked South Rim over forty times, probably half as day hikes, the rest as backpacking trips, sometimes up to five days just to have more time to hang out watching the awesome views, sunrises and sunsets.

    I’ve also canoed and kayaked the incredible canyons on the Rio Grande dozens of times.

    Big Bend is a special place!


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