How to Get to Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park, where wild meets west. It has been dubbed “Texas’ Gift to The Nation” and we call it the last frontier, as, and this isn’t an understatement—it’s a long way from anywhere. But being so secluded has its wonderful advantages. It’s the perfect escape from the bustling everyday life and allows visitors time to genuinely unplug and reconnect with nature.
Big Bend Far Flung has a variety of activities for all ages and abilities and if you do feel staying a few more days, our rustic cabins are available for rent all year round. From silently canoeing down the Rio Grande with ancient limestone walls towering over you, to an offroad ATV adventure through parts of the Park very rarely visited, solo travelers, couples, and families will feel as though they’ll never want to leave.
The Far Flung Outdoor Center has very few neighbors and getting here is a small adventure in itself. We’re located on Farm Road (FM) 170 about a half-mile west of the intersection of Highway 118 and Farm Road 170. We are on the left-hand (south) side of FM 170 as you travel towards the Terlingua ghost town and Lajitas. Our office facilities are in a tan metal building with red trim, and be sure to look for the large yellow sign with our name and logo.
Please note before we begin going into detailed directions, using a GPS or any mobile app may have some funny restrictions and complications. It may eventually get you to Big Bend but the route shown may be via Canada or Poland, so go back to the ‘olden times’ and use a map to ensure you’re on the correct path!
So, let’s get to it; before anyone can enjoy this incredible National Park and everything the Far Flung Outdoor Center has to offer, here’s how to get to Big Bend:
With over 100 miles of paved highways in the Park itself coupled with the vast desert and colossal geological splendors, driving is very much an experience in itself.
We are 10-12 hours from Houston and Dallas, 7 hours from Austin and San Antonio, 4.5-5 hours from El Paso, and about 3.5-4 hours from Midland/Odessa. Please add an extra day of driving on both ends of your trip to account for distances. Repair shops in the Big Bend are few and far between, so make sure the old clunker is in good working condition.
Houston to Big Bend
Starting from Houston, we suggest to travel the I-10 to San Antonio and then take Highway 90 through Del Rio for the drive out to Big Bend. On the way back, take I-10 from Fort Stockton back to Houston, which results in a quicker journey.
Driving from Dallas, you’ll take the I-20 to just west of Odessa, then take either Farm Road 1053 or Highway 18 (from Monahans) south to Fort Stockton. Then Highway 67 South to Alpine and Highway 118 South to Study Butte/Terlingua.
From Austin, take Highway 290 through Fredericksburg to I-10; travel west on I-10 to Fort Stockton; take Highway 67 to Alpine, then Highway 118 South to Study Butte/Terlingua.
If El Paso is your starting point, take I-10 east to Van Horn, then Highway 90 to Alpine; then Highway 118 South to Study Butte/Terlingua.
Finally, from Midland/Odessa, take I-20 to just west of Odessa, then take either Farm Road 1053 or Highway 18 (from Monahans) south to Fort Stockton. Then Highway 67 South to Alpine and Highway 118 South to Study Butte/Terlingua.
Fly to Big Bend – Plane
Unfortunately, there are no commercial flights to Big Bend National Park but we have the next best options. The best connections to Midland is Southwest Airlines. There are numerous options to rent a car at the airport and the drive time from Midland Airport to Big Bend is around 3.5 hours. Flying into El Paso would be best with either Southwest or American. Again, there are plenty of options for car rental within the airport and the drive time to Big Bend is around 4.5 hours.
Train to Big Bend
Amtrak (800-872-7245) has a service that runs several times a week into Alpine, but it can occasionally be less reliable. From the station, Alpine Auto Rental (call them at 800-894-3463) has vehicles that can be delivered to Amtrak station or Alpine airport.
Whichever way you choose to come and visit us, be sure to keep an eye out on the journey up to spot the native plant species and the wonderful variety of animals that call this secluded part of the world home. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us to find out more about our backyard or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re open year-round and are always looking to make every visit as special and smooth as possible.