Texas June 01, 2018
This Texas Backroad Will Take You On An Amazing Adventure
Texas is full of beautiful
backroads, but none are quite as unique as Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive in Big Bend. This thirty-mile stretch takes you on an unforgettable journey through mountains, ranches of early settlers, and some of the most diverse ecology in the state. It allows you to see all the highlights of the park without leaving the comfort of your vehicle, while still providing plenty of opportunities to get out and hike along the way. See for yourself:
The West Texas frontier was once home to pioneers starting life anew, and many of their homesteads are still intact and visible from the road.
Sam Nail Ranch is one of them, and it attracts a variety of wildlife because of the ample shelter opportunity and operational windmill. You too can enjoy the property by relaxing on a bench and listening to the gentle chirp of several different species of bird - the only sound breaking the deafening desert silence.
The Homer Wilson Ranch was also home to settlers prior to the park's establishment.
An overlook provides a full view of the grounds, and you can even hop out of the car and embark on a downhill trail leading you through Blue Creek Canyon.
One of the most highly trafficked areas of the park by photographers and spectators alike is Sotol Vista.
It offers a spectacular view of Big Bend's entire western side as well as the enchanting Santa Elena Canyon far in the distance, and no hiking is even required - easily one of the most breathtaking places in the state.
After driving awhile, you'll come upon a hidden, narrow side road. Follow it for approximately 1.5 miles to the Lower Burro Mesa Pouroff, where you'll be rewarded with the sight of colored rocks layered as intricately as sand art.
If you're up for it, a .5-mile hike will take you to a magical grotto with a waterfall and all sorts of unique plant life.
The next scenic overlook you'll encounter is the Mule Ears Viewpoint, where two towering peaks resembling their namesake can be spotted in the distance.
A marked 2-mile trail leads you to a watering hole - maybe you'll see some actual mules drinking from the sparkling oasis!
One of the park's canyons differs from the others in a beautiful way.
Tuff Canyon was carved out of volcanic ash, and the grooves where the lava once flowed are still visible. Observe from your car or get out and walk through the gorge to catch a firsthand glimpse of the magnificence.
Rock formations aren't the only scenery on the road.
Driving it at night provides unmatched views of the Milky Way Band and trillions of glittering stars surrounding it. Maybe even open the sunroof and enjoy a completely unadulterated view of the beauty.
Of all the backroads in Texas, Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is definitely the most diverse and interesting.
Mountains, volcanic rock formations, wildlife, and plants ensure new experiences around every turn that promise to give you a whole new appreciation for nature.
Have you ever driven on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive? If so, what’s your favorite memory from your experience? Let us know, and comment your favorite backroad in Texas!