Texas Trips: 5 places on your next trip to Big Bend National Park

HOUSTONThere are some pretty amazing places to see in Texas. Our ongoing series “Texas Trips,” helps you discover what to do, and where to eat and stay in these places.

Forbes once considered Big Bend National Park to be, "a Texas sized geologic wonder of the world.” And it’s true. Each year thousands of guests take the trek out to Big Bend National Park to hike, camp, climb, stargaze and experience a place unlike any other.

Luckily for Houstonians, Big Bend is an easily planned trip if you want to take a quick flight and drive out to the area or a nine-hour car ride. Take advantage of the fall temperatures and go experience it yourself.

Here are 5 places to see near Big Bend National Park:

1. Santa Elena Canyon Trail

If you want to see the true beauty of Big Bend and experience one of the most scenic hikes in the area, go venture the Santa Elena Canyon Trail. The 1.7 mile hike is not super strenuous, and the stunning canyon will easily leave hikers with unforgettable memories.

2. Emory Peak

The trail up Emory Peak is for more experienced hikers. If you are an avid hiker, head up Emory Peak on a pretty day to experience some incredible 360 degree views at the top. The trail is 10.5 miles round trip and normally takes about five or six hours to hike.

3. Natural hot springs near Rio Grande River

An easy 0.5 mile hike will take guests towards the Rio Grande River as the area is not accessible further by car. According to the National Park Service, “Hot spring water is considered old water, fossil water, ancient and irreplaceable. Heated by geothermal processes and emerging at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the water carries dissolved mineral salts reputed to have healing powers. The therapeutic power of heat has long been touted as a remedy of both body and soul.”

4. Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

While many families enjoy camping under the stars, others may want to getaway to a resort. Lajitas is a great resort option as it showcases the entirety of the nature of Big Bend and all it has to offer, while offering tons of amenities. Amenities include golf, zip lining, hunting, an equestrian center, mountain biking, Jeep rentals, birding and more. As Big Bend can be a trek to get to, Lajitas is now offering a charter jet service for groups of eight or more out of Houston, Midland, San Antonio and Austin. They regularly charter services out of Dallas Love Airport. For families doing the RV experience, Lajitas has an RV park on property.

5. Starlight Theatre

Most families head over to Big Bend for the outdoor experience, but some people may crave more of an avid nightlife scene during their vacation. Starlight Theatre offers both the outdoor and nightlife experience for guests in the area. The restaurant offers southern food and endless drink options. There is also live entertainment, a ghost town area, the Holiday Hotel located on property, a church and a variety of services offered for your special events.