Big Bend National Park Highlights


Highlights of Big Bend is the perfect introduction to Big Bend National Park, and two iconic features: Santa Elena Canyon and Chisos Mountains. Experience 3 distinct environments: desert, mountain, and river. Learn the fascinating history of this unique region, from Spanish conquistadors to Apollo astronauts.

  • 8:00 am

    Meet our guests

    Meet guests at Marathon accommodations. Take US 90 west to Alpine, then Texas 118 south.

  • 10:00am

    Study Butte

    Quick stop at Study Butte, gateway to Big Bend National Park. Enter Big Bend National Park (entrance fees included in trip coss), take the Maverick Road (dirt), to Santa Elena Canyon, with stop at Luna's Jacal

  • 10:45 am

    Santa Elena Canyon

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

  • 12:15 pm

    Castolon Historic Area

    Picnic lunch by the Castolon store. Castolon was once the commercial center of agriculture along the Rio Grande that supported the mining industry in Terlingua and also grew cotton for export out of the area. During a period of unrest between 1913 and 1918, a small detachment of cavalry was posted here and patrolled the US/Mexico border. From Castolon, we drive Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, stopping along the way, headed towards Chisos Mountains Basin

  • 2:00pm

    Chisos Mountains Basin

    The Chisos Mountains Basin is the center of the cool mountain highlands of Big Bend National Park. There is a lodge with 72 rooms, restaurant, convenience store.vIt is the jumping off point for a variety of wilderness trails. We will take a 1.5 mile round trip walk to a scenic viewpoint on the Lost Mine Trail, where on a clear day, one can see 100 miles in all directions./p>

  • 3:00pm

    Drive to National Park Headquarters

    We stop at Park HQ at Panther Junction to enjoy their excellent short video and shop for gifts, interpretive literature and maps

  • 4:00pm

    Paleontology Exhibit

    This brand new museum takes visitors through millions of years of geology, with displays and sculptures depicting habitats of these remote times, and the creatures who once inhabited Big Bend.

  • 4:30pm

    Return to Marathon

    Continue north through Persimmon Gap and then US Highway 385 to Marathon. On the drive,we pass by geological evidence continental tectonic activity from hundreds of millions of years, following the Comanche War Trail. Drop guests at their Marathon accommodations around 6:00 pm.

  • 6:00pm

    Arrive Marathon

    Drop guests at their Marathon accommodations

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 Marathon, 2-3 guests, $210 per guest. 4-5 guests, $175 per guest. For larger groups, please contact or call 432 386-5635. Go Big Bend is licensed to operate tours by vehicle, on foot, by raft or canoe within Big Bend National Park.

Santa Elena Canyon Nature Trail
Chisos Mountains, Big Bend National Park
Paleontology Exhibit, Big Bend National Park