Nicknamed “the Other Side of Nowhere,” the Big Bend Ranch State Park is a must-visit destination for the truly adventurous. Covering 311,000 acres along the Rio Grande on the US-Mexico border, this remote site comprises steep canyons, rugged mountains, impressive night skies, and pawmazing vistas. Big Bend Ranch is Texas' largest state park, so there's plenty to see and do until the sun goes down!
Before you and your furry BFF set off on your adventure, keep in mind that some areas are off-limits to canine visitors in order to protect the various wildlife species that live within the park. Hence, doggos are only allowed to be a quarter mile from campsites and designated roads. If you're planning to go hiking with your pooch, stick to the Closed Canyon Trail and Hoodoos Trail on FM 170, as dogs are prohibited on all other trails. The 1.4-mile Closed Canyon Trail will lead you and your pupper through a narrow slot canyon that divides Colorado Mesa in two. Unlike most trails that have a defined path, this trail utilizes the canyon's extremely high and narrow walls to guide the way. The 1.1-mile Hoodoos Trail, which features hoodoos or rock structures with interesting shapes, will take you and Fido along the Rio Grande, up a historic road, and to an overlook.
Be sure to always keep your canine pal on a 6-foot leash and clean up after them. Don't forget to bring enough water for both of you as well. If you'd like to stay in the park for a couple of days, there are two drive-in primitive campsites that are pooch-friendly. Since Big Bend Ranch is a designated International Dark Sky Park, it's a pawfect place to sleep under the stars! Remember to pick up a camping permit at the Sauceda Ranger Station inside the park, the Barton Warnock Visitor Center in Lajitas, or the Fort Leaton State Historic Site in Presidio.
Enjoy the solitude and rugged beauty of the west Texas desert with your pup at the Big Bend Ranch State Park!