Marufo Vega Trail

Great views along the Marufo Vega Trail
Great views along the Marufo Vega Trail

This is a strenuous, but spectacular day hike or overnight backpacking trip through stark but stunning terrain. The trail is named after Gregorio Marufo, who once grazed goats along the Rio Grande.

From the trailhead, the route follows a sandy wash, but soon climbs steeply to a high plateau, then through a series of rugged drainages. After approximately 3.5 miles the trail splits into a north and south fork. The north fork descends towards the river and offers panoramic views of the cliffs of the Sierra del Carmen in Mexico and the Rio Grande far below in Boquillas Canyon. The south fork leads to an amazing promontory with endless mountain views and glimpses of the Rio far below. From there, the route steeply descends towards the banks of the river. A connecting trail parallels the river above, and connects both forks, providing for a 14-mile round-trip loop.


Be Prepared

Hikers must be duly prepared for the challenges of this trail. This trail is not an appropriate hike for the unprepared or unfit.. Temperatures regularly well exceed 110°F during spring and summer. You will find NO shade and NO water along this trail—and river water is not potable. The trail ascends and then descends through the Deadhorse Mountains. Total elevation gain (climbing) is approximately 2000' each way. Marufo Vega is pleasant to hike during the winter months, but hikers have died in the intense heat of spring and summer. This combination of factors make this trail potentially deadly from April through September.

  • Start this hike early in the day when temperatures are cooler.
  • No Cell Coverage Here. Always tell someone your plans and when you expect to return before heading out.
  • Always wear a hat, and protective clothing to protect against the sun's radiant heat.
  • take along plenty of water (1 gallon per person/day) and salty snacks.
  • Please be aware that timely rescue is not guaranteed in Big Bend National Park. During extreme heat, rescue attempts may not begin until conditions are safe for the rescuers - usually during the cooler, morning temperatures.
marufo trail guide
Marufo Vega Trail Guide
Includes route description, map, and important safety information
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View of the Del Carmens and Rio Grande along the Marufo Vega Trail
View of the Del Carmens and Rio Grande along the Marufo Vega Trail

Last updated: January 7, 2021

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PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129



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