Big Bend

Where to Go First

Mar 25, 2015 By Texas Monthly and Brian D. Sweany

Few things make Texans happier than a full tank of gas and an open highway. You’ve got a lot of ground to cover, but I propose you start with these four trips, each originating at Brady, the geographic center of Texas. You’ll be saying “y’all” and offering the hi sign in no time.

Three Gripping Tales of Survival

Sep 22, 2014 By Matt Bondurant

Saved by Prickly Pear A hiker gets trapped in Big Bend. It was a gorgeous Tuesday morning in April 2010, and Merritt Myers was going on a hike. Hiking was a form of spiritual therapy for Myers—the Austinite had trekked in the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, even Machu…

Home on the Range?

Jan 21, 2013 By Nate Blakeslee

Texas Parks and Wildlife has embarked on an ambitious plan to restore the desert bighorn sheep population in Big Bend Ranch State Park. To accomplish this goal, the department has had to make hard choices about which animals live, which animals die, and what truly belongs in the Trans-Pecos.

Light in the Darkness

Jan 20, 2013 By John Spong

The title of James Evans’s new series of Big Bend photographs is “The Camera Never Sleeps.” It doesn’t matter, apparently, that the photographer does.

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.

Gentling Cheatgrass

Jan 20, 2013 By Sterry Butcher

What does it take to break a wild mustang? Patience, horse sense, experience, and if you’re Teryn Lee Muench, no more than one hundred days.

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…

Marathon: Get Outta Town

Aug 27, 2012 By Jordan Breal

For many travelers, this far West Texas town is a last-chance pit stop before heading south to brave the wilds of Big Bend National Park. But, this past spring, after driving 407 miles (that’s roughly 7 hours and 143 country songs) from Austin to…

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.

For the Birds

Feb 1, 2011 By Sean Kelley

Birds resemble art in more ways than one, especially when they force us to address questions of ineffable provenance.

Alpine

Aug 31, 2010 By Jordan Breal

In this high-desert hub just north of Big Bend National Park, you’ll find Western artwork, Mexican handicrafts, and the unexpected snow cone.

The Last Resort

Dec 1, 2007 By John Spong

After telecommunications tycoon Steve Smith bought the Big Bend town of Lajitas on a whim for $4.25 million, he spent perhaps $100 million more developing what was going to be a five-star, world-class getaway. The desert, however, had other ideas.

The Man In the White Hat

Feb 1, 2006 By John Spong

To hear John Poindexter tell it, he’s one of the good guys—a faithful steward of his West Texas land and therefore a worthy bidder for 46,000 acres of Big Bend Ranch State Park. But sometimes having your heart in the right place simply isn’t enough.

Conversations With a Grasshopper

Mar 1, 2004 By S. C. Gwynne

To experience the majesty and peril of the desert on my own terms, I spent a week alone in the Solitario, the most remote area of Big Bend Ranch State Park. I confronted my darkest fears—and made small talk with an insect.

Big Bend 2002

Mar 1, 2002 By Joe Nick Patoski

Whether you want to hike it, raft it, drive it, or all of the above, here's everything you need to know to get the most out of a trip to Texas' greatest treasure.

Cat Fight

May 31, 1993 By Christine Carroll

When mountain lions started turning up, the Sierra Club said, “Save them!„ Ranchers said, “No way!„