Big Bend National Park

November 2002

Photos © Peter Mansbach, Nov 2002.
No commercial use without written permission.

Big Bend National Park is located at the big bend in the Rio Grande River, in Texas, about 300 miles southeast of El Paso.

Big Bend extends from the river at about 2000 ft elevation to the Chisos Mountains, which rise to nearly 8000 ft. Much of the area is Chihuahuan desert, but the Chisos basin is more densely vegetated.

Map of Texas

The most spectacular formation is the Santa Eleña Canyon, formed by the Rio Grande. The first photo below is a distant view of the Canyon's exit, with the Rio Grande downstream in the foreground. The second is just inside the mouth of the canyon, at the river's exit. A trail winds into the canyon for about half a mile. The third photo is taken at the end of that trail, looking further upstream.

Rio Grande at Santa Elena
Rio Grande in the foreground,
Santa Eleña Canyon in back.

Santa Elena Canyon
The Trail inside Santa Eleña Canyon

End of the trail
Santa Eleña Canyon

Santa Elena Canyon

I spent two days hiking in the Chisos Mountains. On the first day, I hiked the Window Trail down to The Window. Also walked half a mile up a side trail called the Oak Spring Trail.

The Window Trail
The Window Trail

The Window
The Window
View from Oak Spring Trail
Oak Spring Trail

My second hike was to the top of Emory Peak, at 7825 ft the highest point in the park. The background of this page is from a photo of the graphically named Deadhorse Mountains, seen from the Emory Peak Trail.
View from Emory Peak
View from the Emory Peak Trail

On the way down
I slipped on a rock
and fell onto
one of these.
That was not fun.

Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus

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