Big Bend Hot Spring

I could have easily spent several more days in Big Bend National Park exploring other trails, but I gave myself three nights camping. On my last morning, I went to check out the hot spring trail. There is a hot spring along the Rio Grande and at one time there was a resort in what is now the national park. To get there, you can hike a few miles from the Rio Grande Village camping area or take a dirt road, that splits into two narrow, one-way, windy roads to a parking lot. I would say that an SUV or crossover should be able to make it without too much trouble, but I would worry about a small car as it is a very bumpy road.

dirt-road-hot-spring-trail-big-bend

The abandoned resort structures are still there along with some non-native palm trees near one of the main buildings.

Palm Trees at abandoned hot spring resort in Big Bend National Park
Nikon D750 + Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8; 86mm, f/5, 1/500s, ISO100

A short trail takes you past some ancient aboriginal cliff wall art, down to the river. At the river is the remains of a pool built at the hot spring. It was a morning that started below freezing and the water in this pool was as hot as a good bath. You can get in the water if you like, but I did not. Below is a picture of the hot spring pool with the Rio Grande and Mexico in the background.

Hot spring on Rio Grande river at Big Bend National Park
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 16mm, f/10, 1/160s, ISO100

The hot spring hiking trail continues on and you have the option of hiking along the river back to the Rio Grande village camping area, or climbing a small bluff overlooking the river and looping back to the parking lot at the resort. I chose the loop and climbed to the overlook. There is some sort of abandoned structure at the overlook. I guess, human constructions take a long time to de-compose in the desert.

Overlook on Hot Spring Trail in Big Bend National Park
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 16mm, f/10, 1/250s, ISO100

Another view looking down the river on this clear cold morning.

Hot Sping Hiking Trail in Big Bend National Park
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 16mm, f/10, 1/250s, ISO100

Before I left, I went up to an old building, overlooking the rest of the abandoned resort. I decided to make a frame of the old windows with the palm trees and desert in the distance. I really like the way this one turned out.

Abandoned Hot Spring resort at Big Bend National Park
Nikon D750 + Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8; 70mm, f/5, 1/160s, ISO100

I actually had to go out back of the building and shoot this through a back window, through the building, through the front window. It was a small building that no longer has a roof.

I then had to get on the road for my long drive back home. While leaving the park, I stopped for a few shots of interesting things along the road. There were some cliffs that I spotted with a wavy contour in the distance. I had to stop and take these in and shoot a photo. I thought that the cliffs had a very unique shape about them

Wavy cliffs in West Texas desert
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 16mm, f/9, 1/400s, ISO100

I also spotted some deer (I guess) in a field behind a fence. They didn’t seem to mind me shooting pictures.

Deer in West Texas
Nikon D750 + Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8; 140mm, f/9, 1/320s, ISO100

On the highway north of the park, before you get to Marathon Texas, there is a border patrol inspection station. These are common along the border roads. The officer just wanted to look through the window into my vehicle and then I was quickly on my way.

Border inpection station checkpoint on highway in Texas

After a lot of driving, I made it back home and so ended my trip to Big Bend National Park. It is a beautiful place and I would like to go back in the spring when perhaps the wildflowers and cactus are in bloom. I really hope they don’t build that stupid wall here.

Thanks for reading.

3 thoughts on “Big Bend Hot Spring

  1. Those are Pronghorn Antelope, Jason. Great shot! The only place you find them in Texas is the Trans Pecos area and a small area around Roberts County in the Panhandle. The last time I was at the springs at Big Bend, there were some souvenirs that people from Mexico were selling sitting out on the Texas side with a little jar to put your money in. I bought a road runner made out of copper wire. Great pictures! I’ll be at Colorado Bend next week.

    Liked by 1 person

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