Saturday, January 31, 2009

Heading towards Alpine

The drive north from Big Bend National Park towards Alpine on Hwy 118 provides amazing views of the desert, mountains and grasslands. Mile after mile of stunning unspoiled scenery awaits the visitor.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Where is the Texas Mountain Trail region?

We're the six westernmost counties of the state, from Big Bend and Marathon in the east, to El Paso in the West. To browse through our photographs, click on any of the "Labels" on the left side of this website. To visit our main website, visit:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guadalupe Peak Trail View

Hikers making their way up to the highest point in Texas (8,749 ft) are treated to amazing views of the desert floor below. Here's a shot from the Guadalupe Peak trail, in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

For information on hiking in the Texas Mountain Trail region, take a look at our hiking page:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In the News

Check out this link on CNN about Marfa, Marathon and Alpine in the region!

Western Life

One of the clues to the values and culture of anyplace is the cemetery, and the small towns of the Texas Mountain Trail region are no exception. Take some time to stroll around the cemeteries in any of our communities and you'll see reflections of our western heritage and the closeness of families everywhere.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A rare cloudy day

Sometimes the views on a rare "bad" weather day are really quite spectacular. Our clear, clean blue skies rarely cloud over, but when they do the landscape's colors can really pop. This is on Hwy 54 heading north from Van Horn towards the Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hidden Garden

Across the railroad tracks in Marathon, is a hidden, but wonderful place...the Gage Gardens. Visitors know the historic Gage Hotel has one of the best restaurants in the state. Tucked away, on the edge of town is just one of their secrets...the organic garden where the produce, which makes its way onto the plates of diners, is grown.

For a list of historic hotels in the region, click here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Morning Light South of Van Horn

Head south from Van Horn on Hwy 90 towards Marfa and you might be rewarded with a morning view like this one.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Overland Trail Museum

Fort Davis' Overland Trail Museum tells the story of early life in Jeff Davis County.
Here's an exhibit showing domestic life in the 1883 homesite, which houses the museum of Fort Street in Fort Davis.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Taken in Dog Canyon at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, there are lots of places in the region to see hummingbirds.
Also check out the Hummingbird trail at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens in Fort Davis, too.
In El Paso, visit the Centennial Museum's bird exhibits on the campus of UTEP.
For a link to all the region's nature centers, click here.
For information on birding in the region, visit:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Trappings of Texas--Save the Date!

One of the most anticipated annual events in the Big Bend area is the Trappings of Texas exhibition at the Museum of the Big Bend.
Only the best cowboy artists and gearmakers are invited to exhibit in Alpine. The opening weekend is February 27-28, the same time as Alpine's Cowboy Poetry Weekend, also on the campus of Sul Ross State University.
Put it on your calendar!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fort Leaton

Just east of Presidio is Fort Leaton State Historic Site, a place with history dating back to the late 1600s.
The current adobe structure was built in the 1848, right after the U.S. Mexican War on the Chihuahua-San Antonio Trail. It is undergoing renovation, but visitors are welcome at this lovely oasis along the river.
For more information on adobe architecture in the region, visit:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Approaching Dog Canyon

Here's another view of the approach to the Dog Canyon Trailhead at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This part of the park is accessible from the north after a short drive into New Mexico..but, as you can see, the view is worth it
For more information on the park, visit:
For more information on hiking in the region, visit:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Desert View

In Far West Texas, the view is often obscured only by the curvature of the earth. Nothing but wildlife and clear, clean skies appear in front of you.
Here's a view near Guadalupe Mountains National Park (the mountains are far off in the distance) on the route to the Dog Canyon trailhead.
For more information on hiking in the region, visit:
For more information on the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, click here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Old Roadside Culture

