Big Bend Ranch State Park Texas
Things to Do
Spectacular Colorado Canyon offers among the finest rafting and canoeing opportunities along the Rio Grande. Bring your own gear, or hire a commercial outfitter in nearby Study Butte, Lajitas, or Terlingua. If planning to continue a trip downriver from Colorado Canyon into the canyons in Big Bend National Park, the necessary permits must be secured from the National Park Service. for $6.00 a day.
The 19-mile Rancherias Loop Trail is available for serious backpackers. Campsites are designated, water must be carried, and all wastes must be carried out. Trail heads are located at both ends of the loop trail along FM 170, near the Colorado Canyon River Access.
Several short trails ideal for day-hikes are available. Rancherias Canyon (9.8 miles round-trip) and Closed Canyon (1.4 miles round-trip). Trails are accessible from FM 170, near the Rancherias Loop trail head. Two short hiking trails are located off the gravel park road in the back country, leading to Ojito Adentro and Cinco Tinajas. Plans are being made for the first portion of the Ojito Adentro trail to be wheelchair accessible.
Picnic tables are available at "the Tepees," a Texas Department of Transportation rest area on FM 170 about 10 miles north of Lajitas, and at Sauceda, the old Big Bend Ranch headquarters in the interior.
Licensed fishermen may fish only at designated locations at the campgrounds along the river.
Swimming is allowed only at designated locations at the campgrounds along the river; however, it is not recommended for health reasons.
Three short "jeep roads" leading to back country camping areas are currently available for 4-wheel drive vehicles.
The Barton Warnock Environmental Education Center
Located just east of Lajitas on Highway 170, the Center presents an archeological, historical and natural history profile of the Big Bend region. A sales area contains a wide assortment of books and other informational material. A self-guided botanical garden allows visitors to walk among the characteristic plants of the Chihuahuan Dessert Operated under a cooperative agreement with the Big Bend Natural History Association, the Center is open daily with an admission fee of $2.50 for adults and $1.50 for children, ages 6-12.
Seminars, Workshops and Special Events
Periodic educational seminars and workshops are held on aspects of the cultural and natural resources of Big Bend Ranch, as well as photography workshops. Several times a year, park staff move the Texas Longhorn cattle between pastures, offering the public an opportunity to help roundup and move the livestock. Contact the Big Bend Ranch State Park Complex at 915-229-3416 for special activity information and to apply to attend any of the activities.
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