Luna's Jacal

Luna\'s Jacal
Explore a small historic dugout house from the early days of Big Bend.


Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Scenic View/Photo Spot

Luna's Jacal was the residence of Gilberto Luna, a pioneer Mexican farmer who made a living in this remote area by goatherding and farming along the moist banks of Alamo Creek. He sold goats to his neighbors and nearby miners, and he also sold wood cut in the Chisos. Luna was a well-respected resident and known far and wide throughout the Big Bend.

The jacal (hah-KAHL), a low dugout dwelling, is a great example of a primitive Mexican house-shelter characteristic of early pioneer settlement in the Big Bend area. The house backs up to a large boulder and is remarkably suited to the desert environment. The roof was made of ocotillo branches weighted down with earth and stones.

Luna arrived in 1916, and raised a large family at this site. His farm was one of several along Alamo Creek.
His house still stands as a testament to his impressive ability to adapt to the harsh environment of the region and to his diplomatic skills in a frontier and border society. 

A wayside exhibit panel nearby offers more information about Luna and his family. 

Big Bend National Park

Last updated: April 5, 2021