We took the day to drive from Fort Stockton to Big Bend Ranch State Park. Took about 4 hours to get to the park. The park covers over 330,000 acres, and is the largest and maybe the least visited (a park ranger said there were fewer than 8,000 visitors in 2016) Texas state park. At Presidio TX, park headquarters is in Fort Leaton. The park is in the Chihuahua Desert at some points the park runs along the Rio Grande River. There are magnificent desert views, lots of cactus, rock canyons, many kinds of birds and animals. On the drive across the park we saw javelina running along the side of the road.
From Big Bend Ranch State Park, we drove to Lajitas, which is between the Big Bend Ranch and Big Bend National Park. Lajitas is a community that is completely owned by the Lajitas Resort. Beautiful resort with a world-class golf course, but you need to get reservations in advance and expect it to be expensive.
From Lajitas, we went to Big Bend National Park. We spent the night in the hotel at the Chisos Basin. There is no cell service, WiFi, television, or land phones in the rooms, but the view is enough to fill your time.
The drive through Big Bend National Park takes several hours depending on how many roads you travel. The views from the Chisos mountains is great. We went down to the Rio Grande campground to check it out. They have enlarged and improved RV camping since we were last there.
Another improvement to the park is the fossil display off the road going to Marathon. The largest dinosaur found so far was found in the area. The femur bone is over 6’ tall and some of the neck bones that were extract weighed over 1,000 pounds each. Great display even for people that aren’t interested in dinosaurs.
We had lunch at a café in Marathon and dinner back in Fort Stockton. It was a long two days of traveling to two fantastic parks.