TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By Chago
Big Bend Trip – August 13th – 17th

This trip started with the usual discussions and concerns: too far, hot, dangerous, not physically fit, can’t get away, etc…. After a few cold beverages, the mood quickly changed and somehow everyone felt younger and the date was set.

I will not bore you with the details but will present the general picture. Four good friends loaded up on Thursday and drove west from Victoria. The drive was easy and uneventful. We arrived in Marathon, Texas around 1900 (approximately 7 hours post departure). We opted to stay at the Gage Hotel for one last night of normalcy (somewhat).

Friday morning we entered the park on the Persimmon Gap side. We immediately drove to the park headquarters and present our itinerary. Our requested primitive camping sites were all available (likely due to the cool 100+ temperature).

The first camping spot was called Rattlesnake Mountain.
The second camping spot was called twisted shoe.
The third camping spot was called Glenn Spring 2.

This was a rookie trip for everyone in our party. We managed to see a large portion of the south side of the park by mostly driving. Every single place is truly beautiful but unforgiving. The temperatures were extreme. Every day was above 100 degrees and one night the thermometer was read at 65. It rain every afternoon around 1700. The temperature would easily drop 20 degrees during the showers.

The nights were just spectacular. The Milky Way can be seen arched from horizon to horizon. Several distant thunderstorms provided spectacular light shows during the first two evenings.

A number of the places we visited included: Terlingua Abajo, Luna’s Jacal, Santa Elena Canyon (hike), Mule ears, Cat Tails Falls (hike), Juniper Canyon, Chisos Mountain Lodge, Mariscal Mine and Black Gap Road.

We did off course spend one day (Saturday) floating the Rio Grande through some magnificent canyons just west of Lajitas. Our trip was an all day event which covered approximately 14 miles of river and included a nice lunch. The outing was booked with Far Flung outfitters from Terlingua.

Our departure on Monday morning was bitter-sweet. Everyone was ready for creature comforts but Big Bend had infiltrated our systems. There was silence as we passed the Persimmon Gap entrance. I cannot speak for everyone else but I can only surmise everyone felt the same.

I will end by saying this was a great trip for all. The park, experience, and friendship were beyond verbal or written expressions.

By g-dawg
Wow! Thanks for the pics and reminding me how much I miss the place. I have only been there 3 times but if it wasn't so darn far, I'd probably go several times a year. Nothing else like it in the state. Of course this time of year, I'd either be camping in the basin or sleeping soundly at the lodge, listening the the buzz of the A/C. :D

By Marsh Arab
I haven't been out there since my folks brought my brother and I out there on several trips when we were youngins. I need to pass that gift along to my own kids.

Thanks for the pics and the memories that those names recall.
User avatar
By ClovisMan
Now that's camping!!!

I can't until I get my Grand Wagoneer in decent enough shape to start making trips like that!
By barditch
:D I have made two dozen trips out there since '78 and have never been disappointed. Happily, all of my trips were the first weekend of November...nearly perfect weather (if you don't mind frostbite of the buns in the early AM hours!) The uniform of the day ranges from workboots and jeans w/insulated jackets to shorts and hiking boots, depending on the day and Mother Nature's attitude at that particular moment. All things being equal, I may beat feet back this November...I have a fondness for solitude, quiet, and high grade scenery!
User avatar
By hammerdawg
very nice pics, I will be up there November 1-4, I have a cabin in terlingua ranch and doing some quail hunting and hiking
User avatar
Nice ...... man I haven't been to Big Bend since '72 and I was dilated with purple microdot or the big P the whole time. I still have some great memories of that trip though ...... some warm underground springs forming sandstone tubs on the south side of the river and a kaleidoscope eyed blond that I will never, never forget ....... the stars and coyotes at night and the rush of a surprised diamondback, the cactus and varried plant life and on and on. I need to make it back for a week or so. BB must be gitting a lot of rain this year .. looks awfully green for Aug. I drilled a well out of Fort Stockton a good while back but didn't take the time to visit the bend .. my mistake.
Good Post
User avatar
By Gutter Girl
Chago (or others!)

I am curious about a few things: 1)the drinking water situation (I'm assuming you had to haul it in with you), 2) requirements for solid human waste disposal since you were at a primitive site, 3) it sounded like you can't actually reserve a specific primitive site and 4) vehicle clearance - high clearance or regular? I'll just say up front I haven't done my research on those items yet!

My sister and I enjoyed our remote site at Big Bend Ranch State Park (Los Ojitos) but my sister requested BBNP this coming April as we only drove through it this past May. Since she's flying in from Ohio, I figure I should accomodate her! I was not thinking primitive sites until I saw your pictures. On my only other trip to BBNP, I camped in the Chisos Basin campground area. I'd really like to do the primitive and I think I can talk her into it!

Thanks for the information.

By Chago

The backcountry primitive campsites could not be reserved but I am sure you will not have any problems finding sites during the month of April. You can call 432-477-2251 prior to driving to BBNP. The primitive pads require average high clearance vehicles but some of the sites we drove by were easily accessible by a non-high clearance vehicle (pic). The rangers at the visiting centers could elaborate on these particular sites.

All of the visiting centers have water available (non-bottle and free). The rangers recommend at least one gallon per person per day. The park concession facilities are open all year providing access to restrooms. If nature screams during a hiking outing, human solid waste should be buried at least six inches. All items of assistance should be carried out (leave no trace principle).

I am sure there are others on this website that can provide more detailed information and I hope they post up.

Enjoy your trip and of course be safe.

User avatar
By Gutter Girl
Well, what the heck...here's a few pictures from our drive-thru in May. We were actually driving from BBRSP to S Llano River SP and drove through the NP.

We were driving back to the Chisos Basin campground area when I took these. We parked at the motel area parking lot and found a picnic table under a shady tree and had lunch. Then we drove into the campsites and I showed my sister where my first campsite was. Enjoy!

Casa Grande? I think...!


Far view of the Window


And another...


And this little creature

By dcoates
we are planning our first trip next spring...
any tips for the area?
we have our 24' toy hauler.
any suggestions on campgrounds and things NOT TO MISS
User avatar
By El Ritmo
My wife and daughter went camping in Big Bend about 4 years ago it is absolutely spectacular. I now have a 18 month old son and can not wait until he is old enough to go.
User avatar
By texasmonster
I love that place. Took the pop up last spring break (6days). Didn't want to come back. If you have never gone you need to go. Seeing the pic of the road leading to the falls reminds me of my son (10yrs old). He had on his camel bag on drinking his water walking along LOOKING AT THE GROUND NOT UP. And bang he walks right into the gate going across the road. Lays him out on the ground. It was sad but it was funny at the same time.



Please let me know if you are selling a Viking Rel[…]


I have only fished it once because I don't know of[…]

Thanks for the tips on flies. I've tied up a varie[…]

Galveston Causeway - 8/2/2020

Some people get married to get federal benefits an[…]