The park is named for a curve in the Rio Grande which forms the international border with Mexico. This corner of Texas is not easy to get to, so when you do decide to visit plan on staying for at least a few days. The weather can be very pleasant in the winter months.
Chisos Basin, Hot Springs, Balanced Rock, Santa Elena Canyon Overlook
Located down a short dirt road from Rio Grande Village Campground, a quick walk takes you to a riverside hot springs, a great spot to relax after a day of hiking in the dry Texas desert. While soaking there, you are literally a stone’s throw from another country.
From Chisos Basin it is a short two mile canyon hike to The Window for a gunsight view to the west. This trail is especially popular at sunset.
The most popular back road is Grapevine Hills Road which accesses the short Balanced Rock Trail and passes a couple of the most accessible of the 70 primitive backcountry car campsites (which require a permit from a visitor center).
Spring and fall, but we have had good weather during visits in December and early March.
$30 per vehicle or America the Beautiful pass
We found that many of the dirt roads are passable with a mini-van, but some are four-wheel-drive only, so check with a ranger first.
There are many choices of campgrounds and backcountry campsites (permit required) throughout the park, but we recommend the Chisos Basin for its roadrunners and nightly ranger programs.