On the way back from Santa Elena canyon, I took the scenic route which is called Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. I knew that there were a few overlooks along this road that would be good for some pictures. In the image below, the yellow highlighted route shows the more scenic highway through the park that I took compared to the Old Maverick Road in gray to the west. This road takes a path through the mountains with several scenic overlooks and hiking trailheads along the way.
The first place that I stopped was a desert overlook not far up the road from the Santa Elena area where I had stopped on a previous visit to the park and took a panorama that I liked. I decided to try this view again in different conditions and see what I could get. The image below is a panorama stitch of about 9 images taken at 85mm with the camera turned vertically.
I do like the clouds hovering close to the mountains and the multiple craggy ridges adding depth to the image. I thought about doing this in black and white, but I like all of the color in the foreground with the morning sunlight.
I backed up and took a wide shot taking in some ocotillos with the mountains in the background. In hindsight, I wish I had moved over to the right a bit to get the ocotillos on the other side of the frame with the large mountain remaining on the right side.
Another stop I made was to shoot the Mule Ears, which are couple of very distinctive peaks in the park. There is a hiking trail out to them that would like to come back and do some day. The below image started out as a panoramic merge of three vertical images to get the entire scene in, but, I decided later that I like the tighter crop of ears with the greenery in the foreground. So, this image is parts of three images stitched together.
I then stopped farther down the road to take in the mountains in the morning sun. I climbed up to a spot above the highway and took several images for a panorama. Part of this panorama included shooting very nearly into the sun, so there is quite a lot of lens flare in the image. The road is just out of shot to the bottom of the image.
The next day as I was heading home, I passed a large field of yellow wildflowers with the desert mountains in the background. I couldn’t resist stopping to try to shoot an image of this scene. I don’t remember but I think that I had the polarizer on during this photo judging by how blue the sky is.
After this, I headed out of the park and back home. These aren’t my last pictures, but these are my last pictures of Big Bend National Park that I am going to post. I do have some photos of Big Bend Ranch State Park that I am still sorting through and processing.
Previous Big Bend Posts from this expedition: