A few weekends ago, a group of friends and I headed out to canoe the Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park. Ever since I moved to Texas, I’ve wanted to go to Big Bend. When my friend told me about the trip, I couldn’t have put my deposit down any faster.
I mean, look at this.
I highly recommend this trip for any nature-loving, adventure-seeking, and road-trip singers. This is your jam.
We drove out to Terlingua, TX. Heads up, it’s an 8+ hour drive and MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GAS! There is a long stretch on I-10 where there are no gas stations. My car maaaay have sat with no AC, in 100+ weather and on cruise control until we saw a ‘Chevron’ sign and cheered. Yeah, we may have.
If you want food for grilling, make sure you stock up before you leave Austin. The grocery stores aren’t much out here. However, we were going to have food on our excursion, so we stopped in Fort Stockton and got the other necessities… beer!
We arrived in Terlingua in the dark, but nevertheless, successfully avoided a rattle snake, set up camp and relaxed under a peaceful, star-filled sky. I wish I could have captured the sky for y’all, but it’s something you’ll have to experience yourself.
The next morning, we headed to Big Bend River Tours for our canoe-ing excursion. We did a 2-day Santa Elena Canyon trip, starting at 9am and ended around 2pm the next day. I highly recommend this company! The guides were great and they provided 4 surprisingly delicious meals. As much as I love cooking, it was nice to not worry about canoeing with all the cooking supplies.
We spent Day 1 canoeing and admiring the canyon. We stopped and made camp, jumped off some rocks, and relaxed under the stars.
The next day, we woke up in the canyon like this…
We canoed back and I could not stop admiring the canyon.
We also stopped for a mini bouldering hike which was fun!
We left Terlingua and headed to Chisos Basin for one more night. This was a little higher in elevation so we had a crisp evening, which we were happy to have!
The next day, we did the Lost Mine Trail, which had some great views. I couldn’t believe we were still in Texas. Unfortunately, with the long drive back, we didn’t have time to hike the whole trail.
On the way back, we stopped in Marfa. We ate at a new restaurant called Capri, which is part of the Thunderbird Hotel. It is a GORGEOUS space. The kitchen alternates cuisine based on the day. We happened to go on Asian day and filled up on delicious noodles, pancit and lumpia.
(For more things to do in Marfa, here is my post on a weekend in Marfa)
We poured back into Austin around midnight, completely exhausted and with sexy Teva tan lines. I’d call that a successful trip!
^Photo cred to my friend Laramie
Please let me know if you plan to visit Big Bend or Marfa, I would be happy to give you more tips/suggestions!