Outdoors

Bubba Milina
The Silver Kings

Apr 17, 2013 By Stephen Harrigan

The wild and powerful tarpon once ruled the seas off Port Aransas. Why did the ancient fish disappear? And could they make a comeback?

Calling All Weekend Wanderers

Jan 30, 2013 By jordanbreal and Jordan Breal

In Texas Monthly’s inaugural issue (forty years ago this month, in February 1973), writer Richard West exhorted “weekend wanderers” to pack up and embrace the three-day vacation. “With a little imagination, planning, and a basic Texas road map,” he wrote, “a very real quality of leisure…

Into the Wild

Jan 21, 2013 By Charlie Llewellin

Out of more than half a million acres of state parks and natural areas, we’ve chosen the ten best trips—where to camp, what to do, and what to look for when you head to the nearest town

Writing Life

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

The long, slow, quiet, thoughtful, weird, brilliant, often-interrupted, never-compromised career of John Graves, who died July 30, 2013.

Dirt and Light

Jan 20, 2013 By rebeccasolnit

James H. Evans has been photographing Big Bend for twenty years. But never before has it looked so, well, big.

How to Dove Hunt

Jan 20, 2013 By Andrea Valdez

The Season For many hunters, Labor Day weekend is synonymous with the soft coos of the mourning dove. Every year, roughly 350,000 people in Texas are seduced by this avian siren song and harvest about five million of the four-ounce birds—that’s about 30 percent of the total number shot in…

How to Shoot a .22

Jan 20, 2013 By Andrea Valdez

Rites of passage dot the path to becoming a true Texan—riding a horse, having your picture taken with Big Tex—but few are as iconic as learning to fire a rifle. Although there are a variety of types, beginners often train with a .22-caliber. “That’s because there’s minimal recoil, and the…

Marfa Best Western

Jan 20, 2013 By Jordan Breal

In Donald Judd’s last interview before his death, in 1994, the artist explained that he’d first come to Marfa two decades earlier because he “just wanted a place in the Southwest for the summertime.” Whether he intended it or not, this far West Texas town has since become the…

The Old Country

Jan 20, 2013 By John Graves

I've become a sort of pessimistic accepter of the changes that have beset the Hill Country in recent years, unacceptable though many of them may be. But I'm grateful for having experienced the hills earlier, when change was slight—and grateful too for corners and stretches still untouched.

How to Tie a Texas Rig

Jan 20, 2013 By Andrea Valdez

Modern-day bass fishing owes its enormous popularity to two game-changing events. First, in 1949, Nick Creme rocked the angler community with the creation of the plastic bait worm. Roughly ten years later a fisherman on Lake Tyler, weary of snagging his hooks on submerged timber and vegetation, speared a plastic…

Climb Every Mountain

Jan 20, 2013 By Charlie Llewellin

Whether you want to ride a horse, bomb down a mountain-bike trail, hike up a hill, relax in a hot springs, scale the face of a giant granite boulder, or just sit on your tailgate and look at a pretty sunset, there’s a lot to do on and around the peaks of West Texas. So strap on your pack and go!

. . . And the Rest

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Pajarito Mountain If you really want to get away from the crowds, scoot over to Los Alamos, thirty miles west of Santa Fe. The nearby Pajarito ski area is almost as top secret as the town was when the Manhattan Project begat the atomic bomb there in the forties.

Field Trip

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Besides books and my own mistakes, I’ve learned almost everything I know about wildflowers from volunteering at the National Wildflower Research Center, Lady Bird Johnson’s visionary gift to Texas. Perhaps my inexperience was evident on my application, because the volunteer coordinator wisely placed me where I couldn’t do much harm,…

Six Simple Steps to Meadowhood.

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

1 Find Yourself Texas has a range of soils and climates. To know what to plant, you have to know where you are among its ten vegetational regions. 2 Flower Plot Pick a sunny, well-drained site for your meadow. When choosing which flowers to plant, think about…

Go Wild

Jan 20, 2013 By Suzy Banks

With a little planning and these gardening tips, growing your own wildflower meadow will become second nature.

A Texas Survival Kit

Jan 20, 2013 By Anne Dingus

What to do if you're bitten by fire ants, lost in the wilderness, sprayed by a skunk, attacked by a shark, stuck in a lightning storm, swept away by a riptide, or caught in any of eleven other worst-case scenarios.

