big bend

Travel Back in Time to Prehistoric Texas

March 26, 2024 | By

See Early 20th-Century Big Bend Through the Lens of Photographer W.D. Smithers

February 19, 2024 | By Matt Joyce

The Most-Read Stories of 2023

December 29, 2023 | By TH Staff

As the end of 2023 approaches, it’s fitting we take stock of what readers enjoyed the most from Texas Highways this year.

Museum of the Big Bend’s Expansion Enters the World of Art

November 17, 2023 | By Pam LeBlanc

Step onto the patio that juts from the recently opened expansion of the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine, and the spiny ridgeline of the Davis Mountains rises in the distance.

A Desert Getaway in Terlingua for the Escape Artist

August 22, 2023 | By Carlie Tise

Editor’s Note: Flow Away

June 27, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

The undercurrent of this month’s river stories is the tenuous stability of our beloved waterways. A combination of factors, including drought, population growth, and water rights issues, threatens the viability of some of the state’s most popular swimming holes and rivers.

Retracing a Grandfather’s Footsteps in Big Bend

May 30, 2023 | By Clayton Maxwell

El Paso’s Future Looks Golden with New Castner Range National Monument

April 7, 2023 | By James Hernández

Among the many things bringing El Pasoans together these days, nature is hardly one of them.

Best Friends Bond Through Misadventures at Big Bend National Park

January 6, 2023 | By Scott Bedgood

A Fresh Angle on Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park

November 23, 2022 | By

Big Bend’s Indomitable Prickly Plant Life

November 23, 2022 | By Matt Joyce

The Comanche Trail in Big Bend Recalls a Bygone Era of Tribal Raids into Mexico

September 29, 2022 | By W.K. Stratton

The final months of summer were both the best and worst parts of the year in the Big Bend country during the mid-1800s.

A Texpat Returns to Big Bend to Bask in Its Magnificent Light

August 25, 2022 | By Rick Bass

Oak Tree Thought to be Extinct Found in Big Bend National Park

July 19, 2022 | By Natalia Gonzalez Blanco Serrano

Big Bend’s Oldest Surviving Adobe Structure Gets a Makeover

May 26, 2022 | By Matt Joyce

Big Bend National Park’s craggy Chihuahuan Desert landscape may seem incongruous with the verdant and neatly organized crop rows of a farm.

For His New Project, Darden Smith Found Inspiration and Healing in West Texas

March 4, 2022 | By Joe Gross

A Close Call in the Davis Mountains

January 14, 2022 | By Ali Montag

Big Bend for the Rest of Us

January 1, 2022 | By John Spaulding

Flying Kites Over the Stark Chihuahuan Desert Landscape

October 28, 2021 | By

One West Texas Community Aims to Restore a Historic Local Church

October 21, 2021 | By Sarah M. Vasquez

“The philosophy behind the current restoration is that we want it to be an active and alive building,” Clara Bensen, the organization’s fundraising strategist, says.

Red Bull Air Force Sheds New Lights on Marfa and Dark Skies

December 21, 2020 | By Pam LeBlanc

Marfa residents have grown accustomed to the unexplained lights that flicker out in the desert off of US 90, about 9 miles east of their small West Texas town.

A Sparkling Autumn Sunrise Illuminates Big Bend National Park

November 26, 2020 | By

My Favorite Texas Trip: Two Instrumental Guitarists Tour Through Far West Texas

October 7, 2020 | By Eli Winter

Two winters ago, my friend Cameron Knowler and I were touring across Texas, playing concerts of instrumental music referencing jazz, country, and avant-garde guitarists to anyone who’d listen.

