Thursday, April 30, 2009

Clark Hotel Museum Detail

Van Horn's Clark Hotel Museum tells the story of early life in this small community along I-10. The Museum is housed in the former hotel building, which was a central watering hole for residents and visitors traveling by train and by car. Above is a detail from the ornate bar that graced the dining room of the hotel.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Overland Trail Museum

In the shadow of Sleeping Lion Mountain in Fort Davis is the Overland Trail Museum, a great place to get a peek at early life in Jeff Davis County. The artifacts on display help tell the story of early residents in Fort Davis: ranchers, merchants, doctors, lawmen, etc. The Museum is on Fort Street, the historical route of the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach. Ask to see the ranching exhibits behind the main museum building, where this photo was taken.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

View from McDonald Observatory

Part of the experience of going to the famed McDonald Observatory outside Fort Davis is the climb through the Davis Mountains to Mt. Locke. Visitors drive through the mountains, going higher and higher in elevation until beautiful vistas open to view. McDonald Observatory is one of the premier attractions in the region for visitors, but getting there is also a treat, as you takes you on the famed Scenic Loop, one of the best drives (and bike rides and motorcycle rides!) in the state.

For more information about visiting McDonald Observatory, click here.

For information about cycling in the region, visit

For information about favorite motorcycle rides in the region, visit

Thanks to Matt Walter, Curator of History at the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine for this great photo!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ernst Tinaja Trail in Big Bend National Park

One of the more remote and wild areas of Big Bend National Park provides a great short hike for adventurers with high clearance vehicles, the Ernst Tinaja Trail. For a description of this trail, click here. In many respects the hardest part is getting there, for the trailhead is five miles down the rugged Old Ore Road.

For more information on hiking in the region, visit:

Thanks to Kristin Muntean of Hazel West Photography, for the use of this photo!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Motorcycling in the Region

There are great roads and routes in Far West Texas for the motorcyclist. To learn more, visit:

Our thanks go Matt Walter of the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine for this photo! Thanks, Matt!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Budding Prickly Pear

Taken along the Santa Elena Canyon trail in Big Bend National Park. This photo is provided to us by Clara Maverick Photography. Thanks for the nice shot!

The trail is considered one of the best in Texas. To read more about hiking in the region, visit:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Camping in Big Bend

Camping is a great way to experience Far West Texas! This campsite was taken this month in Big Bend National Park.

For information about camping in the Texas Mountain Trail region, visit:

Thanks to Kristin Muntean of Hazel West Photography for this candid shot of her campsite!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cholla Fruit

Taken in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, this photo is provided by Clara Maverick Photography. Cholla fruit are a favorite food for the pronghorn antelope living in the region.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fort Davis National Historic Site at Sunrise

One of the best restored frontier forts in the nation is Fort Davis National Historic Site in Fort Davis. Fort Davis was recently named "The Best Small Town in Texas" and was listed as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 2008!

This lovely shot of the Fort at dawn was taken by Matt Walter, Curator of History at the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine. Thanks, Matt!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Hall of Devil's Hall

One of the most satisfying hikes in the region is the 4.2 mile hike into Devil's Hall in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The trail takes hikers through the Chihuahuan Desert, down into a dry creekbed, up and around boulders, and scrambling through this narrow passageway. Read more about hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, here.

For more information on hiking in the Texas Mountain Trail region, visit:

Thanks to Clara Maverick Photography for this great shot!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just a hint of what you'll see on Ross Maxwell Drive in Big Bend

There are few drives prettier or more spectacular than Ross Maxwell Drive in Big Bend National Park. You can see "The Window" and the Chisos Basin beyond, "Mule Ears," the historic Castolon store, and other amazing sights.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Clark Hotel Museum in Van Horn

Van Horn's downtown area is the location for the Clark Hotel Museum, which tells the story of this small mountain community and Culberson County. The building used to house one of the town's first hotels, run by the Clark family for many years.

For information about lodging in one of the region's historic hotels, visit:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hot? There's a place waiting for you at Chinati Hot Springs!

After a long day of hiking, this warm pool at Chinati Hot Springs soothes the sore muscles. Laidback and relaxed, the Hot Springs is a favorite place for visitors who really want to get off the beaten path. In Presidio County, just north of can learn more, here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The cool shade of Santa Elena Canyon

On the left: Mexico. On the right: one of the best hiking trails in Texas. The Santa Elena Canyon hike in Big Bend National Park, is a short one, but a scenic one. For more information on hiking in the region, visit:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Adobe Arch

Taken at the adobe church restoration in Ruidosa. For more information about this project, see our March 29th, 2009 entry.

For more information on adobe architecture in the region, visit:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Strolling downtown Alpine

Alpine's downtown is a favorite place for visitors to enjoy a relaxed stroll and shopping. Take things at a slower pace, take your time, have fun!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hat shopping

Alpine's Big Bend Saddlery, in business since 1905, provides working cowboys and visitors a wonderful selection of western wear, gear, books, gifts, and leatherwork for home or ranch.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mitre Peak

Looking towards Alpine from Fort Davis is the distinctive Mitre Peak, a favorite sight in the region.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hiking at the Chinati Hot Springs

On Pinto Canyon Road, just north of Ruidosa and south of Marfa, there's an unique place to stay...the Chinati Hot Springs. Rustic and remote, there are some neat adobe cabins and great camping spots and cool and hot pools for end-of-the-day relaxing. The setting is lovely and there are several trails visitors can explore.

For information on other hiking opportunities in the region, visit:

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hammerfest Riders

Yesterday's Hammerfest race from Fort Davis to McDonald Observatory attracted cyclists eager to take one of the greatest rides in all of Texas, to the top of Mount Locke on the Scenic Loop. This annual event features some of the best road racing in all of the Southwest. For more information on cycling in Far West Texas and the Texas Mountain Trail region, visit:

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Shafter Ghost Town Cemetery

Head south from Marfa towards Presidio, and you'll see a sign for the Shafter Ghost Town. Pull off here and follow the dirt road through the small community and across a streambed. Soon you'll see a sign for the cemetery. Take a moment to take in the mountain view, stroll through the cemetery and visit the small (but very interesting) community museum to learn more about this mining town's history!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Hiking Santa Elena Canyon

One of the premier hikes in the Texas is Big Bend National Park's Santa Elena Canyon. Hikers are dwarfed by the spectacular scenery on this short jaunt, which takes them above the Rio Grande just a stone's throw from Mexico.

For information on hiking in the Texas Mountain Trail region, visit:

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Only 26 more days!

One of the region's most loved exhibitions, the Trappings of Texas at the Museum of the Big Bend is open to the public through April 26. Head to Alpine to see works by some of the best cowboy artists and gearmakers anywhere. For more information, click here.

To view a YouTube video about the exhibition, click here.

For information on visiting the Museum in Alpine, click here.