Closed Canyon: Hike at Big Bend Ranch State Park

Mouth of the canyon.
Mouth of the canyon.

I recommend this hike to anyone either staying near the park or passing through on FM 170. It’s a relatively easy 1.5 mile round trip hike into a 200 foot gorge. The trailhead is right off FM 170 and well-marked with little cairns until the canyon appears.

The air is cool and still in the quiet depths of the canyon. It’s quite the change from the windy mountains outside.

I hiked the canyon until I reached an impassable drop off. According to one book I read, the drop off is twenty feet at two stages. You’ll know when you’ve hit it. Without equipment, there is not a method to safely descend.

Also, before that drop, there is a ten foot high pour-off. Don’t feel compelled to make that descent if it looks too difficult. The rocks are really slippery smooth at that point, and the views don’t change much the further in you get.

I wouldn’t go near the canyon during a storm. I can only imagine how the water gets whipping around the narrow canyon. Dangerous!

Some of the vegetation you'll see.
Some of the vegetation you’ll see.
This cave is way up high on the western wall of the canyon.
This cave is way up high on the western wall of the canyon.
Some parts are quite narrow!
Some parts are quite narrow!

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