In the Absence of Crowds, Wild Animals Wander Into Normally Human-Heavy Territory at Parks

July 10, 2020 | By Pam LeBlanc

Big Bend National Park Closed Due to Positive COVID-19 Test, Padre Island National Seashore Closed Temporarily

July 2, 2020 | By Peter Warren

Explore the Most Remote Reaches of the Big Bend’s Mighty Rio Grande

June 25, 2020 | By Matt Joyce

Photographer Laurence Parent captures the rugged splendor of the Lower Canyons

My Favorite Texas Trip: To Marfa and Big Bend with Low Expectations

June 19, 2020 | By Ciara O'Rourke

My Favorite Texas Trip: Two Couples Blaze Through Big Bend Country

March 31, 2020 | By John Lumpkin

In the fall of 2018, my wife, Eileen, and I invited two friends to the outer reaches of West Texas for our annual couples’ trip. Our pals, Terry and Anne Marie, live in Philadelphia—I came to know Terry when we were roommates at the University of Virginia in the 1960s. While Terry spent some of his high school years in Houston, it had been many years since he’d returned to Texas. While Eileen and I had been to Big Bend twice before (and to other parts of West Texas too many times to count), Terry and Anne Marie had never been.

A Journey Down River Road Offers Big Bend Scenery and Plenty of Room to Think

March 26, 2020 | By Brantley Hargrove

Wildflowers of the Big Bend

March 15, 2020 | By E. Dan Klepper

A Few of Our Favorite Wildflower Photos

March 15, 2020 | By

Blooming Marigolds in Big Bend National Park

February 27, 2020 | By

Going Green in the Desert: Terlingua’s Sustainability Festival Highlights Green Living and Dark Skies

October 14, 2019 | By Karen Hoffman Blizzard

Held Oct. 26-27 at Terlingua Ghost Town, the 11th annual Terlingua Green Scene Sustainability Festival will feature a theme of “Save our Stars” and demonstrations on reducing light pollution

Photo: A Snowy Autumn Day in the Chisos Mountain of Big Bend

September 30, 2019 | By

While fall in much of the state brings only slightly cooler temperatures, pockets like the higher elevations of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park feature a seasonal display of trees dressed in oranges and yellows. Photographer Darren Huski was fortunate to encounter a rare fall-winter combination when, he recalls, he “arrived in the park in
a blizzard and awoke to find the Chisos a mixture of vivid color and fresh snow.”

Historical Treasures Await on This Rarely Traveled Stretch of Big Bend’s River Road

September 30, 2019 | By E. Dan Klepper

Drive west along Farm-to-Market Road 170 from the border town of Presidio, leaving all convenience stores and gas stations behind, and you’ll travel two slim lanes of humped, serpentine blacktop, its edges collapsing like desert crust. The road’s convolutions mirror the Rio Grande to the left but after just a few miles, the river’s water diminishes, occasionally disappearing altogether. In its place, dense mesquite thickets and catclaw thrive along its dry bed, a thorny border wall of its own making.

Gallery: Reader Photos from Texas Highways’ Big Bend Experience

September 24, 2019 | By TH Staff

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Big Bend National Park, Texas Highways partnered with the park and Big Bend Conservancy to host a special experience for 50 readers this weekend on September 20-22. The experience included guided hikes, expert photography tips, a night sky party, welcome dinner, and more.

5 Texas Podcasts to Listen to Now

August 15, 2019 | By Meara Isenberg

These five podcasts highlight unique stories from all corners of Texas

Basecamp Terlingua Adds New Luxury Bubble to Unique Lodging Options

July 25, 2019 | By Sarah M. Vasquez

Staying in one of Basecamp Terlingua’s two bubbles is like staying in a deluxe, transparent tent with the amenities of a hotel room—a queen-size bed, Keurig tea/coffee maker, AC/heater, mini fridge, Wi-Fi, and a full bathroom with an indoor shower. There are also two outdoor seating areas, an outdoor shower, and a fire pit.

Explore A Collapsed Volcanic Dome in Big Bend Ranch State Park

May 1, 2019 | By Karen Hoffman Blizzard

Thanks to recent trail work, Big Bend Ranch State Park’s signature geological landmark, El Solitario, is in good shape for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians who want to explore the 10-mile-wide collapsed volcanic dome.

