How to See Big Bend

view from top of mountains of green and brown hills and partly cloudy sky

There are a million and one ways to see the vast expanses of Big Bend National Park and everyone typically has a preference. We at Far Flung are lucky enough to not have to pick favorites because we get to do each of them pretty regularly. Thanks to this experience, we have compiled a list of the different ways to see the park to make your difficult decision a little bit easier! We’ll highlight the best bits of hiking, getting out on the Rio Grande, hopping in a jeep tour and taking yourself out on an ATV adventure.

River Trips

We have to start with our favorite. For us, nothing beats getting out on the Rio Grande and floating through deep canyons, towering mountains and the vast desert all within a single trip. Seeing the dramatic change of landscapes, from the comfort of your own canoe or kayak is truly something special. We’ve spoken of our love for the Rio Grande time and time again here, and we’re not sorry because this article won’t be any different!

Stepping onto a river float trip will give you the ultimate experience of the untamed wilderness, regardless of whether you choose to do a half-day, full-day, overnight, multi-day or even a gourmet river float trip. On top of that, difficulty levels are interchangeable. So if you’re a first-time paddler or looking to take it slow, or maybe you’re looking for a trip requiring a bit more strength and sweat - there’s something for everyone. Having the option to dip into the water after a tough push is always a mighty motivation. Described as the lifeblood of the Big Bend, floating on the Rio Grande is an incredible insight into the importance of the river for the landscape and the ecosystem. See for yourself how it got its name!

Jeep Tours

For an equally diverse exploration experience, jumping in a jeep can allow you to cover vast territories within a day - just what the jeep was made for. Think historical, native plants, geological formations and some impressive views that can fill your heart while letting you empty your mind. These jeep tour adventures can provide the driver and passengers access to harsh terrain that would be otherwise inaccessible by other means.

Our personal highlight of heading out into the deep expanse is the chance to visit the old mines that are scattered around the park. Big Bend is rich with history and captivating stories often forgotten and missed by visitors, yet the quicksilver rush played a huge role in the area. Today, we have been left with mines that feel like abandoned ghost towns in some bizarre and remote places. Check out the Buena Suerte Jeep Tour or the Old Ore Road Jeep Tour for a real timewarp!

ATV Tours

If you’re looking for a similar experience to a jeep tour but you’d prefer to take the wheel and experience a little adrenaline rush, then an ATV tour might be the way to go. An ATV, or an all-terrain-vehicle, is a fun, wild and safe way to dive into the wide-open spaces. Head miles into the backcountry and you’ll be able to see for yourself why we fell in love with Far Flung Outdoor Center and had to call it home. Even though it runs on our private land, you’re guaranteed some epic views and the chance to feel the wind rushing through your helmet. This is the perfect way to see the best of Big Bend combined with a unique and thrilling self-driven experience.

Hiking

Sometimes a stunning view or a beautiful native plant needs to be earned to be truly appreciated. Hiking in Big Bend lets you put in the hard yards to reach otherwise untouchable destinations, and spy on the small details before absorbing the impressive landscapes. Trekking in the wilderness is the favorite of so many people for so many reasons - we think it’s particularly perfect in winter. Getting a workout while passing native plants, wildlife or geological formations, and having the ability to pause to appreciate it all whenever you like is pretty special.

Adding a guide to a hike can provide a world of insight and experience into your route because our guides at Far Flung are trained naturalists and local history buffs. A hike might offer insight into the medicinal use of various native plants, or a visit to an Apache trail for a look at a Native American basecamp and the stories it tells us. A hike at Far Flung is fully customizable, offering you endless options, endless experience levels, and endless challenges.

 

If you’re not already convinced to explore Big Bend National Park by any of these methods then get in contact with us to find out more about each experience or shoot me an email at greg@bigbendfarflung.com. We’re open year-round and are always keen to explore the great expanse in every and any way possible.

– Greg