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Big Bend Ranch State Park
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Presidio
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Site where organized camel trail rides take place in West Texas.
Reviewed 24 June 2014

There are no words to describe this part of Texas! I had no idea that there were such rugged mountains here. We took the scenic route along the Rio Grande river, we started out in Lajitas and drove about 30 miles into the park. There is so much to see and do, we just drove through stopping at different points of interests and taking pictures. There are different areas that you can camp at, also a rest area that looks like teepees! We stopped and ate lunch here. There is also a canyon to hike in, unfortunately we did not get to do this, it gets so hot and we were there in the afternoon. But from what I was told it is a beautiful canyon

4  Thank proudmarinemom06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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77 - 81 of 126 reviews

Reviewed 14 June 2014 via mobile

We had stayed in Fort Davis and Marfa for a few nights before tackling a long weekend of outdoors-i-ness at Big Bend National Park. All the locals insisted we access the national park via the scenic river road that went through Big Bend Ranch State Park. Remember, it's two massive parks side by side -- one state, one national. We drove down the desolate yet dramatic 50 or so miles of Chihuahuan Desert between Marfa and Presidio, a border town. Fill the gas tank and load up on some snacks and drinks in Presidio. It's about a three hour drive ahead with no conveniences.

A spectacular drive on a well maintained road that hugs the Rio Grande -- and the Mexican Border. Stop frequently to take photos and to breathe in the vistas. Caution: you can get in the water as long as you stay basically on your side of the center of the river. Touching land on the other side is a big no-no. Hint: Border Patrol guards have no sense of humor. And anytime you're driving north from the boarder, you're subject to a traffic stop and checkpoint. Just show your drivers license and say you're a resident.

Finally, when you start seeing civilization again, that's a great place to stop for lunch and a drink -- Lajitas. A fully restored fort that is now a luxury resort.

From there, on to Big Bend National Park.

7  Thank Jerry L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

This was the trip my wife and I had been waiting for our entire lives. We spent two weeks driving around West and Southwest Texas and Big Bend was the highlight by far. The scenery and landscape are so dramatic and captivating that you have to spend a week to just to take everything in. We primitive camped for 3 days on the Ranchitas trail and then took a canoe trip down the Rio Grande. We also hiked the Closed Canyon Trail then spent a morning on horseback to the top of the Mesa and then the evening in Teralingua enjoying a bowl of chili at the Starlight Theater. We visited in late March and I would recommend this time frame since it was already 90 degrees out. Plenty of camp sites but hiking and primitive camping is where its at.

3  Thank Sully9821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Like it's cousin, Big Bend National Park, the Ranch covers an area of which you cannot conceive until you try to traverse even a part of it. For example, once you leave the paved road from Paradiso, the 17 mile drive to the bunkhouse takes an hour and that's the well maintained gravel road. Even with a 4-wheeeler,
you cannot begin to cover minor portions of the Ranch because of it's sheer size. Everyone there is helpful and will be honest about what you can accomplish. It's a great place to hide. Who could find you if you chose to.

The panoramas a vast and breath-taking, but there are only so many ledges, rock piles and canyons before they start melding into one another and become an iteration of the last one.

3  Thank Philip W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Detailed information about the bunkhouse was difficult to find, so here is everything you ever wanted to know.

Before visiting I really wanted to know how the beds were set up. See the photos. There is a hallway with small cubicles along each side. The cubicles have walls on three sides but are open to the hallway. So this is more private than a bunch of beds in a room, but each cubicle has two beds very close together and is open to the hallway.

The cubicles are small and can barely hold two beds, leaving a small space between the beds. There is really not enough room to put an open suitcase between the beds, so if both beds in a cubicle are occupied then it is going to be very tight. Many of the cubicles on the window side had no window coverings. The beds themselves are single width and were comfortable. Bedding was fine.

Tip: The first cubicle on the right as you enter the hallway has more space between the beds. It is also darker in the morning.

The men's bathroom had two toilets, two sinks and two showers. Cleanliness could have been better but was acceptable. (There was only one other person at the bunkhouse, a long-term visitor, so there probably was not daily maintenance. There is a sign telling guests to alert management if any attention was needed.) One shower had an uncomfortable high-pressure shower head, the other was much better (lower pressure, like normal).

The bunkhouse is not air-conditioned. There were heating elements, although if it is very cold it seems like they wouldn't be sufficient. (possibly inquire if you are going in deep winter.)

The bunkhouse common area is very nice. It has a great western decor with about six large tables and several couches. There is a large commercial-sized kitchen, but it was not available for individual guests and was reserved for large-scale meal preparation for large groups.

As for security, the main bunkhouse door seemed to stay unlocked, although I think it was lockable. The entry door to the women's side of the bunkhouse had a simple doorknob lock, which of course can be locked only after everyone is in. I didn't check the men's side.

Overall, this is a good way to stay if you can't get the suite in the big house or if you don't want to spend the money for the sutie. But if you have more than one person in your group, then financially it makes sense to get the suite.

6  Thank MaxConcrete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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