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 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 for and offers panoramic view of the cliffs of the Sierra del Carmen in Mexico and the Rio Grande far below in Boquillas Canyon. From the rim, the route steeply descends towards the river. A spur trail allows hikers to actually reach the banks of the river. A connecting trail parallels the river above, and reaches the south fork, providing for a 14-mile round-trip loop.
Stop by a park visitor center for a detailed pamphlet that highlights the various routes.
Hikers must be duly prepared for the challenges of this trail. The route is poorly defined in places and sometimes overgrown with low desert vegetation. Temperatures may 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. This combination of factors make this trail potentially deadly during the late spring and summer. Tell someone your plans before heading out. Always wear a hat, and clothing to protect against the sun's radiant heat, take along plenty of water (1 gallon per person/day) and salty snacks, and start early when temperatures are cooler.Due to the difficult nature of this hike and environmental dangers in the low desert, hikers are strongly advised to purchase a detailed topographic map before heading out as the trail can be confusing. A map is available from the Big Bend Natural History Association bookstore.
Last updated: February 4, 2019