When the threat of driving through a hurricane changed our plans and gave us extra time in Texas we decided to check out Big Bend National Park. Unlike other national parks such as Yellowstone or Grand Canyon, we really hadn’t heard much about Big Bend, however it came highly recommended by my Mom, and well, mother’s know best :).
Of course, Mom was right and Big Bend did not disappoint. This was our first experience in a lush desert setting, the mountains, rock formations, cactus and wildlife were beautiful and different than what we are accustomed to in sub-tropical Florida.
Inside Big Bend National Park
This was also the first place on our route from Florida to SoCal for workamping where we took the motorcycles out of the toyhauler, where we finally got to ride! There weren’t many paved roads in the park, but they were long and winding with big sweepers, lots of elevation changes and beautiful views. You can easily spend a day riding if you make stops to admire the views. Since we were there in September, we never had cars in our way. We went outside the park for lunch in the ghost town of Terlingua.
Terlingua Ghost Town
There are also several unpaved roads to explore in BBNP that range from moderate to difficult and some that you can spend days on if you pack for the night. The paved roads are in great condition, the improved-unpaved roads are a mix of hard-packed gravel and loose rock; the unimproved roads are posted for 4×4 use only.
Motorcycle Riding in Big Bend National Park
Camping in Big Bend National Park
There is only one campground in the park with full hook-ups, and since we were there in September, it was still hot so we wanted to run the air conditioner. The Rio Grande Village RV Park (not to be confused with the Rio Grande Village campground without hookups) is located on the south end of the park. The sites are basically parking spaces with hook-ups, it was just a place to sleep after full days of riding and hiking the park. Although it was also nice to have the store, laundry and showers right there as well. The Chisos Basin campground has beautiful campsites (no hook-ups), but because of the twisty road, it is not recommended for RVs over 24 feet or trailers over 20 feet – although it was sure fun getting there on the motorcycles!
Big Bend National Park is great for hiking, riding, bird watching and star gazing but one unexpected adventure was the Boquillas Crossing Port of Entry – we crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico! That story is here.