Things To Do

There are a lot of entertainment options in the Big Bend area.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Terlingua Ghost Town – Terlingua is about 29 miles South of Mesa Vista. Take hwy 118 to Study Butte, turn right on hwy 170. There you’ll find restaurants, shops, art galleries, bars, stores, and a very unique group of people enjoying a very unique place.

In Terlingua, we watch the sun set in the East, reflected off the Chisos Mountains. Grab a seat on the porch, maybe a cold one from the Trading Post, and enjoy.

Boquillas, Mexico

River Trips

Five  spectacular river canyons in Big Bend offer incredible opportunities to kayak, canoe or raft the Rio Grande. The river is not difficult for beginning and intermediate paddlers at normal river flows, and some sections are ideal for novices. Bring your own gear, rent equipment from local outfitters, or take a fully equipped guided trip from two hours to ten days.

Professionally guided trips have an excellent record for safety and guest comfort and offer a wide variety of options to suit the first timer as well as the experienced river traveler.

Most outfitters  provide equipment rental and transportation for folks who want to do it on their own. Before undertaking any trip without a guide, be aware that you may be responsible for the full cost of damaged or lost rented equipment and the cost of any required rescue service.

Big Bend River Tours , FM 170 near the junction of FM 170 and TX 118. 800-545-4240, local 371-3033

Desert SportsDesert Sports, FM 170, 5 miles west of the junction of FM 170 and TX 118. 888-989-6900, local 371-2727

Far Flung Outdoor Center, FM 170 near junction of FM 170 and TX 118. 800-839-7238, local 371-2633


Big Bend offers a variety of hiking opportunities, everything from short interpretive walks, to rugged, multi day excursions. Big Bend National Park alone features a system of over 150 miles of improved hiking trails. Hikers are allowed to travel off trail if they want to; there are two short but very scenic ADA accessible paved trails. Day hikes require no permit in Big Bend National Park.

Although many trails in the area are well marked and easily followed, hiring a guide can provide a more complete Big Bend experience. Not only do guides know the way to all the best places, they are also first aid trained and knowledgeable about the local geology, history, flora and fauna. Try one of the following services:

Big Bend River Tours , FM 170 near the junction of FM 170 and TX 118. 800-545-4240, local 371-3033

Big Bend Expeditions offers guided 4×4 tours of the rugged country near their property, taking guests to remote sites of archeological and geological interest.  888-408-2945

Desert Sports offers guided hiking, guided rafting, guided canoeing, guided mountain biking, bike rentals, river gear rental, vehicle shuttle service, and bike repair. Located at 22937 FM 170 in Terlingua. 888-989-6900

Horse Back Riding

Local Outfitters offer rides from two hours to several days in length. There is no better way to see Big Bend than from the back of a horse.

 Big Bend Stables, On TX 118, just south of the junction of TX 170 and TX 118. 1-800-887-4331 or local 371-3064   

Lajitas Stables, TX 170, 3 miles west of Lajitas in Big Bend Ranch State Park 1-800-887-4331 or local 371-3064

Equestrian Center at Lajitas Resort and Spa, TX 170 approx 17 miles west of junction TX 170 and TX 118,432-424-5190      

Some operators may stable horses overnight for those who bring their own. Big Bend National Park has limited facilities for private horses inside the park, check out Horse Rules for the latest info.

Laughing Horse Retreat sits on 217 stunning acres just off of Highway 118 near Terlingua. 3 bedrooms, 3 beds a nice porch along with horse corrals as well as 20 acre fenced for folks who want to bring their own horses to Big Bend. 855-224-4236