“Rolling desert terrain leads visitors to ancient pictographs and a fantastic hot spring!
— Hunter R
Journey along the Hot Springs Canyon Trail amidst a stunning desertscape juxtaposed with the meandering green waters of the majestic Rio Grande.
Starting at the Hot Springs Canyon Trail/Daniels Ranch Picnic Area Parking Area, travel west along the trail, ascending moderately to the top of the canyon's north wall before beginning a rolling descent on a mixed tread to the trail's end. Along the route, keep your eyes peeled for ocotillo, cactus, and numerous other types of desert florae.
On the route, be sure to turn off on the Hot Springs Historic Walk to view the hot springs, historic resort buildings, and ancient pictographs left sometime during the last 8,000 years of Big Bend's occupation by various Native American peoples. While there are over 26,000 recognized archaeological sites in Big Bend National Park, many of these sites have not been studied, and an unfortunate result is that relatively little is known about the prehistory of the area.
The Hot Springs Canyon Trail is most pleasingly traveled during the spring, fall or winter, as the combination of West Texas' summer heat and a lack of shade along the route can make even the most gorgeous trail miserable. If taken during the summer months, visitors should be sure to bring at least one gallon of water per person in order to properly protect against the threat of dehydration. In a similar vein, wearing either sun-protective clothing or high-SPF sunscreen is a must.
Ocotillo, cactus, and other scrubby desert plants abound along this section of the Rio Grande.