Here and there, the remnants of an old roadside culture still exists in the region. In Sierra Blanca, architecture enthusiasts enjoy looking at the cafes and motor courts of decades past.
For a hint of Sierra Blanca's interesting history, click here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Far West Texas is a great place for cycling. Shoulders are wide and traffic is rare. Here's a cyclist heading south from Alpine towards Big Bend National Park on Hwy 118.
For information on cycling in the region, visit:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hiking Up Guadalupe Peak

One of the best hikes in the state is the Guadalupe Peak trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Here a group starts out near the trailhead. Winter is a great time to make the climb!
For more information about hiking in the region, visit:
For more information about the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, visit:

Monday, January 12, 2009


One of our favorite places in the region is Fort Davis' Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens.
After we're finished hiking on their trails, we like to take a peek at their cactus greenhouse.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Closed Canyon

Big Bend Ranch State Park offers a short, but beautiful hike in Closed Canyon. Getting to the end of the trail requires some scooting around on rocks and scrambling over boulders, but the effort is worth it.
For more information on Big Bend Ranch State Park, click here.
For more information on hiking in the region, visit:

Friday, January 09, 2009

Running Links!

Runners, our perfect climate and gorgeous scenery make the region a great place for training or just a casual jog to refresh after a drive.

Here's a runner enjoying a stretch of Hwy 54 north of Van Horn, on the way to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

It is one of our favorite runs featured on the Texas Mountain Trail running page:

The page also contains information about the Marathon2Marathon race, the El Paso Marathon, and other links of interest to visiting runners.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The hike up Mt. Cristo Rey

On the edge of El Paso, right on the border with New Mexico and Mexico is a shrine that's been a part of the landscape for nearly seventy years.

Along the path are the stations of the Cross. Some worshippers carry wooden crosses, rosaries or flowers. Some hike barefoot. Others climb on their knees. When they reach the summit, they pray before a 42 foot high statue of Christ.

Because of its border location, a safe hike to the peak can be accomplished only as part of a large, organized group. Lent is a popular time for an organized round-trip trek of 5 miles. For several years, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and El Paso Scene magazine have also sponsored a hike as part of the Sun Bowl Festivities. That's how we took the hike up the Mountain late last month. The view over Juarez, El Paso and Sunland, New Mexico is spectacular.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Historic Hotel Ritchey in Alpine

Though it hasn't been an operating hotel for many years, the Hotel Ritchey still stands near the railroad tracks in Alpine. It provided lodging and saloon entertainment for cowboys and ranchers shipping cattle from ranches around the Big Bend.
For a listing of historic lodgings in the area, please visit:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Road to Alpine from Big Bend

Hwy 118 from Big Bend National Park to Alpine provides stunning mountain vistas and grassland landscapes.
For more information on visiting Alpine, click here.
For information on Big Bend National Park, click here.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fort Leaton

Just east of Presidio is Fort Leaton, a site that dates back to the 1680s. Visitors will see a beautiful adobe building which served as a fort along the Rio Grande. A State Historic Site, it is also a visitor center for travelers wanting to enjoy Big Bend Ranch State Park.
To read more about adobe structures in the area, visit:
To learn more about Fort Leaton, click here.
For information about Big Bend Ranch State Park, click here.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hiking links!

Want to head out on the trail? Consult our Texas Mountain Trail hiking page:

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Visitor Center at Big Bend National Park

The Panther Junction Visitor Center in Big Bend National Park has been completely renovated and updated with new exhibits and a much larger bookstore. For more information on Panther Junction, click here. For information on the bookstore, click here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Viewing the Marfa Lights

Visitors convene after dark a few miles outside a Marfa with hope that they'll see the legendary and mysterious Marfa Lights.
When they appear, and they often do, the lights appear to advance and recede and without explanation dance around the sky near the horizon.
We also think the official Marfa Lights viewing station is a great place to stop in the daytime, to take a quiet pause from your drive and take in the mountain scenery.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Approaching Alpine

Heading back from Big Bend National Park on Hwy 118, the mountain community of Alpine appears in the distance.