Texas May 12, 2018
Take This Epic Road Trip To Experience Texas’ Great Outdoors
Summer is fast approaching, so y’all know what that means: it’s time for another road trip! Since we usually focus on the
Hill Country for our outdoor-themed vacations, we thought we’d switch it up this time and head out west. From exploring all the mountain ranges in the state to sledding down giant sand dunes, this trip just might be our best yet (and it could be yours, too!).
As always, exact addresses and directions can be found
here. And although the whole trip takes less than 17 hours, you’ll want to allot at least a few days to ensure plenty of exploration time at each stop without rushing. There are campsites at all the parks, so lodging shouldn’t be an issue at all!
Happy trails, y’all!
1. Franklin Mountains State Park (El Paso)
Just 15 minutes from El Paso, the Franklin Mountains are a range often overlooked by the more popular ones in the area. Spanning over 27,000 acres, there are over 100 miles of trail winding through the park for you to explore. Guided hiking and mountain biking tours are offered if you're less experienced or just want to learn more about the area and its history. The park is located at 1331 McKelligon Canyon Road, El Paso, TX 79930.
2. Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Salt Flat)
Sporting the four highest peaks in Texas, the world's most extensive Permian fossil reef, and an incredibly diverse array of flora and fauna, there are so many different reasons to visit the Guadalupe Mountains. There are over 80 miles of trails, varying in length from 2 miles to 8.5. If you so choose, you can climb to the "top of Texas" and experience a panoramic view sure to take your breath away (pictured above). An exact address is not available, but all the information you need direction-wise can be found
3. Monahans Sandhills State Park (Monahans)
Some might say it's rather boring and monotonous, but we wholeheartedly disagree. Sand stretches into the distance as far as the eye can see, and toboggans and disks are available for surfing the dunes. We may not have beaches with massive waves, but who needs that when you have giant sand mountains?
is a map that should help you find the park if you're having trouble.
4. Balmorhea State Park (Toyahvale)
The largest spring-fed pool in the entire world can be found here at Balmorhea State Park. It's 25 feet deep, spans 1.3 acres, and holds a whopping 3.5 million gallons of water. Plus, it has a pretty neat history - the Civilian Conservation Corps built it in the 1930s! Nearly 90 years later, people are still cooling off in its waters during summertime. The park is located at 9207 TX-17, Toyahvale, TX 79786.
5. McDonald Observatory (Fort Davis)
West Texas has some of the darkest skies in the country, and you can take a closer look at all the planets and stars at McDonald Observatory. Star Parties are hosted on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and reservations can be made
If you've never gazed into the Milky Way Band through a high-powered telescope, you're missing out on one of the greatest experiences of your life. You'll find the observatory at 3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734.
6. Davis Mountains State Park (Fort Davis)
The Davis Mountains are the most extensive mountain range in Texas, so there's plenty of exploration to be done here. Tons of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding snake their way through the park, and a bird blind provides a view of dozens of different species. From the unique shape of the mountains due to the volcanic activity that created them to canyons bisected by swift-flowing creeks, the geography here is incredible unique and deserves to be marveled at. The park can be found on TX-118 in Fort Davis, TX 79734.
7. Big Bend Ranch State Park (Presidio)
Often passed over in favor of its sister park, Big Bend Ranch deserves more recognition than it gets. There are 238 miles of multi-use trails as well as unparalleled night skies due to its designation as an International Dark Sky Park. The address is 1900 Sauceda Ranch Road
Presidio, TX 79845.
A West Texas road trip just wouldn't be complete without stopping by Terlingua. The most famous ghost town in the state, you'll find it extremely eerie to see the remnants of a town that was once a thriving community. You can find more information about Terlingua in our
9. Big Bend National Park
We could write an entire book on Big Bend, but we'll keep it as short and sweet as possible. The most iconic park in the state, it offers some of the most breathtaking views you've ever seen - especially "The Window," which is pictured above. You'll probably want to allot a few days for this park alone to ensure you have time to fit in all the must-do hikes without rushing. Directions to the entrance can be found
10. Devil's River (Del Rio)
Devil's River truly is a hidden oasis. It boasts some of the bluest waters in the state, and is also one of the most remote places in all of Texas. Read all about it
How many of these stops have you been to? Which one are you looking forward to most on the trip? Let us know!