Since we’re on about what to do in Texas this weekend, here’s another suggestion – a walk into Big Bend National Park. That’s about 10 hours away from Dallas. I know, since I had to hurry off when I was visiting the park a few years ago to pick up my sister at the airport in Dallas. We visited the Book Depository 6th floor museum, and then made our way to the birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Anyway, back to Big Bend…

Lost Mine Peak Trail, Big Bend National Park, Panther Junction (West Texas)

This walk is much more of a hike than a walk, but it is one of the best in Texas. This 4.8-mile round-trip trek is not for those who are out of shape, but if you walk regularly, it should be no problem since much of the path consists of switchbacks. Just go at a pace that’s comfortable. The rewards are phenomenal. First, you have the walk itself, through thick forest and by cactus and ocotillo and agave. Second is the panoramic view at the top that will take your breath away — guaranteed — if the walk itself hasn’t already done that. It’s the most strenuous walk listed here, since it begins at about a mile high and ascends for an additional 2,000 feet. Getting to the top is part of the fun, since the trail takes you through two very different ecosystems as you gain elevation. At the end of the trail is the supreme reward, where you can relax on one of the rocks and gaze out over what seems to be the entire world below your feet. On a clear day you can see for more than 100 miles. If you get lucky, you might even spy an eagle soaring below. The trail also has a self-guided brochure available at the trailhead to identify all the plants and trees you will pass along the way.

Big Bend is one of my favorite parks, and I hope to make it back.

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October 2023

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