Big Bend Day Trips River Road Big Bend NP West Side

Big Bend West features River Road and Big Bend Ranch State Park. El Camino del Rio between Presidio and Lajitas, was described by National Geographic magazine as one of the five most beautiful drives in the US. Stop for breath-taking panorama, and hike up a slot canyon before driving to Santa Elena Canyon.

  • 8:00 am

    Meet our Guests

    Meet guests at Alpine hotels. We can meet guests in Marfa at 8:45 am, Marathon or Fort Davis at 7:15 am . Depart Marfa via US 67 South.

  • 9:30 am

    Cibolo Creek and Shafter

    Drive by Cibolo Creek Ranch that stocks exotic animals from buffalo to elk to antelope. Shafter is a silver mining town in a beautiful location.

  • 10:45 am

    El Camino del Rio

    After a brief stop in Presidio, we head east toward Lajitas on TX 170, The River Road. In 1967, National Geographic called it, "one of the top five scenic drives in North America". Since then it has not changed. We stop along the way for short walks, photo opportunities, and a picnic lunch in Big Bend Ranch State Park.

  • 12:00 pm

    Big Hill Overlook

    This is one of the most scenic roadside stops in the state to enjoy an unbroken view of the Rio Grande in both directions, and a place to gaze straight down approximately 800 feet to the river below.

  • 12:30pm

    Hike Closed Canyon

    After a picnic lunch, hike into a shady, vertical walled, water carved slot canyon, sculpted into igneous rock. Enjoy the natural reverberation from the song of the Canyon wren.

  • 2:30pm

    Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

    We enter Big Bend National Park (fee included with trip cost). This amazing highway traverses the western foothills of the Chisos Mountains, and past a variety of geological oddities and beautiful points of interest. Short hike at Burro Mesa Pour-Off.

  • 3:30 pm

    Santa Elena Canyon

    Noted author Edward Abbey wrote that "If light were sound, Santa Elena would be a symphony." We will hike the 1.5 miles round trip into the canyon, one of the most remarkable scenic locations in Big Bend and the state of Texas.

  • 5:00 pm

    Return to Base

    Return to Alpine via Maverick Road (unpaved), then north on TX 118. Drop guests in Alpine by 7:15 pm; guests staying in Marathon, Marfa, or Fort Davis by 8:00 pm.

Please note

Times are estimated. We are always happy to be flexible with the itinerary; as long as we get you back in time for dinner. We are happy to arrange custom itineraries and exclusive trips, as well as help plan your complete trip to the beautiful Big Bend.


Originating Alpine, 2-3 guests, $200 per guest.  4-5 guests, $175 per guest, Originating Marfa, Marathon, Fort Davis, add $10 per guest. For larger groups, please contact or call 432 386-5635. Big Bend Texas Travel is licensed to operate tours by vehicle, on foot, by raft or canoe within big Bend National Park

Colorado Canyon, Big Bend Ranch State Park
Closed Canyon, Big Bend Ranch State Park
Santa Elena Canyon