Shore ’Nuff

Jan 20, 2013 By Suzy Banks

The best beaches in Texas for—among other summertime pursuits—shelling, strolling, birding, fishing, treasure hunting, turtle herding, solitude, and surfing, dude.

Rick  Reichenbach, Lighthouse Keeper

Mar 31, 2012 By Texas Monthly

Reichenbach is the caretaker for the Aransas Pass Light Station. Built in 1855 to mark entry into Corpus Christi Bay, the now privately maintained lighthouse—which is on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned today by H-E-B CEO Charles Butt—is the only manned lighthouse in operation on the…

Five Ranch Getaways

Feb 1, 2012 By Stirling Kelso

From riding on the range and stargazing to big game huntin, here are five guest ranches where you can explore your inner cowboy.

Eat, Prey, Love

Oct 31, 2011 By Rick Bass

For decades, a treasured plot of Hill Country land meant one thing to the men in my family: a chance to kill lots of deer. Today, it means something different.

Ray Roberts Lake

May 31, 2011 By Charlie Llewellin

Where it is: 10 miles north of Denton What you’ll do: Biking, horseback riding, and kayak­ing, but don’t forget to stop and watch the sunset Where you’ll sleep: Camp near the water’s edge, which is close to numerous sites in Quail Run What you’ll learn: How to…

Caprock Canyons

May 31, 2011 By Charlie Llewellin

Where it is: 3.5 miles north of QuitaqueWhat you’ll do: Hike the rough breaks between the Caprock and the Rolling PlainsWhere you’ll sleep: In your tent at the mouth of South Prong CanyonWhat you’ll learn: The park is home to the state’s official bison herd The colors are what strike…

Huntsville

May 31, 2011 By Charlie Llewellin

Where it is: 6 miles southwest of Huntsville What you’ll do: Relax and unwind under the East Texas pines Where you’ll sleep: Claim your spot in one of five serene camping areas What you’ll learn: Want to fish but don’t know how? Register for one of the…

Outdoors 101

May 31, 2011 By Brian D. Sweany

Nothing marks an expert camper more than a mastery of the essential skills, so study up on these backwoods tricks before your next expedition.

Chinati Mountains

May 31, 2011 By Charlie Llewellin

Where it is: 20 miles north of PresidioWhat you’ll do: Explore remote West Texas by Jeep and on footWhere you’ll sleep: In one of five cabins built by the former ownersWhat you’ll learn: Legend has it that the name is Apache for “pass,” but no one knows…

Bastrop

May 31, 2011 By Charlie Llewellin

Where it is: 1 mile east of BastropWhat you’ll do: Hike through a pine forestWhere you’ll sleep: In a charming historic cabinWhat you’ll learn: Pine trees can live more than three hundred years If there has ever been an enchanted forest in Texas, the Lost…

Enchanted Rock

May 31, 2011 By Charlie Llewellin

Where it is: 24 miles south of Llano What you’ll do: Climb a 425-foot batholith in the middle of the Hill Country Where you’ll sleep: Three primitive camping areas for those who like to get away from it allWhat you’ll learn: The name is thought to come…

Garner

May 31, 2011 By Charlie Llewellin

Where it is: 33 miles north of UvaldeWhat you’ll do: Float, eat, and danceWhere you’ll sleep: The cabins and campsites in Old Garner are much sought-after. Book early—but bring earplugsWhat you’ll learn: The proper way to two-step Garner State Park’s charms are no secret. In…

Brazos Bend

May 31, 2011 By Charlie Llewellin

Where it is: 28 miles southwest of HoustonWhat you’ll do: See more waterfowl than you thought existedWhere you’ll sleep: In a tent under tall elm treesWhat you’ll learn: If the alligator is hissing, you’re too close (trust me) Even if this park consisted only of…

Balmorhea

May 31, 2011 By Charlie Llewellin

Where it is: In Toyahvale, 192 miles east of El PasoWhat you’ll do: Bask in the splendor of West TexasWhere you’ll sleep: In a comfy bed in a historic lodge or innWhat you’ll learn: How about scuba diving? The pool at Balmorhea is the best freshwater diving…