Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Three Hikes in Big Bend

We decided to spend another day in the western part of the park so we could do a few more hikes.  They were all relatively short.  First we rode up to the Burro Mesa turnoff and parked at the Burro Springs Overlook Trail.   Information about the trail was not posted on the sign but it looked like it was just a short hike to an overlook.  We didn't even take water with us as we thought it would only be a few minutes.  Wrong.  It turned out to be 3/4 of a mile each way to a rather disappointing view of some greenery in a small canyon.

We then rode another mile or so up the road to the parking area for Burro Mesa Pouroff.  Pouroff's are places that would be call falls if water continously ran over them, but they are dry except when it rains.  It is a spot where water that falls on Burro Mesa during a rain storm "pours off" the mesa.  The hike was less than half a mile each way, and the formation itself was interesting.


On the way back to the scooter we saw a tarantula crossing the trail.


We then decided to try the Santa Elena Canyon Trail again.  When we were there a couple days ago the water levels were so high that it was not possible to cross Terlinga creek to get to the start of the trail.  The water levels had gone down some so we figured we had a chance.

When we arrived we watched as some European tourists waded across the creek in knee deep mud.  It looked like it was time for some adventure so we followed suit.  Yuck!


The canyon itself was very narrow and the hike was cool and pretty.  We watched several river rafters as they floated past.  The canyon itself is about 8 miles long but the trail ended in about half a mile where the canyon rock walls drop all the way to the river.   It is strange to think that the walls on the other side are in Mexico.


On the way out we met some other hikers who had found a rope attached to a tree farther up Terlinga Creek where you could pull yourself up the 10 foot sheer embankment.  We searched it out and used it to get back with dry feet, although Dianna needed a little help rappelling.

Three hikes in one day was plenty, especially because it was quite warm.  But we had a good time.

Wednesday was move day.  We relocated to the Rio Grande Village Campground on the other side of the park.  After setting up camp we did laundry and then settled in for a few days of exploring this side of Big Bend National Park.

All the photos are in the gallery.


  1. Reading about your hiking adventures makes me want to get out and hike so bad I can hardly stand it.

  2. I admit there are some attractive spots in this park.

  3. I think I would have lost my shoes in that mud. It looks very sticky.

    The tarantula is cool.