The remote region of Big Bend in West Texas boasts a long-established tradition of hospitality, and in fact is part of what makes the region so popular among tourists. Visitors will find a wide variety of lodging options, from economy motels to four-star luxury resorts.
1.Chisos Mountains Lodge
© Chisos Mountains Lodge
Chisos Mountains Lodge is nestled in the heart of Big Bend National Park, uniquely situated within the basin of the grand Chisos Mountains. The lodge is the only accommodations available within the national park and offers modern comforts along with the famous hospitality for which Texas is known. Guests who stay at Chisos Mountains Lodge are treated to serenity and beautiful scenery in addition to a vast and undisturbed wilderness. All of this is within a short walk to the lodge’s services as well as easy access to the many world-famous trails for hiking found throughout the park.
1 Basin Rural Station, Big Bend National Park, TX 79834, Phone: 432-477-2291
2.Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa
© Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa
Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa is tucked away between Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park in historic Big Bend, Texas. The resorts offers the perfect escape in the Big Bend area for visitors to simply “get away from it all.” The property encompasses 27,000 acres, offering a rugged desert setting, natural beauty, and solitude rich in the history of the Old West. Among the many amenities of the resort are a world-class 18-hole golf course, an equestrian center that offers horseback riding, a cowboy action shoot, a five stand sporting clay shoot, and several other activities.
100 Main St, Lajitas, TX 79852, Phone: 432-424-5000
3.Chisos Mining Co. Motel
© Chisos Mining Co. Motel
Situated only a few minutes from Big Bend Ranch State Park or Big Bend National Park, the Chisos Mining Company Motel has been locally owned and operated for over 40 years and is the oldest guest lodge in continuous operation in the Terlingua/Study Butte area and South Brewster County. The motel features a variety of lodging options, including single rooms, double rooms, cabins both small and large, condos, and even a whole house. Guests will find affordable, comfortable, clean, and cool accommodations offered with a generous amount of Texas hospitality within a few miles of all that Big Bend has to offer.
23280 FM170, Terlingua, TX 79852, Phone: 432-371-2254
4.El Dorado Hotel
© El Dorado Hotel
The El Dorado Hotel, located in the town of Terlingua, Texas, is only approximately 10 minutes away from the entrance to Big Bend National Park and around 20 minutes away from the state park’s entrance. Among the many different guest room options available at the hotel are single rooms, double rooms, guest rooms with king beds, and even a renovated tour bus that has been converted into a stand-alone lodging option. The High Sierra Bar and Grill is open every day of the year, offering a variety of food, beer, and music. The full menu is served until 10:00pm.
100 Terlingua Ghost Town, Terlingua, TX, 79852, Phone: 432-371-2111
5.La Posada Milagro
© La Posada Milagro
The grounds of La Posada Milagro are situated within the original Ghost Town in Terlingua. Constructed on top of ruins, the hotel boasts rustic yet luxury accommodations at a relatively affordable price. Guests can enjoy spectacular views of Big Bend National Park, the Chisos Mountains, and old Terlingua, along with fire pits and sun decks scattered across the property. La Posada Milagro is also conveniently located only minutes from Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, outfitters, restaurants, and shops. The hotel is an amazing restoration of the original architecture of Terlingua, providing guests with an experience unlike any other.
101 Milagro Way, Terlingua, TX 79852, Phone: 432-371-3044
© Gage Hotel
Built in the year 1927, the Gage Hotel has long provided laidback and authentic luxury with its premier accommodations, great dining experiences, and quality service. The hotel features 45 guest rooms, offering an abundance of activities and hotel amenities, including a 27-acre native garden, heated pool, fitness center, and full-service spa. The concierge of the hotel is able to arrange a variety of activities for guests in nearby Big Bend National Park as well as in the surrounding area. The town of Marathon boasts charming shops and local dining establishments all within a short walk from the Gage Hotel.
