Thursday, April 21, 2011

Texas Mountain Trail Classics: Driving Pinto Canyon Road

Thanks to Randy Mallory and the Texas Historical Commission for the use of this photo!
There are many exciting drives in the region--Williams Ranch Road in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Maverick Road, the River Road, Old Ore Road in Big Bend National Park, many of the roads in Big Bend Ranch State Park--but Pinto Canyon Road remains a sentimental favorite of many.  For high clearance vehicles only, this rough and scenic road runs between Marfa and Ruidosa.

The first 32 miles of FM2810 from Marfa are paved and run through beautiful grassland, scenery captured in films like "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men," but soon the road becomes gravel and one lane and that's where the adventure begins.

The road runs through private land and is posted as such, and you're invited to enjoy the view from the road, but not invited to travel into private property or cross fencelines.  Still your adventure won't be diminished by staying on the road, for every turn brings a new glorious view.  Near the end, near Ruidosa is the entry to Chinati Hot Springs, a historic complex of adobe cabins, hot tubs, a swimming pool and camping possibilities..definitely worth a stay if you want to linger in the area..and you probably will!

This road is remote, and infrequently traveled, so you MUST be prepared.  Be sure your vehicle is in good working shape, and your spare tire is ready to marshal into service.  Pack plenty of're still in the desert and you'll need more than you might expect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We drove Pinto Canyon Road in my Honda Civic about five years ago after heavy summer rains. It was a white knuckle experience in places. Still a beautiful drive!