top of page

Neo-nomad: Big Bend, Texas


The warmest wilderness area in February and March in the continental US outside the Everglades. A range of desert environments from 2000’ to 7800’ to hike through, with dozens of established trails. The meandering flow of the Rio Grande, including canyons with 1500’ walls. Great paddling! Next to the National Park is a State Park with desert mountain bike trails. Added bonus: Marfa, the hip art-town and the Star Parties at the McDonald Observatory, both about 100 miles north of Big Bend.


Closest airports are El Paso (5 hours away by car) or Midland (3.25 hours).


The National Park has three major developed camping areas and many road-accessible backcountry sites. The State Park has many primitive camping options. Permits required for all backcountry and primitive sites. National Park developed sites can be reserved but many are first-come first served.


Many different trails: flat low-desert walks through spring flowers, or high country mountain hikes up through forests and out to fabulous viewpoints. The Rio Grande offers a variety of paddling options. Biking is allowed on all paved and rough backcountry roads in the National Park. The State Park offers the same and has many single track bike routes.

Cell Signal

Poor in most open areas, but good in established campgrounds. Ranger stations have wifi.

Optimal Season

February and March, October and November. Carpets of flowers in the spring! Major temperature ranges, from below freezing at night (if no cloud cover) to 90+ (30+C) in the days.


This is a surprisingly isolated area in a state with almost 30 million people. It is worth the trek to get there. The unusual combination of a vast open landscape fringed by upstart mountain ranges lets you sense of the curvature of the earth. The dark night sky enables wonderful star gazing during new moons. Very little flyover air traffic too. Marfa and the McDonald observatory definitely worth a visit enroute.


bottom of page