102 NW 1st Street – HWY 90 West, Marathon, TX 79842, Phone: 432-386-4205
7.Terlingua Ranch Lodge
© Terlingua Ranch Lodge
Terlingua Ranch Lodge is located between Big Bend State Park and Big Bend National Park in Terlingua, offering solitude, quiet, and clear skies surrounded by the amazing beauty of the unique area of the country. Guests can explore the Chihuahuan Desert of Big Bend during the day, then relax by the pool, at the café, or on their very own front porch. Guest rooms are spread out across eight different buildings situated at the foot of Whitehouse Mountain. The lodge also has campsites and RV hookups within the some of the most precious wilderness in the nation.
16000 Terlingua Ranch Rd, Terlingua, TX 79852, Phone: 432-371-3146
8.Wild Horse Station
© Courtesy of Rafa Irusta - Fotolia.com
Approximately 5 miles to the north of Study Butte, in the town of Terlingua, is Wild Horse Station. The unique accommodations consists of a series of cabins with full kitchens, shaded porches, satellite television, and amazing views. Wild Horse Station offers a true cabin experience as well as a real opportunity to truly get away from everything and simply enjoy the surrounding nature. The cabins are spacious and clean, with two bedrooms and a bathroom, and are perfect for visitors who want amazing views and quiet. The surrounding mountains provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the rustic setting.
53701 TX-118, Terlingua, TX 79852, Phone: 432-371-2526
9.Longhorn Ranch Motel
© Longhorn Ranch Motel
The Longhorn Ranch Motel is situated in the beautiful Big Bend area of the southwestern region of Texas, featuring accommodations for groups of nearly any size as well as a park for RVs. Guests can delight in spectacular views of the sunset and the surrounding nearby mountains. Stargazing is a particularly great thing to do in Big Bend, as the wide open space allows the stars to be seen clearly. Tivo’s Place Restaurant is right next door, so guests won’t have to go far to get a great meal. The motel also features a pool as well as rooms specifically for those with pets.
52370 TX-118, Terlingua, TX 79852, Phone: 432-371-2541
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Riata Inn offers visitors to the Big Bend area an opportunity to journey back to the past, to a time of farming, the Wild West, and revolution. The inn boasts that they have the nicest and biggest rooms of any hotel in the town of Presidio in Texas. Conveniently located in the heart of town, the hotel is also just a short distance away from Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. The national park features amazing scenery, birdwatching, mountain biking, and hiking. Copper Canyon and Peguis Canyon are also in the nearby vicinity.
99205 US Hwy 67, Presidio, TX 79845, Phone: 432-229-2528
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11.Hotel Saint George
© Hotel Saint George
Hotel Saint George is steeped in the culture and history of the small town of Marfa, standing today on the same site as the original hotel that was built back in 1886. The lobby features repurposed materials from the 1929 incarnation of the building, such as reclaimed marble surfaces and brick walls that all meld with the contemporary artwork created by artists who live in or are connected to the local community. Hotel Saint George consists of 55 guest rooms, all thoughtfully designed to provide the ultimate amount of comfort for guests while showcasing the natural beauty and iconic artistry of Marfa.
105 South Highland Ave, Marfa, TX 79843, Phone: 432-729-3700
12.Cibolo Creek Ranch
© Cibolo Creek Ranch
As one of the state’s oldest ranches, Cibolo Creek Ranch is a place where antiques, art, and historical artifacts combine to provide a true atmosphere representing the 19th century. The buildings at the ranch give off a sense of togetherness, a feeling that culminates itself at meals, which are often served in the dining room at a long farm-style dining table. The grounds of Cibolo Creek Ranch span approximately 30,000 acres, offering plenty of space to discover the great outdoors, including a wide variety of activities that are led by ranch hands with plenty of experience.
97139 US Hwy 67, Marfa, TX 79843, Phone: 432-229-3737
13.The Hotel Paisano
© The Hotel Paisano
The Hotel Paisano is a historic and charming hotel consisting of 41 guest rooms and guest suites as well as a fitness center, seasonal heated swimming pool, casual restaurant, and a lounge with courtyard seating. The hotel also has a large room full of memorabilia, an art gallery, a gift shop with an extensive assortment of items, and event space. The Hotel Paisano is not only a destination of west Texas, but also a social hub and meeting place for the local community and an inviting oasis for visitors. The hotel offers an ideal accommodation for exploring the surrounding area.
