As we head into the cooler time of the year, the grandeur of Big Bend National Park becomes more accessible. Some of the park’s most stunning trails, dangerous and even deadly in the hotter months, are best enjoyed from October through March.
The striations of the Sierra Del Carmen are a perfect backdrop for a visit to the village of Boquillas across the Rio Grande, especially at sunset. The mountains, comprising a wildlife preserve in Mexico, give some of the most photogenic panoramas in the park.
The volcanic tuff formations of Dog Canyon enclose the trail in the northern section of Big Bend National Park, allowing visitors to experience the rough, primordial terrain up close. It’s an exceptional trail for experiencing the flora and fauna of the true Chihuahuan Desert.
Ernst Tinaja, just north of Rio Grande Village on the Old Ore Road, offers a free-form hike through a shale and sandstone canyon, where water erosion has formed a long series of tinajas. The circular hollows in the canyon bottom provide much-needed water storage for wildlife, and fossils, strata and breathtaking colors make the trek up the rough secondary road to the trailhead worth the effort.
Visitors in the autumn and winter still need to take precautions against the harsh desert climate, but cooler weather and gentler UV levels offer a more hospitable environment for exploration, and the deeper reaches of the park open themselves up for appreciation.