Wildness awaits those who roam the arid lands of West Texas beyond the Pecos River, where Big Bend National Park and the surrounding country offer the sort of solitude any outlaw might envy.
Extending south from the Davis Mountains below Interstate 10 is the Texas that time forgot, all the way to the US–Mexico border, where visitors will find the grand swing in the powerful river that gives the region its name. Stretching westerly from Fort Stockton to El Paso, the rugged landscape of Big Bend holds the last remnants of the Wild West. These same hills are where centuries ago the Apache ambushed the Comanche, and hard-drinking Judge Roy Bean made his legend in nearby Langtry, serving whiskey and justice hand-in-hand until his death in 1903. Even today, a defiant air hangs over the Chihuahuan Desert spanning the borderlands of Big Bend. It’s one of the reasons bikers seek out the startling, stark and stunning landscape. Though physical violence of the human sort is generally a distant threat, there remain plenty of ways to find trouble, from the lowly scorpion to the spiny cactus to the prickly arms of the ocotillo trees standing sentinel along the ridges. Black bears and mountain lions likewise roam the backcountry. But for those willing to risk being roasted, poked or bitten, there is a lifetime of adventure—roads to ride, mountains to climb, rivers to raft, stars to count, and much more.