207 N. Highland Ave, Marfa, TX 79843, Phone: 432-729-3669
14.Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alpine Southeast
© Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alpine Southeast
Holiday Inn Express and Suites Alpine Southeast is conveniently located just a short distance away from the well-known Big Bend National Park, the McDonald Observatory of Fort Davis, and the Wonders of Marfa Lights. The hotel offers visitors more of a “home” in the desert than several other lodging options in the Big Bend area, providing all of the modern comforts of home. It is also situated close to the border of Mexico and provides an amazing view of the mountains that surround the town. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast, an indoor pool, a fitness center, and wireless internet.
2004 East Hwy 90, Alpine, TX 79830, Phone: 432-837-9597
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15.The Maverick Inn
© The Maverick Inn
The Maverick Inn is a boutique motel located in the town of Alpine in Texas. Every one of the guest rooms is individually furnished and features expected modern conveniences and luxury amenities, such as Wi-Fi and a daily coffee bar. The motel is located in the center of the region of Big Bend, offering an ideal base for bikers, art enthusiasts, astronomers, hikers, or really anyone wanting to explore west Texas. Big Bend National Park, the McDonald Observatory, Balmorhea State Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Fort Davis, the town of Marfa, and more are all nearby.
1200 E. Holland Ave, Alpine, Texas 79830, Phone: 432-837-0628
16.Antelope Lodge Alpine
© Antelope Lodge Alpine
Antelope Lodge is a motor court hotel in Alpine, Texas, dating back to the 1950s. Nestled within the mountain valley, the hotel boasts beautiful surroundings and was one of the first of its kind built in western Texas, as well as one of the town’s oldest hotels in general. Many road warriors from throughout the world use the lodge as a base camp for exploring Big Bend National Park, Marfa, the Fort Davis Historic Site, Balmorhea, and the McDonald Observatory among other attractions. Antelope Lodge is pet-friendly and offers parking right at its cottages, which include kitchenettes, cable television, and air conditioning.
2310 West Highway 90, Alpine, Texas 79830, Phone: 432-837-2451
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17.The Holland Hotel
© The Holland Hotel
The Holland Hotel in downtown Alpine, Texas has long prided itself on offering the finest in west Texas hospitality by providing guests with the ultimate combination of history, charm, elegance, and hospitality. The hotel has been welcoming guests since 1928 and is a masterpiece of Trost & Trost, offering a unique piece of the history of west Texas. The Holland Hotel also acts as an epicenter for the community of Big Bend for both travelers and locals alike. Entertainment, dining, galleries, and shops are all just a short walk away, and guests can also enjoy live music in the courtyard.
209 W. Holland Ave, Alpine, TX 79830, Phone: 800-535-8040
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18.The Hotel Limpia
© The Hotel Limpia
The Hotel Limpia is a historic hotel constructed in the year 1912 that has been carefully restored. The hotel is nestled within the beautiful Davis Mountains, situated in the mile-high Fort Davis in the southwestern region of Texas. It currently contains 31 guests rooms, including extra spacious rooms as well as suites. All guest accommodations are completely restored and feature free Wi-Fi, period furnishings, and private bathrooms. Hotel Limpia also includes porches with rocking chairs, a glassed-in veranda containing flourishing plants, and a courtyard garden filled with the smell of herbs and roses. Its peaceful setting offers a comfortable hideaway.
101 Memorial Square, Fort Davis, TX 79734, Phone: 800-662-5517
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19.Big Bend Holiday Hotel
© Big Bend Holiday Hotel
The Big Bend Holiday Hotel is situated conveniently in the Ghost Town of Terlingua, perhaps the most famous ghost town in the state of Texas. The Holiday Hotel manages an array of different lodging options near the Terlingua Trading Company and the famous Starlight Theatre. Many of the accommodations are designed with ranch-style decor with a hint of Spanish influence. The majority of them are rather fancy for being located in a ghost town, however, none put on any airs. Among the options for accommodations are a house, suites, and two bedrooms in the old Perry Mansion ruins.
