Often overshadowed by other parks in the West, southwest Texas’s Big Bend is a hidden gem of the park system. With landscapes ranging from sea level to mountainous peaks, you will experience a diversity of ecosystems on our Big Bend National Park hiking tour. Our guides will lead you on walks along the Rio Grande, bird watching outings, and high elevation hikes in the Chisos Mountains. We will also step back into the 1880s with a stop at Fort Davis National Historical Site to experience what an Indian War frontier military post would be like and spend time star gazing in some of the darkest skies in the United States.
Day 1 — El Paso to Guadalupe Mountains National Park
This morning we make our way to Guadalupe Mountains National Park where based on weather conditions we will hike a few of the trails around the visitor’s center. Enjoy expansive views of West Texas as we drive to the historic town of Fort Davis established in 1854 and also the highest town in Texas at 5,050 feet. This evening we will find a great spot for the group to enjoy the starry skies above.
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Day 2 — Fort Davis National Historic Site & Big Bend
Fort Davis is also home to a historic Calvary post where the African-American soldiers known as “Buffalo Soldiers” were stationed in the second half of the 1800s to protect emigrants during the western expansion of the United States. Walk the grounds to see get a glimpse of life in the frontier of West Texas. We then head south through the Persimmon Gap to Big Bend National Park and stop at the Panther Junction Visitor Center to get oriented to the park that stretches from the shores of the Rio Grande to the top of Chisos Mountains. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3 — Big Bend National Park: the Rio Grande
Our exploration of the park continues at the Rio Grande Village where will take the opportunity to walk along the canyon walls above the Rio Grande River. We will find a nice spot for a picnic lunch below the cottonwood trees along the river. After lunch we take a short hike into Boquillas Canyon where you should make sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including javelinas and a plethora of bird species. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4 — Big Bend National Park: the Chisos Mountains
Today is all about exploring the Chisos Mountains. Your guide will give you a few options for hikes to explore this unique island mountain range where you may see a variety of wildlife including black bear, Big Bend geckos, and Texas horned lizards. After a full day of hiking and a wonderful dinner save some energy to do some star gazing below some of the darkest skies in the country. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 — Big Bend National Park: Santa Elena Canyon
We descend from the mountains back to the Rio Grande to hike along the massive walls of Santa Elena Canyon. The limestone canyon has been and continues to be carved by the Rio Grande and forms the border between the U.S. and Mexico. In the afternoon, we will do one more Big Bend hike possibly visiting Mule Ears Peaks or Cattail Falls. Enjoy dinner just outside the park at the Starlight Theater featuring live music and delicious Texan food.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 — Big Bend to Van Horn
After another gorgeous sunrise in the Chisos Mountains we begin our drive north passing by the famed fake Prada before stopping in the quirky art community of Marfa where you can take some time to wander the art galleries. We then continue north to the small town of Van Horn and the historic El Captain Hotel for a fantastic farewell dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 — Departures from El Paso
This morning we make our way back to El Paso for flights home. Meals included: Breakfast
Hotel Limpia or lodging nearby – 1 night
Located in the heart of Fort Davis this historic hotel has been in operation since 1912 with period furnishings in each room. Relax in the hotel’s gorgeous courtyard garden or in one of the many rocking chairs watching the world pass by on the quiet streets below.
Chisos Mountain Lodge or lodging nearby – 4 nights
With one of the best views in Texas this hotel is a perfect spot to base our explorations of the surrounding Big Bend National Park. There are no phones or televisions in the rooms as there is so much to explore right outside your door.
Hotel El Capitan or lodging nearby – 1 night
An icon of western Texas this historic hotel was built in 1930 and has the feeling of a Spanish-colonial building. You will be welcomed by a reception area covered in colorful tiles and their on-site restaurant has a delicious menu featuring local ingredients.
Pricing & Inclusions
- Lodging as outlined in lodging section above based on double occupancy
- Meals as noted in itinerary above
- Snacks and beverages
- Park admission and museum admissions for all included activities
- Services of professional trip leader(s)
- Ground transportation for all included events during the trip & porterage service
- Black Sheep Adventures reusable water bottle, wool (baaaah) socks, & luggage tags
Trip Price Excludes:
- Pre & post tour travel
- Alcoholic beverages
- Gratuities for your BSA guides
Public Dates and Availability