Friday, February 24, 2017

Big Bend National Park - The Chisos Basin

The Chisos basin is a central canyon area of the Chisos mountains.  The only US mountain range entirely contained within the borders of a national park.  The Chisos are in the center of Big Bend park  ranging in altitude up to 6000 feet.
In Big Bend we stayed at the Rio Grande Village campground which is located in the far southeast corner of the park.
From the Chisos Basin visitor center there are many trails leading southward from the basin.  The trails from the basin have the most spectacular vistas of any location in the park.  Unfortunately many of the best trails are probably beyond our hiking ability.  Trails to the south rim, for instance, are six miles or more and are rated moderate to difficult.  On the advice of a ranger we took the Lost Mine trail for about a mile and a half.







After about a mile of ascending a tree lined trail, we reached a notch where the trees cleared with a great view to the south. The weather allowed some really good photos.  During our 2013 visit, the weather remained cloudy for the entire time.

After our brief hike, we went on to the basin visitor center where we enjoyed a picnic lunch.
The basin itself is very picturesque with peaks surrounding the basin. Looking north the canyon opens with a view of the low desert in the distance.



Each day of our stay we tried to do some sort of hike.  In addition to the Chisos Basin we  visited Santa Elaina canyon and the Mexican village of Boquillas ( the subjects of two future postings).