100 Ivey Rd, Terlingua, TX 79852, Phone: 432-201-1177
20.Big Bend Resort and Adventures
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Located in the town of Terlingua, Big Bend Resort and Adventures is situated only 3 miles away from Big Bend National Park, one of the largest national parks in the US. In addition to the resort’s comfortable accommodations, there is also a park for RVs that features a campground and full hookups. Guests can will also find a cafe, the Boquillas Border Crossing, and horseback riding nearby, along with Big Bend Overland Tours, which offer visitors a chance to explore Big Bend National Park in an entirely different way. Big Bend Resorts offers an array of different lodging options.
53623 TX-118, Terlingua, TX 79852, Phone: 432-371-2218
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20 Best Places to Stay Near Big Bend National Park
- Chisos Mountains Lodge, Photo: Chisos Mountains Lodge
- Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa, Photo: Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa
- Chisos Mining Co. Motel, Photo: Chisos Mining Co. Motel
- El Dorado Hotel, Photo: El Dorado Hotel
- La Posada Milagro, Photo: La Posada Milagro
- Gage Hotel, Photo: Gage Hotel
- Terlingua Ranch Lodge, Photo: Terlingua Ranch Lodge
- Wild Horse Station, Photo: Courtesy of Rafa Irusta - Fotolia.com
- Longhorn Ranch Motel, Photo: Longhorn Ranch Motel
- Riata Inn, Photo: Courtesy of pairhandmade - Fotolia.com
- Hotel Saint George, Photo: Hotel Saint George
- Cibolo Creek Ranch, Photo: Cibolo Creek Ranch
- The Hotel Paisano, Photo: The Hotel Paisano
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alpine Southeast, Photo: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alpine Southeast
- The Maverick Inn, Photo: The Maverick Inn
- Antelope Lodge Alpine , Photo: Antelope Lodge Alpine
- The Holland Hotel, Photo: The Holland Hotel
- The Hotel Limpia , Photo: The Hotel Limpia
- Big Bend Holiday Hotel, Photo: Big Bend Holiday Hotel
- Big Bend Resort and Adventures, Photo: Courtesy of lizaelesina - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of zakzeinert - Fotolia.com
All About Big Bend National Park
Because we all need to be able to experience sheer wonder at the beauty of the natural world, places like Big Bend National Park are vital to our wellbeing. As a community and as a world! Big Bend is an enormous piece of ground – measuring over 800,000 acres – in the far west corner of Texas.
It’s a place of mystery and deeply ancient history, where, if you listen carefully, you can still hear the whispers of ghosts in the sea fossils and dinosaur bones. It’s a place where night time is charcoal black, unbroken by technology and where the rivers meander around stone, giving it the aura of ancient architecture. More Things to do in Texas
Big Bend National Park History
The fight for territorialism increased from the 1800s until the early 20th century, where Mexican communities began settling in the area. By 1930, however, the value of Big Bend was respected by incipient conservators who recognized the importance of keeping the wildness of this part of the country wild. In 1935, the American Federal Government named this park the Texas Canyons State Park and ratified it as protected land.
It was renamed Big Bend in 1944, after the large bend in the 1,000 mile-long Rio Grande River which defines the border between America and Mexico. This bend embraces the park. Today, still home to more than 1,200 species of plant life, 450 types of birds, 56 types of reptiles and 75 types of mammals, Big Bend is also arguably one of the world’s largest repositories of ancient ruins which are preserved – thus providing invaluable access to America’s anthropological roots.
The best way to begin your visit to Big Bend is at the Panther Junction Visitor Center, located at the headquarters of the park. This visitor center offers you everything you need for your trip, from permits to groceries, diesel and gas to a post office and theater, as well as advice from experienced professionals, who can tell you all you need to know about hiking and cycling trails. But Panther Junction is not the only visitor center to this enormous piece of unspoiled land. The Chisos Basin, Rio Grande Village, Persimmon Gap and Castolon visitor centers are all fully operational and well equipped to give you all the support you need. Some of them are open on every day of the year, while others are open only seasonally, so you need to plan your routes with care.
