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How can I Trip the Big Bend NP with Famaily.

by jinwon Online Now May 17, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Hi~
I am going to trip to the Big Bend NP with my family.
This trip is the first for my family in America.
We will start in the afternoon on May 22nd.
We will stay at midland, TX on May 22nd night and stay at Chisos Mountains Lodge from May 23rd to 25th.
My Kids are 10 and 5 years old.
I want to make one of the unforgettable events for my two daughters.
But I am worried about this trip because I can't find a good plan for my family yet.
I found out the many route and trail but what is the best of the best for me.
Please give me a good idea for my family.
I apologize for the poor quality of my English.

Thanking you gratefully.

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3 Answers
  • travelmad478's Profile Photo

    Re: How can I Trip the Big Bend NP with Famaily.

    by travelmad478 Online Now May 17, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    Is your question how to drive to the national park? Or are you asking what to do once you get there?

    If it is the second question, then what I would suggest is simply asking the park rangers (employees/guides) at Big Bend National Park what they recommend. That is their job--they'll be the best people to advise you, since they know the park better than anyone else and see all kinds of visitors with all kinds of interests and experience levels.

    There is a lot of information on the park's website: http://www.nps.gov/bibe/

    You are the best judge of the kinds of things your family likes to do, so I would read the possibilities at this page (nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/t... and make the best decisions that suit you.

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  • bocmaxima's Profile Photo

    Re: How can I Trip the Big Bend NP with Famaily.

    by bocmaxima Online Now May 17, 2009 at 12:08 PM

    Are you only staying one night? Is your family accustomed to hiking?

    It's going to be tough because Big Bend is very hot at this time. It's also a hiking park, so it's also tough to do with children. For hiking, I'd suggest that you try Lost Mine, which may be too hot, or Emory Peak, which you'll likely not be able to do all of. Both start very near to the Chisos Basin (where the lodge is) though.
    I would also normally recommend a rafting trip on the Rio Grande, but a 5-year-old would be too young for that. You could, alternatively, do a canoe trip on the river. You must reserve this before you come through a company though, as the park does not offer this service. I have not used this company, but they are one of several who offer it: http://www.bigbendrivertours.com/
    Plenty of scenic drives inside the park also. You should drive to Santa Elena Canyon and visit the store at Castolon. You can also do a jeep tour of parts of the park only accessible to 4x4 vehicles but, again, you must arrange this with a company beforehand as the park does not offer this.
    Big Bend is a very special place that not many get to see. You will not find a more isolated park in the continental US. Don't give up on it.

    Also, I'd strongly encourage you to not stay in Midland. If you can, drive further south, either to the town of Alpine or to Marathon. In Alpine, there is a great, historic hotel called the Holland that I usually stay at while in that area and, in Marathon, there's the famous 4* Gage Hotel. Normally it would be very expensive, but you're coming at an off time, so it should be reasonable. The drive will be much less from these towns and you'll have more time to enjoy the park. Both are also a much nicer towns than Midland.

    And if you're looking for something else in the area, try the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis. The kids should like it.

    hth

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  • Sevsa's Profile Photo

    Re: How can I Trip the Big Bend NP with Famaily.

    by Sevsa Online Now May 18, 2009 at 9:57 AM

    It will be hot at Big Bend (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/) but where you are staying in the Chisos is the coolest place there. It is one of my favorite parks because of the quiet and the fact that not too many people go there. All of the activities are outside ones particularly hiking and 4-wheel driving. With children I would suggest the Window Trail which begins near the motel. Also the Hot Springs Historic District, Santa Elena Canyon and the Dagger Flat Auto trail. As mentioned before the Lost Mine Trail is a good trail in the Chisos but it depends on your physical condition. You would definitely be carrying a five year old most of the way (5 miles RT).
    As suggested previously you can also arrange for a 4-wheel drive tour (assuming you aren't driving one).
    The Gage (gagehotel.com/hotel_policies... is a very nice place to stay in Marathon although not cheap. The rooms in the original hotel are the cheapest but you have to share a bathroom with others. The restaurant is also very good.

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