Big Bend

Home! Texas is BIG! 1602 mile road trip! 🚙

We made a big loop around west Texas! DFW > Big Bend > Fort Davis > Midland > DFW

Fabulous adventure. Here are some tips if ever go that way! I’m thankful for safe travels and awesome people along the way. Good to be home too.

It was totally worth the drive! Our first #TeamSmith visit to Big Bend National Park. From Fort Worth we drove to San Angelo for the night then through Fort Stockton and Marathon to Big Bend National Park!

The park spans 1,252 square miles and is bigger than Rhode Island!

75 different species of mammals, 450 different species of birds, 56 different species of reptiles and 1200 species of plants. Plus evidence of 90 dinosaur species dating from 100 million years ago.

“This is the best history lesson ever!” – C

Fossils, hiking, sunsets, stars!

We stayed at the Chisos Mountain Lodge – super convenient- make sure to book early or call for cancellations and have a back up plan! I’ve heard lots of recommendations for Far Flung Lodges just outside the park too.

Day 1: Panther Junction Visitor Center then Fossil Exhibit (awesome and easy access from the parking lot – no hiking required) Then we took a 2.5 mile hike to Grapevine Hills at sunset – Balancing Rock was neat! If you go near sunset bring flashlights – it gets dark VERY quickly. Most of the path is pretty easy, but the last 1/4 mile you scramble up rocks to get to the top to see Balancing Rock. * Getting to the trail head is a drive down a rough gravel road. Worth it!

Day 2: Today was MAJESTIC. You can pack a lot into a day when you wake up before sunrise! Sunrise at Santa Elena Canyon – INCREDIBLE- don’t be late or you’ll miss the spectacular colors! The dessert overlook on that side of the park is beautiful too – it’s a short walk from the road.

Afternoon – Lost Mine Trail hike! 5.2 miles and over 1400 feet of elevation. The kids were rockstars!

Evening – Sunset at the Rio Grande Overlook off the Hot Springs Canyon trail (the trail starts on the far end of the Rio Grande RV park) Moderate hike, pretty rocky, but our elementary age kids did great.

My pics look fake, nope, God’s glorious creation.

I love it when friends share what they love – thanks Spencer for the awesome tips!

Day 3: Today the kids earned their Big Bend National Park Junior Ranger Badges (awesome free activities & workbooks at all parks)


Big Bend National Park Junior RangerAND we met up with my parents – hooray for west Texas adventures – we celebrated with a dab (ha) and some more awesome views.

Window Trail Big Bend National Park Dab magnifyJOY

We stayed around the Chisos Mountain Lodge and did several smaller loops near that visitor center and enjoyed lunch at the lodge. Then we drove out towards Terlingua and through Big Bend State Ranch and Park (stop at the visitors center near Lajitas) and onward through Presido, TX to Fort Davis Texas. Another gorgeous sunset, this time in the rear view mirror as we headed to Fort Davis. We will definitely be back.

I’ll share our Fort Davis favorites separately. Enjoy your west Texas adventure!

Fresh air, incredible views and the best sunrises and sunsets!

Y’all – add Big Bend to your travel list, or start with a National Park closest to you. Incredible.

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