Firmly supporting the principles which protect the natural environment, Big Bend is curiously one of the least visited of natural parks in America, clocking in some 300,000 visitors a year. This has to do with the park’s remoteness but also the fact that the preservation of the land comes before conventional creature comforts. You won’t get satellite television or Wi-Fi access here. Rather you will get the magic of God-given nature. So don’t bring your radio. You will have more than enough bird calls, and sheer silences to enjoy.
Things to Do
So, you’re not here to be entertained in a passive way. You need to be fairly robust, fit and curious to discover new things. There are options of ranger-led tours, as well as hiking trails, cycling trails and some 42 designated campsites which will cater to your physical necessities but come with strict rules for protecting the park itself.
Big Bend is celebrated as one of the premium cycling destinations in the world. It promises the most extraordinarily outstanding views on more than 100 miles of paved roads, and 160 miles of dirt roads suitable for experienced off-road cyclists. There are, however, very clear rules that prevent cyclists from riding on walking trails, for safety reasons – and these must be respected. There are shuttle facilities which can take you and your bicycle to the start of numerous trails ranging from easy to difficult. In the interests of your own safety, it is important that you adhere to the rules and don’t overtax yourself, particularly if this is your first visit to the park.
Similarly, if you wish to bring your own horse to the park, you are welcome to ride it, in specially designated areas. There are not, unfortunately, facilities to house horses or offer them for rent. If you are bringing your own horse, it must have vaccination documentation to prove that it is healthy and you must adhere to the park’s regulations with regard to where it can feed.
But if you’re keen to visit the park for what you can see in terms of birdlife, rather than on how far you can travel by foot, bicycle, or on horseback, Big Bend is also a place for you. If the scaled quail is something you’ve been yearning to see in its natural habitat, or the elf owl – or perhaps the Lucifer hummingbird or the black-tailed gnatcatcher, know that of the myriads of birds you will encounter in Big Bend, most are indigenous to the area and do not migrate through it. Bird-watching is a particular popular and really fruitful activity in Big Bend.
Another popular activity is day hikes, and because of the vastness of the terrain, you can opt for desert, mountain or river hikes. Either way, there is more than 150 miles of hike able terrain waiting for you, within a range of difficulty challenges and time frames. You need to equip yourself to handle elevations ranging from 1,800 feet to over 7,800 feet, and to expect to weather temperature differences of about 20°F as you walk between elevations.
Fishing from the Rio Grande is freely permissible, and represents a digression from the difficulty of navigating the terrains, which can be quite taxing and harsh. While you need to obtain a permit to fish in the Big Bend, that permit is free of charge.
All the entrances to the Big Bend National Park are open 24/7 but you can only gain access when you have paid your entrance fees. Entrance fee stations all close in the evenings, so you need to plan your time carefully. Every person entering the park is required to pay for a recreational use pass. Costing $12, per individual, this fee is designed to keep the park functional to a tourist industry, and percentages of this money goes toward supporting the facilities which you can access free of charge. In addition, you pay a nominal fee for your vehicle -- $25 for a non-commercial car, and $20 for a motorcycle. There are educational fee waivers if you are bringing a study group and various other fee structures depending on how regularly you wish to visit the park or whether you’re coming for commercial reasons.
The park features three front country camp grounds – which mean they are more built up for your comfort as a tourist – and a number of back country camp sites, which are considerably more rustic. Each requires a permit and each specifies that a limited number of people can camp in the given area at any given time. Forward planning is very important in expeditions of this nature. If camping is not your thing, the Chisos Mountain Lodge is the only lodge in the confines of the park. It is located at an elevation of 5,400 feet and has most modern conveniences and amenities, including a gift shop and restaurant.
In preparing for a trip to Big Bend, remember that you are up against raw nature in its most breathtaking and magnificent possibilities, but also its unrelenting extremities. You need to take every precaution you can in readying yourself for the trip: from your own physical fitness, to shoes that are hardy and comfortable enough to take a respectable pummeling; sun block and clothing to protect you from the sun, which can be quite relentless, depending on the time of year you choose to visit.
Back to: Weekend Getaways in Texas
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834, Phone: 432-477-2251