Day 3 Jun27


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Day 3

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Big Bend National Park and Terlingua 

7 am hearty breakfast Chisos Mountain Lodge go
While enjoying one of the most spectacular views in the state of Texas we have our buffet breakfast. Served every day from October through June, it is a wonderful way to gather our energy for a full day of sightseeing and hiking in the park. We fuel up from the abundance of excellent choices before hitting the Lost Mine Trail. Big Bend seems endless – there are, after all, 880,000 acres to explore.

8 am hike Lost Mine Peak Trail go
The Lost Mine Trail is perhaps the most important hike to undertake if you only have a day to spend in Big Bend. It’s not terribly long, provides an interpretive guide to the plants, animals and geological formations seen in Big Bend. The hike starts off at the waypoint “Trailhead” and gains altitude immediately. On your right you’ll be afforded several magnificent views of Casa Grande Peak, one of the more famous Texas Mountains. The waypoint marked “Lookout” is a great place to take a rest before continuing the journey. Some of the rocks on the hillside opposite are quite colorful, hinting of hidden mineral wealth, and there are stories of a rich seam of gold being discovered in this area by Spanish settlers, supposedly lost when all were killed by Indians. The tale is unproven and no trace of such a mine in this area has ever been found.

11 am depart for Santa Elena Canyon go
Considered one of the most beautiful areas of Big Bend National Park with cliffs forming the canyon wall and standing up to 1,500 feet!

TexasDay3map   41 miles

noon enjoy picnic lunch at Cottonwood Campground go
Cottonwood Campground is a quiet, shady desert oasis located between the Castolon Historic District and scenic Santa Elena Canyon.

1 pm take leisurely walk at Santa Elena Canyon go
We walk through the desert brush along a path leading to the Rio Grande River and gaze up at the canyon walls 1,500 feet above us. The river has carved the Santa Elena Canyon very slowly over thousands of years. It is one of 3 canyons in the park and considered one of the most beautiful park locations. Following a trail on the right side we head slowly up to the top where there are views out across the horizon and up the canyon. The mountains, some barren other with pine, fir, aspen and maple, can be seen in the distance. Sun is relentless – good to have a wide brimmed hat! We enjoy the views, snap a few images and begin a slow descent to the bottom to check out the river depth which seems shallow and slow moving. It is now possible to wade across to Mexico, visit the little village of Boquillas and return legally through a new border crossing Port of Entry in Big Bend National Park. 2:30 pm depart Santa Elena Canyon

3:30 pm arrive historic Terlingua Ghostown go for brief tour and shopping
Historic Terlingua, located in the Texas Big Bend region, once an abandoned mining village and ghost town, is now the center of a charming desert community. Countless authors, artists, poets and musicians have conveyed some of the magic of this desert paradise, but it’s best to experience it for yourself. Lots of abandoned adobe buildings, rusted metal objects strewn artistically through the desert scape, and a historic cemetery. As magical Texas ghost towns go, this is about as good as it gets.

4:30 pm arrive and check in Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa go
We’ve driven through the desert, viewed pyroclastic flows and hills of tuff left from the Pleistocene era along the road to Lajitas. This is a hard landscape. Tucked away in Southwest Texas between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Park lies the exquisite 27,000-acre Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa. The resort is set among the Mountain vistas and the borderland majesty of the Rio Grande River. This unique destination is rich in Old West history; complemented by the rugged luxury and superior service of a first class hotel.

7 pm dinner Lajitas
The lovely candle-lit Mexican buffet on the patio pairs well with the warm friendly evening. Wine, hors d’oeuvres and chatting loosens everyone up as we unwind from our day. The sky starts to color as the sun starts to set. Clouds reflecting the sun colors add visual treats to our dinner in the garden amid the pomegranate trees and gently flowing fountain. Returning to our cottage after dinner we catch a glimpse of the full moon.

8:30 pm enjoy pub crawl and visit Starlight Theater go and La Kiva go
Starlight Theater restaurant and saloon is the finest dining establishment in the entire Terlingua Ghost Town. There’s a fine selection of gourmet dishes and rollicking drinks, plus great live entertainment. Constructed in the early ‘80s, its now legendary la Kiva cave bar and restaurant resides on approximately 15 acres at Terlingua Creek, in the center of Terlingua. The word “Kiva” means a subterranean room believed to be used for spiritual ceremonies by the ancient Pueblo peoples of the southwest.

overnight Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa go

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