Brian Greenstone

The Greenstone Guide to Austin & The Hil Country



Big Bend Ranch State Park is just west of Big Bend National Park, but it's a whole different trip out there. This place makes Big Bend National Park look like downtown Manhattan because it is truly out in the middle of nowhere, and there are far fewer visitors there. The drive out there is exciting enough, but once you get to the park there are lots of great trails to explore. As for lodging, there is a ranch house which is really neat, and you can rent rooms there for reasonable prices, there is a bunk house which is like being at summer camp, and then there are camp sites. The best camp site is the South Leyva site. It's a big area with a great view on top of a small mesa.

Every so often, the park offers guided tours of the Solitario - basically the crater of an ancient supervolcano. This is a multi-day tour where they take you out into the boonies where you setup camp, and then spend a whole day hiking the ~8 miles of the Solitario formation. This hike is spectacular! Contact the park and ask them about this tour because when we did it, it was the first time they had done it in like 6+ years, so it's not a weekly outing by any means.

Come to this park well provisioned because it's an hour and a half drive to the nearest store. SUV's and/or trucks would be recommended because this is an active working ranch with bumpy ranch roads, so smaller, low-riding, cars could suffer some damage if you're not careful.


It's a long, long way away, so best set your GPS to point to Presidio, TX and then follow the route.


For Panoramas of the "Big House" (Ranch House) Click Here

©2001-2011 Brian Greenstone