Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Final Day in Big Bend National Park – a few small hikes and a dip in the hot springs

We began our final day at Big Bend with another breakfast at Posada Milagro and a stroll through the Terlingua Ghost Town’s small cemetery

then drove over to the eastern side of the park for a few relatively short walks.  First was a very careful drive over a dirt road where we would doubtless have been better off with a high clearance vehicle, into the Grapevine Hills

where we walked a gentle trail past walls of jumbled boulders

toward Balanced Rock

not, not that little one

and not that little one either


There was a grand view as we headed back to the trailhead

Our next stop was the Dug Out Wells Chihuahua Desert Nature Trail, a self-guided trail through a garden of cacti and other flora.  There were labels for the plants (for example, discussing the different types of prickly pears in the park: the blind, Engelmann and purple tinged) as well as a discussion of the short-lived human habitation at this location.

From the nature trail we continued to the Boquillas Canyon trail, pausing first at the overlook whence we watched the Rio Grande slowly meandering toward the canyon

A trail took us into the beginning of the Boquillas Canyon

The walls closed in, although the trail ended before they came quite as close together as the Santa Elena Canyon on the other end of the park; and the walls did not seem to be quite so high.

We paused at a spot where the local population had driven holes into the rock with their mortaring grain;

above was a small assemblage of rock art

There were plenty of nice flowers to see along the canyon floor

Our final stop in the park was the short trail to the natural hot springs, located right along the Rio Grande.  There was a relatively small parking lot down at the river level and a much larger one about two miles before that, with a fair descent down. Many people just hurried to park and walk down, but we only had to wait for about fifteen minutes before we were cleared to drive down to the lower lot, and in the end we were glad we did; it would have been hot and dry walking back up along the gravel road

I was ready to slip into the hot spring, which had only about ten other people in it, but ten was too many for Nancy, who walked back into the shade to read

Some of the younger folk pictured here enjoyed plunging into the Rio Grande rapids at the edge of the pool, but I was content just to soak in the warm water for a while.  On the way back, we paused to look at a few pictographs and mud bird nests on the overhanging ledges

We decided to head back to Terlingua to have one more dinner at the Starlight Theater; thankfully the pair singing this evening were a big improvement on what we had heard a couple of nights before.

No comments:

Post a Comment