Join Texas Highways as It Celebrates Big Bend National Park’s 75th Birthday

April 26, 2019 | By

Photographer Sean Fitzgerald on the Secrets of Capturing Big Bend’s Majesty

February 18, 2019 | By Matt Joyce

Photographer Sean Fitzgerald shares Big Bend photography tips and a time-lapse video documenting his hike to shoot the Window pour-off

La Kiva Restaurant Helps Heal the Terlingua Community

January 31, 2019 | By John Davidson

On the banks of Terlingua Creek, a ramp leads down into La Kiva, one of the most famous bar/restaurants in the Big Bend area. In Hopi culture, a kiva is an underground chamber used for religious and political meetings. But this kiva is a meeting place for the dreamers, lost souls, river guides, and tourists who are drawn to the old mining town and surrounding desert.

A New Texan Finds Beauty and Solitude Amongst the Living and the Dead in Terlingua

January 30, 2019 | By Edward Carey  Illustrations by: Edward Carey

I live 4,900 miles away from England, where I was born, on any day of the week. But on that day, home was getting farther away still. It’s not just the eight-hour drive with my family from Austin, where we now live, to Terlingua. It’s something else, something farther than the distance … everything is left behind en route.

An East Coaster Learns to Live in (And Love) the Wide-Open Space of West Texas

January 28, 2019 | By Rachel Monroe

Historian and Author Lonn Taylor on Growing up in the Philippines and Settling in the Big Bend

January 28, 2019 | By Wes Ferguson

Now 78 years old, Taylor is an old-fashioned raconteur with a bushy mustache, Stetson Open Road hat, and an assortment of snappy bow ties. He’s also the author of more than half a dozen books and a historian who draws inspiration from his adopted home of the Big Bend.

5 Music Fests Every Texan Should Attend

February 14, 2018 | By Michael Corcoran

The big, expensive festivals touting electronic dance music, Radiohead, and Jay-Z get most of the media attention, but a number of more intimate Texas festivals have thrived without the hype.

Four Wildflower-Focused Texas Road Trips (Plus Guaranteed Photo Ops)

February 12, 2018 | By Melissa Gaskill

At Texas Highways, we’ve learned a few things over the years about spring wildflowers in Texas: We have lots of them, many kinds, all over the place. We’ve learned this, too: Once Mother Nature shakes off winter’s chill, there’s no better way to celebrate the new season than with a wildflower-focused road trip.

Texas Highways Top 5 Most-Read Stories of 2017

December 27, 2017 | By

As 2017 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at the 5 most-read stories of the year.

Sightseer: Remote Retreat at Big Bend Ranch State Park

October 12, 2017 | By

What: Fresno Ranch
Where: Big Bend Ranch State Park
When: Year-round

Between 2006 and 2013, writer, photographer, and artist E.

Bunking Down at Big Bend Ranch State Park

September 18, 2017 | By Karen Hoffman Blizzard

Backcountry aficionados flock to the largest state park in Texas, Big Bend Ranch State Park, to explore its rugged 315,000 acres on horse, bike, or foot—usually in splendid isolation.

Texas’ Top Natural Wonders: Big Bend

August 7, 2017 | By

“Vast is just too small a word. It is a world apart from the flat, sprawling suburbs and plains of North Texas, where I was raised. For me, Big Bend is a cruel mistress. Her raw beauty is intoxicating—and she’ll
kill you if you’re not careful.” – Andrew R. Slaton

Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest

February 16, 2017 | By

Big Bend Ranch State Park and Lajitas provide some great mountain-biking opportunities, including the park’s Fresno-Sauceda Loop, which was designated an epic ride by the International Mountain Bicycling Association in 2010. With the level of rides available and the generally appealing February climate, it is no surprise that the area is the destination for a mountain biking festival each Presidents’ Day weekend.

Favorite Big Bend Mountain-Bike Rides

January 23, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

When out in Big Bend for the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest, I talked with multiple local riders to gather information for my story about mountain biking in the Big Bend region. I threw in an extra question for some of them: What’s your favorite ride? Here are their responses.

Biking Big Bend

January 12, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

Chances are I won’t be hitchhiking out West any time soon to hire on with a ranch or join a sheriff’s posse. My boyhood fancies of a cowboy life on the open range, fueled by Lone Ranger reruns and imaginative bicycle escapades around the neighborhood, lost steam over time. But I’ve still got a Lone Ranger poster, and I’ve still got a mountain bike. And exploring the Texas countryside by bicycle still kindles my childlike excitement for adventure, freedom, and fun.

