Big Bend National Park in South West Texas.

About as far South and as far West as one can go in the state of Texas is Big Bend National Park.  The Park’s Southern boundary consists of 118 miles of the Rio Grande River, which of course, is the US Mexican border.  Big Bend is an absolutely “must visit” National Park at least once in a lifetime.  My buddy Dave recommended I visit the Park and boy what a great recommendation that turned out to be!  Thanks Dave!  The Park is a magnificent mix of sceneries, from desert rock formations and mountain peaks of up to about 7000 feet to the majestic Rio Grande River cutting its way through rocks hundreds of feet deep on either side.  Upon arrival, I stopped at Panther Junction, the Park’s main Ranger Station, and got an overnight permit to stay at the “K-Bar 1” remote camping spot.  The camping spot is just off the main road leading to Rio Grande Village, where I planned to spend about 4 hours paddling my kayak the next day.  A word of advice, if you think you want a remote camping spot at Big Bend, I recommend you stop at Panther Junction Ranger Station as early as possible and reserve a spot.  Camping spots can fill up quickly and since the Panther Junction Ranger Station is centrally located it will save you a trip back to the Station later in the day.  If you don’t stay at the Park overnight you can always stop by the Ranger Station on the way out and turn-in your camping site for issue to another camper.  Most camping areas have only about half a dozen spots and there is plenty of space between you and the next campsite.  The best thing about the Park is its remoteness, and that means almost no light pollution, allowing for great star gazing.  On my second day of visiting the Park I must admit, Kayaking the Rio Grande was an awesome adventure I hadn’t really planned for until I got to the Park.  I left Bertha parked at the picnic area in Rio Grande Village and set off in my kayak going up stream for about 3 miles.  Along the way I passed the Hot Springs and of course when I headed back downstream back toward Rio Grande Village, I stopped for a soak in 105 degree waters.  I was surprised how narrow and shallow the river is in sections.  The drought over the last year has left the river lower than normal but still deep enough in plenty of areas for a few hour paddle.  Just be prepared to drag your Kayak over some low spots!  Below are a few pictures of my 2 day visit to Big Bend National Park!

Above, Bertha faces North West at the K-Bar 1 Camp Site in Big Bend National Park.

Below, looking up-steram on the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park in my Innova Kayak.

Above, a quick stop along the US side of the Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park… or was it the Mexican side?  Gee,  I don’t remember,  did I stray into Mexico… oh no… did I?  Oh well it’s the Rio Grande for sure!

Above, another picture of the Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park.

Below, after my trip on the river, I followed the trail from the picnic area toward the Hot Springs to get a good view of the Rio Grande from above!  In this picture I am looking up stream from the Rio Grande Village Area, this time I am sure I’m in the USA!  USA on the right, Mexico on the left!

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