PANTHER JUNCTION VISITOR CENTER TEMPORARY CLOSURE
The Panther Junction Visitor Center will be closed Tuesday May 28 and Wednesday May 29 for needed maintenance. Information, backcountry permits, and entrance fee payments can be taken care of at the Chisos Basin Visitor Center.
Primitive Dirt Roads
Be Safe on Backcountry Roads
NPS Photo/Jennette Jurado
Glenn Springs Road
Pine Canyon Road 4 miles (6km)
From the Glenn Springs Road this short road leads to the Juniper Canyon Trail and Dodson Trail junction. This road is rocky and rough and usually requires 4-wheel drive.
NPS Photo/Cookie Ballou
26 miles (43km)
Used in the early 1900s to transport ore from Mexican mines to the railroad station at Marathon, the Old Ore Road generally follows the route used by mule and pack trains a century ago. The road has excellent views of the Chisos Mountains across the Tornillo Creek drainage to the west. Ernst Tinaja, five miles from the southern end of the road, is a popular destination.
51 miles (82km)
The River Road traverses the southern portion of the Big Bend. While generally following the course of the Rio Grande, the road usually runs a considerable distance from the river, especially in its middle section. Due to the length and usually rough condition of the road, allow a full day to drive from end to end. Numerous roadside campsites (permit required) are located along the road, allowing for an extended exploration. The west end of the road is lesser used, and generally in a rougher condition; the road crosses numerous washes, and is often impassable after rains.
NPS Photo/Eric Leonard
8.5 miles (14km)
This road connects the Glenn Springs Road with the River Road. This road is not maintained, and 4-wheel drive is required at all times. Black Gap Road photos (700k pdf) provide insight of this challenge.
Did You Know?
The predominant shrub found in Big Bend National Park is creosote. While most shrubs lose their leaves in winter, creosote maintains its resinous foliage year round. After a rainstorm, the shrubs "green-up" and produce small, yellow flowers several times a year. More...