Big Bend’s Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Ready for day two of adventure

Day two of our trip we woke up refreshed and ready for a big day of exploration.  Big Bend is a huge expanse of majestic mountains and desert landscapes.  I think I could spend a couple of weeks exploring the park, and still just scratch the surface.  We only had a few days to see as much of it as possible, and it seems that driving the Ross Maxwell Road through the park offers the best opportunity to see a lot of the park in just one day.  So our second day that is exactly what we set out to do.

Blue Creek Trail

Our first stop was the Blue Creek Trail for a short hike to the Homer Wilson Ranch House

Homer Wilson Ranch house interior

The ruins of this old house were accessible for us to explore.  It was just one room with a stone floor and a fireplace.

Homer Wilson house porch

It also had a covered back porch that ran along the entire length of the house.

View from Wilson's Ranch

Not exactly luxurious, but when you have a view like this, I guess there is little left to be desired.

Ranch Building

Except maybe a shed to keep you grain in.  Then it was off to the Burro Mesa Pouroff Trail.

Climbing Conglomerates

The trail follows a dry creek bed to the pouroff.  We found some huge conglomerates to climb on along the way. I love how my kids are able to live in the moment and enjoy the opportunity right in front of them versus rushing to find out what awaits at the end of the trail.

The Pouroff

When we finally did make our way to the end of the trail we were face to face with the towering pouroff.  It doesn’t rain very often in Big Bend, but when it does, flash floods turn this benign dent into a raging 100 foot waterfall.

Inside the pouroff

As we entered the mouth we could see the power of water first hand in this expansive hollow space.

Party at the Pouroff!

We celebrated at the end of the trail and turned around to head back to the truck.

Shaking sand out of our shoes

After all of the hiking in the arroyo we had to stop to shake the sand out of our shoes before heading to our next spot.

Mule Ears Viewpoint

We ate lunch at a viewpoint for this formation, creatively dubbed the “Mule Ears.”


Then we made a quick stop at Castonlon to see more ruins and stop in the visitors center.

Santa Elena Canyon

The final stop along the way was this view of Santa Elena Canyon.  This box canyon is the gem of the park.  We didn’t go for the hike this day because we planned on seeing it the next day from ground zero, a raft on the river.

Good Night Big Bend

We made it back to our campground in Rio Grande Village on the opposite side of the park just in time for a short hike up the nature trail to see the sunset over the river.

Sunset from Rio Grande Village Nature Trail

A perfect end to another day in paradise.




Published by Jenny

I am a mindful plant eating mama to three little girls. I teach yoga in the Dallas area both to groups and one on one. I am obsessed with all things wellness and love helping others to feel their best!

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