Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day Two at Big Bend: The Chisos Mountains

We spent today in the Chisos Mountains area of Big Bend National Park.  When we left our campsite at Rio Grande Village (close to the river) we were at an elevation of about 1800 feet above sea level.  We drove first to the Visitor Center at Panther Junction.
After leaving the visitor center we passed this wonderful display of purple cactus in front of the more familiar Prickly Pear cactus before beginning the six mile drive which climbs up Green Gulch to Panther Pass at an elevation of 5,679 feet above sea level.

Casa Grande

The Chisos Mountains
Soon after crossing Panther Pass we stopped at the trail head for the Lost Mine Trail where we hiked for about two hours.
The Lost Mine Trail

Casa Grande as seen from Lost Mine Trail.

The view of Juniper Canyon from Lost Mine Trail
When we returned to our truck we drove on to the Chisos Basin -- descending to an elevation of 5400 feet above sea level.

Ocotillo in bloom.

View of "The Window" from the Chisos Basin.  Massive stone ridges
surround the entire basin with the exception of this window.  The
valley in the distance was once grazing land for cattle.

View of "The Window" from the Chisos Mountain Lodge Restaurant.

Afternoon view of Casa Grande from the Chisos Basin.