22 February, 2023

2 Days in Big Bend National Park - Day 2 Itinerary #WriteApageADay

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Read our day 1 itinerary here

Big Bend National Park is divided into 3 regions - Chisos Basin, Santa Elena Canyon, and Rio Grande Village.

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We covered a few places in Santa Elena canyon and Chisos Basin on day 1. Day 2 is to drive to the Rio Grande Village visitor center and explore from there.

Before we go into the details of hikes and places to see on the way to Rio Grande village, let me share our experience of Glamping under the stars.

Glamping at The Summit

I have been following the Instagram account of The Summit at Big Bend for a long time. The accommodations in 1000 acres of raw desert land are interesting. Glamping here is a once-in-a-lifetime option. Fortunately, Lotus Tents with a stargazing option and a stargazing dome were available when we tried just 15 days before our trip in winter.

Summit at Big Bend in Terilingua is 40 miles from Castalon Visitor center which is nearer to Santa Elena Canyon. The drive towards the Summit is scenic with interesting colors in the sky at dusk.

we can relax or hike or stargaze at the Summit. When we visited in winter, the temperatures are pretty low in 30's, but the rooms have heaters and heated blankets. With respect to handling the cold, Stargazing domes did a good job than lotus tents. Lotus tents can accommodate a family of 4 with a queen bed and sofa. A stargazing dome is good for couples.

There are shared bathrooms and restrooms. Warm water is available. The rooms are equipped with a coffee maker, blankets, and towels. There is a fire pit and chairs outside each room.

Watching the Sunrise was the best experience from the Summit.

Fossil Discovery Exhibit:

If you are entering the park from the north, many suggested stopping at Fossil Discovery Exhibit. Especially, if you are visiting with kids. This is an open-air exhibit showcasing some of the fossils found here.

There are picnic tables in case you want to have quick lunch or breakfast. 

Rio Grande Village

Rio Grande Visitor Center:


450 Rio Grande Road
open 9-12, 1-4:30

There is wifi and gas available near this visitor center. Rio Grande Village is on the Southeast side of Big Bend National park. Here you can find camping options, overlooks, and a lot of trails. There is also an opportunity to visit Mexico by crossing the river. Some of the sites to check out here are Boquillas Canyon hike and overlook, Rio Grande Overlook, Daniels Ranch, the hot springs, and Ernst Tinaja trail.

Ernst Tinaja Trail:

This 1.6 miles round-trip moderate hike is a gem. We couldn't do this, but when we go next time, it will be on the top of our list. 

Trailhead is located off old ore road. You might need a 4X4 vehicle with high clearance to reach the trailhead. This canyon has various-sized pools with walls of colored layered stone. It is beautiful because of its colorful geological formation and pools.


Boquillas Canyon:

This 1.4 miles hike climbs through some distance and goes through a sandy path along the river. There is a sand dune slide at the end!

Rio Grande Village Nature Trail:

One easy hike to do with kids! This is just 0.75 miles with a platform to watch the pond and has the best mountain and river views.

Hot Springs Historic Trail:

This is the second most recommended place in Rio Grande Village. The trail is just a 1-mile round trip hike.  We can walk past the historic buildings to reach the hot springs. The water is at 105 degrees!


Boquillas Port of Entry:

You can ride a rowboat 100 feet to reach Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico.

This travelogue is not done yet. We drove through Marfa and Elpaso to reach New Mexico eventually to Las Cruces and visited White Sands National park the next day. 

Until the next travelogue,

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Accommodation Options near Big Bend:

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