Finding the Middle Ground

May 13, 2016 | By Melanie Haupt

Over the years, we’ve taken a few trips out to West Texas as a family, and our parental choices as cruise directors/vacation curators have been met with mixed results.

My Favorite Hikes

January 27, 2015 | By Lori Moffatt

In February 2015, Globe Pequot Press released the 3rd edition of Texas writer/photographer Laurence Parent’s popular book Hiking Big Bend, introducing fresh photos and updated information. And, since Texas Highways published two of Laurence’s photo-driven articles about Big Bend in the February 2015 issue, we thought the timing was perfect to ask Laurence about some of his favorite hikes around the state.

The Beer from Out Here

January 16, 2015 | By E. Dan Klepper

Although craft beer-making has flourished in Texas for decades now, the Big Bend region has been slow to benefit, only recently welcoming the arrival of a sustainable local brewery.

Hidden Canyons of Big Bend

January 16, 2015 | By Laurence Parent

When most people think of canyons in the Big Bend, the large chasms come to mind: Santa Elena, Boquillas, Mariscal, and Colorado.

Big Luxury in the Big Bend

January 6, 2015 | By Kathryn Jones

When I first began traveling to Big Bend in the late 1980s, my introduction to lodging—other than a tent in the Chihuahuan Desert—was a room at the Gage Hotel in Marathon.

Scenic Route: Chisos Mountains

January 6, 2015 | By

The Chisos Basin is home to a lodge, the park’s only restaurant, a visitor center, convenience store, and a trailhead for several mountain trails.

Texas Top 40, No. 4 Big Bend

September 22, 2014 | By


Big Bend rewards patient travelers. “Patient” because not only does it take a long time to get here from most everywhere in the state, but also because it can take some time to fully relax into Big Bend’s transformative pleasures.

Under the Comanche Moon

September 9, 2014 | By E. Dan Klepper

Who, on Earth, can resist the allure of a full moon? Twelve nights each year, we gaze into the sky as the lunar satellite casts cold light on the planet.

Doin’ Fine in Alpine

June 17, 2014 | By E. Dan Klepper

Sunday mornings in the West Texas town of Alpine are remarkably quiet for a community with a population of around 6,000 people.

Big Bend Country

February 1, 2014 | By

The main entrance roads to Big Bend National Park offer about 50 meandering miles of glorious scenery.

Big Bend Events You Won’t Want to Miss

February 1, 2014 | By

Don’t let the still, ancient expanses of the Chihuahuan Desert fool you—there’s a lot happening out here, from cultured art festivals to white-knuckle car racing.

Artisans of Big Bend

February 1, 2014 | By E. Dan Klepper

The Texas landscape has often served as both origin and inspiration for the creative mind. The stark, windswept plains of the Panhandle drew painter Georgia O’Keeffe west to Texas in 1912.

Desert Awakening

February 1, 2014 | By E. Dan Klepper

La Posada Milagro Guesthouse and Casitas, an eclectic restoration of historic stone architecture located in the Big Bend ghost town of Terlingua, rises above a desert floor dotted with greening acacias, blooming yuccas, and flowering stems of tri-colored mustard.

Texas Top 40 Travel Destinations

December 3, 2013 | By


Last fall, we asked Texas Highways readers to share their favorite places in the state for our Texas Top-40 Travel Destinations.

Where’s Martha? (Marfa)

January 9, 2013 | By Terry Toler

This exchange happens often, and because I actually worked to build tourism in Marfa, it still surprises me that many folks—especially Texans—don’t know about Marfa. After all, it’s mentioned regularly in The New York Times as well as in countless international publications. Marfa is a regular stop for art pilgrims and patrons from all over the world, and the town serves as a getaway for celebrities and experienced travelers.

Trip to Bountiful: Texas Highways Wildflower Drives

March 12, 2009 | By Melissa Gaskill

For the enlightened and adventurous traveler, serendipity transforms every trip: Hiking a new trail and rounding a bend to encounter an unexpected vista, journeying to a destination you’ve heard about—or visiting a familiar place with someone who’s never been—without an agenda.

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