• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas


River Road East and the Marical Mine
River Road East and the Marical Mine
Mark Hench

Big Bend's landscape is so vast and so awesome that it doesn't always fit well into conventional photography. These Quicktime VR panoramic images allow viewers to scan right and left and in come cases all the way around. They provide a way of getting an overall impression of a scene and not just one static view. Click on the links and when the panorama opens in a new window, hold down the mouse on the image and drag to the right or left to pan around. Use the + and - buttons to zoom in and out.

These panoramic images files require the free Apple QuickTime Player.


Along the Rio Grande
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Santa Elena Canyon
Located in the southwestern corner of the park, Santa Elena Canyon is one of the most famous scenic features of the Big Bend. The magnificence of this canyon is difficult to appreciate, even with a panoramic photo. The Rio Grande has cut a 1,500' vertical chasm out of pure limestone. Mexico makes up the left wall and Texas the right. A fabulous trail follows the river upstream and enters the canyon. Floating through the canyon is a spectacular adventure.

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The Rio Grande flooding the Langford Hot Spring
In 1910, Big Bend pioneer J.O. Langford built a stone bath house over a natural hot spring. While the bath house is long gone, you can still soak in the 105°F waters that bubble up from a hole in the ground. When the Rio Grande rises above three feet in depth (at the Rio Grande Village gauge), river water flows into the spring, often submerging it.


The Desert
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The Dorgan House
This spectacular adobe ruin was once the home of Big Bend area resident Albert Dorgan. Dorgan first proposed the idea of an international park on the Rio Grande in the fall of 1934. The remains of his adobe home are located a short distance from Santa Elena Canyon.
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Volcanic badlands near Castolon
About a mile above the Castolon Historic District, the Ross Maxwell Scenice Drive crosses an area of white tuff beds and black, basaltic boulders. This is just one of many geologic highlights on the western side of the park.

The Chisos Mountains
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From the summit of Emory Peak
Emory Peak, the highest point in the park at 7,832 feet, is a five hour hike to the summit. The summit is a rugged pile of volcanic boulders. Use caution when climbing to the top, some areas are very precarious. If you’re afraid of heights, wait on one of the stone benches in the shaded area just below the peak. But if you do get to the top, the 360 degree view of the Chihuahuan desert is unsurpassable.

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The view from the South Rim
The South Rim is located at the extreme southern edge of the Chisos Mountains. At the rim, the desert floor lies 2,500 feet below you and vast panoramas of rugged desert and mountains beckon far into Mexico. The South Rim can be done as a strenuous day hike, but is best enjoyed on a 1-2 night backpack trip.

Panoramic photos provided courtesy of virtualbigbend.com

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