Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fort Davis' Modesta Canyon Trail

Just outside of Fort Davis is the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens, with some wonderful hiking options. Here's a view from their Modesta Canyon Trail.

For more information on hiking in the area, visit our Texas Mountain Trail hiking page,

To view a video slide show of us hiking the Modesta Canyon Trail and testing some Spira hiking boots, click here. To visit the Texas Mountain Trail YouTube page, click here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Church in Shafter

South of Marfa on Hwy 67, is the old mining town of Shafter. Turn off the road here to take a few minutes to explore from your car. Follow the road up to the cemetery and a wonderful small self-guided museum of the history of the area!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Presidio Students Paint Big Bend Ranch State Park and show in LONDON!

Artwork created by Presidio High School art students (assembled here at Fort Leaton State Historic Site) will be on display at the Saatchi Art Gallery in London, England this summer. To view the artwork at the Saatchi gallery online, click here.

We'll feature the students and their paintings all summer, check back for the postings! (We'll feature one student a week, give or take a day or two!)

Presidio High School was chosen from other schools around the world in a competition that is overseen by the Saatchi Art Gallery. These 11 student works are centered around the beauty of the Big Bend region, focusing on the Big Bend Ranch State Park and Ft Leaton.

Laurie Holman is the art teacher at Presidio High School. “I am an artist as well as an art teacher. I have lived in the Big Bend for 15 years and my love of the rugged beauty is often reflected in my artwork.

"I tell them to paint what they know, to see their surroundings in a new and different way. So, this is what they did and with great success. I had heard about the Saatchi online gallery and thought I might enter the students work to share a little bit of Texas. We are bringing the Big Bend Ranch to the rest of the world!"

To visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife sites for Big Bend Ranch State Park and Fort Leaton, click here and here.

To learn more about Presidio schools, click here.

To visit the website of artist/teacher Laurie Holman, click here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flowering Cholla in the shadow of Six Mile Mountain

Van Horn's cemetery is a lovely spot in the shadow of the town's Turtleback and Six Mile Mountain. Right now so many of the flowers are in bloom, because of our summer rains.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Van Horn blossom

We're had rain so the landscape is greening and plants of all kinds are blooming!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pardon our absence

Hang tight and visit us in a few days...we're recovering from the flu, but we'll be back soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Adobe Cottage at Chinati Hot Springs

Located off remote Pinto Canyon Road, visitors to the Chinati Hot Springs get away from everything to enjoy the land, the cool pool and hot springs, tremendous views and comfortable adobe cabins.

For information on other historic hotel accommodations, visit:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Rough Part of Pinto Canyon Road

Yesterday's entry showed the gentle rolling landscape at the north end of Pinto Canyon Road, FM2810 heading out of Marfa. Here's the rocky part further south, best traveled by all-wheel, high clearance vehicles. Pinto Canyon Road cuts through private property, please respect the landowners and take care not to venture off the road and onto private land.

Monday, May 18, 2009

South of Marfa

Head south out of Marfa on FM2810 to see some great scenery. The first part of the road is paved, and then it becomes rough and rocky best for high clearance vehicles with all-wheel drive. The road cuts through private property; enjoy your drive, but take care not to cross fencelines.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another View of Indian Lodge

The interplay of desert plantings, adobe and stone delights visitors to the Indian Lodge Hotel in Davis Mountains State Park near Fort Davis. The 18-inch thick adobe walls, hand-carved furnishings and mountain views add to the rustic, yet elegant accommodations experience.

For more information on Indian Lodge, click here and here.

For information about other historic hotels in the region, visit:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cool Off in the Pool at Indian Lodge

The lovely and historic Indian Lodge hotel in the Davis Mountains State Park near Fort Davis provides something else for visitors: the ability to cool off in the pool with a mountain view.

For more information about the Indian Lodge, click here and here.

For information about other historic hotels in the region, visit:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Texas' Only Adobe Courthouse

The Hudspeth County Courthouse in tiny Sierra Blanca is the only adobe courthouse in the state of Texas. Take the time to get off I-10 and explore this small community. Walk inside the courthouse to enjoy the spacious feel of this distinctive adobe structure.

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

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Guadalupe Mountains Vista

HIkers taking the Guadalupe Peak trail to the highest point in Texas are treated to beautiful vistas all along the trail. Here's one overlooking the Chihuahuan Desert below.

For more information about the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, click here.

For more information on hiking in the region, visit:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Texans forever

Cemetery adornments offer a window into the hearts and minds of our west Texas communities. Many graves are decorated with articles that are purely Texan.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Road from Alpine to Fort Davis

Beautiful views await you all over the Texas Mountain Trail region, but one of the best is the drive from Alpine to Fort Davis along Hwy 118.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Flowering Cholla

Taken on the Scenic Loop near Fort Davis, a favorite route for motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists.

To check out biking opportunities in the region, visit:

To check out motorcycling opportunities in the region, visit:

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Gage Gardens

The historic and luxurious Gage Hotel has built a beautiful garden space across the railroad tracks in Marathon, providing a quiet, green respite from the road. The garden also provides the Hotel's chef with its produce for the kitchen. More photos of the garden are here.

The Gage Hotel's website is here.

To learn more about the region's historic hotels, visit:

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wyler Aerial Tramway in El Paso

An incredible view of the Franklin Mountains, El Paso, Mexico and New Mexico can be seen from the Wyler Aerial Tramway in El Paso. Visitors ride to the top of Ranger Peak (more than 5,600 ft) and can see over 7,000 square miles of the desert below. The Tramway celebrates its 50th anniversary this year! Check it out, here and here!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Approach to Dog Canyon

One of the loveliest drives in the region, actually takes you out of the state of Texas for awhile. Dog Canyon is at the north edge of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park--to get there you have to drive in New Mexico awhile, passing the entrance to Carlsbad Canyon. After long stretches of flat desert, you turn south again and the valley opens up to view. You reenter Texas and you're again at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, remote and beautiful. Terrific hiking awaits you there.

For information on hiking in the region, visit:

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Friday, May 01, 2009


Van Horn's Clark Hotel Museum has many paintings created by local folks, charming paintings of places important to the community.

Texas distinguishes itself as taking pride in its courthouses. In Far West Texas, we have the state's only adobe courthouse in Hudspeth County in Sierra Blanca. Jeff Davis and Presidio Counties have renovated their courthouses and Brewster County has a lovely courthouse as well. Back in the 1960s--before there was an appreciation for historic preservation--the Culberson County courthouse (pictured here) was razed for a newer building, a decision the city fathers have regretted ever since.
For more information on Van Horn's Clark Hotel Museum, click here.
For more information on the Texas Historical Commission's Courthouse program, click here.