Sunday, August 31, 2008

Historic Hotels

Pictured here is the entrance of the famed Marfa hotel, The Hotel Paisano. It was the home for the production of the classic western film, Giant! The film's stars Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean are memorialized in the hotel's display about the film.
More Giant! memorabilia and photographs can be viewed at the Marfa and Presidio County Historical Museum.
More regional historic hotels can be found here.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Alligators in downtown El Paso

One of El Paso's best artists was Luis Jimenez. Jimenez grew up watching the live alligators in the downtown plaza, and when he applied to the National Endowment of the Arts for public arts grant, he chose them as a subject for his sculpture.
For a remembrance of the artist by El Paso gallery owner, Adair Margo, click here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rare cloud cover

We're happy when the summer rains arrive. They rarely interrupt visitor plans for long, and the desert depends on the moisture.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Train station

Amtrak's Sunset Limited route, the route from New Orleans to Los Angeles, makes two stops in the Texas Mountain Trail Region, Alpine and El Paso.
This is the charming interior of Alpine's small station. El Paso's railroad history is told at their Railroad and Transportation Museum.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

John Wesley Hardin's Grave

Old West and gunfighter enthusiasts know El Paso's Concordia Cemetery is the final resting place of the famed John Wesley Hardin.
Concordia Cemetery also has a section for Buffalo Soldiers, Chinese railway workers as well as graves of many generations of El Pasoans who have made that city an interesting place. Lovingly tended with the leadership of the Concordia Cemetery Association, there are interpretive and wayfinding signs to help the visitor.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Flowering Cholla

Cholla cactus fruits are a favorite food of the many pronghorn antelope in the region. Here's a scene near Fort Davis on the Scenic Loop.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Greetings from Alpine!

Alpine's welcome mural in the heart of downtown, where lots of visitors enjoy the many shopping opportunities.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hueco Tanks vista

One of our favorite places in the region is the Hueco Tanks State Historic Site, a place for outdoor adventurers (hikers, birders, boulderers) and rock art enthusiasts.

Just a short drive from El Paso, check it out!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Javelina on the Road

Collared peccaries, or javelinas, trotting across the road, a photo taken by Mark Donet of Alpine. For a closer view, click on the photo!

A native of the desert, these enjoy eating prickly pear cactus for its high water content. They have a musky scent, and you actually may smell a javelina before you see it.

For more information on animals of the desert, plan to visit one of our nature centers in the region, click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Buffalo Soldiers

A favorite place for history enthusiasts is the Fort Davis National Historic Site in Fort Davis. Not only is it one of the best surviving examples of a frontier fort in the Southwest, but it also provides us an important glimpse into the role of African Americans in the West.

The 24th and 25th U.S. Infantry and the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, all-black regiments established after the Civil War, were stationed at the post.
There is a free admission day at the Fort this coming Labor Day. Check it out!
If you're in El Paso, you might want to visit Concordia Cemetery, which has a special section for Buffalo Soldier graves.
Photo: courtesy of Fort Davis National Historic Site

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bikes resting

Another great photo from Bart Childers, taken near Fort Davis during the Davis Mountains Fitness and Training Camp this month.

For more information about cycling in the region, visit

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kokernot Field in Alpine

Built with local rock and wrought iron, this historic field was first used by the minor league team, the Alpine Cowboys. Now, it is home for the team from Sul Ross State University.

Photo by Chuck Nowland.

Bonus photo, detail, also by Chuck Nowland.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Scenic Vista

A beautiful shot taken near Fort Davis by Chuck Nowland during the July 4th weekend.

Thanks, Chuck!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Partly because our ranching heritage is still so strong, horses are a familiar sight in Far West Texas and the Texas Mountain Trail region. Sometimes you see folks riding into town for lunch!

There are places you can bring your own horse to ride in the mountains, such as the Dog Canyon area of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hikers enjoying the Fort Davis area

One of the best ways to enjoy the region and make friends at the same time, is through group travel. The Davis Mountains Fitness and Training Camp at Prude Ranch in Fort Davis allows outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels to enjoy hiking, cycling, running, and swimming together.

This is a photo of this year's camp taken by Bart Childers. Thanks, Bart!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The road up to Chisos Mountain Lodge

The drive up to the heart of the park, the upper elevations of the Chisos is one of the most exciting experiences of a first-time visitor to Big Bend National Park. At the top of the road is the Chisos Basin campground, the Chisos Mountain Lodge, trailheads for some of the park's premier hikes, and some historic 1930s era CCC-built stone cottages.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Birding is a favorite pursuit all over the Texas Mountain Trail region, but visitors to the Dog Canyon ranger station at Guadalupe Mountains National Park this summer can sit on rocking chairs and enjoy watching two very busy hummingbird feeders!
For more about birding around the region, visit: There are very special places to see birds from El Paso to Big Bend!

Click on the photo for a better view!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


The summer rains have transformed the desert floor. Like many other parts of the Texas Mountain Trail region, Big Bend National Park is quite green!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend

One of the majestic views on the Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend National Park. This moderately strenuous 4.8 mile (roundtrip) hike is a favorite of visitors. Find more hikes in the region at the Texas Mountain Trail hiking page:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Chinese in El Paso

El Paso was the home to many Chinese railroad workers who chose to stay in that city after the railway was completed. Concordia Cemetery has a special section for those graves. You can read more about the Chinese in El Paso, here.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Cacti at Franklin Mountains State Park

On the outskirts of the busy metropolis of El Paso are the Franklin Mountains, a special place for hikers, mountain bikers and nature lovers. Check out the Franklin Mountains State Park!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pinto Canyon Drive

There's an alternative way to drive south from Marfa to Presidio, and that's the rugged Pinto Canyon road. Only for high clearance, four wheel drive vehicles and truly adventurous spirits, the drive offers beautiful and primitive vistas.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Hot Springs

The geology of the region offers hot springs in several locations. This one is right along the Rio Grande off the River Road in Big Bend National Park. You can dangle one foot in the cool flowing waters of the river, and the other in the ruins of the hotsprings with 105 degree water!
This is a great place for families to visit, and it is one stop on our Big Bend hiking and biking girlfriend getaway!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Devil's Hall Hike

One of the most satisfying short hikes in the region is Devil's Hall in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Check out more hiking opportunities at: