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RLM
post Aug 16 2008, 02:05 PM
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I am planning to be in the general area of Big Bend in SW Texas mid-September for a week. In checking out the website reviews, it appears that the nicer CGs are in Alpine or at the Davis Mountain State park and that's centrally located to all the attractions. Cost is not deciding factor; comfort and convenience is. We aren't opposed to moving the rig once during the week.

I'd appreciate any first hand info on that plus some suggestions as to what else to visit. On our list already is Big Bend and McDonald Observatory.
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RV Camper
post Aug 16 2008, 04:47 PM
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Check out the area around Alpine, TX and a Ft. Davis Historic Monument is also very close to the observatory area. There is both a state park and a federal historic site at Ft. Davis.


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Texasrvers
post Aug 17 2008, 12:45 AM
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Hi RLM,

Sounds like you are coming back to Texas. Weren’t you work camping somewhere? Glad to have you back.

You can read the campground reviews for Big Bend so I won’t elaborate on them too much. Just be aware that Big Bend is very wild and natural, and they try to keep it that way on purpose. There are places with full hook ups but they are not “resort” type places. Also be aware that there are two campgrounds at Rio Grand Village. Reviews for both places are all listed under one name, but read the reviews, and they will explain the difference. Also you cannot get that big 40’ Alfa up in the Chisos Basin, but it is a pretty area to drive to in the car.

For RV parks outside of Big Bend look at the reviews for Alpine and Ft Davis. However, they are not close to BB. Alpine is 72 mi to the entrance of BB and Ft Davis is 96. Then it is another 46 mi from the entrance to Rio Grand Village. Not a trip you would want to make very often. We stayed at the Lost Alaskan in Alpine a few years ago, and it was very nice. The Davis Mountains State Park in Ft Davis is excellent, but it does not have some amenities you may want (no 50 amp, pool, or Wi-Fi). If you can do without a few things this is a beautiful place.

If I were you I’d stay a few days down in BB and see things there, and then a few more in the Ft Davis area. I would not try to stay out of the park and drive down to it for day trips.

Big Bend is mostly for hiking and backpacking although there are many sights you can drive to. While there try to see Santa Elena Canyon, and as mentioned before the Chisos Basin has beautiful views. They used to have horse back tours in this area. Also years ago there were some hot spring pools near (but not in) Rio Grand Village. They sat right on the side of the river. You could sit in the pool and watch rafters on the river. And speaking of rafting, there are several tours you can take. I think they leave out of LaJitas and end either in Santa Elena Canyon or farther on down the river. I’ve heard there are even overnight trips.

Up around Ft Davis definitely plan to see the McDonald Observatory. It is very interesting. We went to a star party a few years ago and really enjoyed it. They are held on certain weekends at the visitor center, and you get to look through telescopes at different things in the night sky. There are also times they let you look through the really big telescopes in the observatory. Look at the observatory website for more information.

Ft Davis itself is interesting and has a self guided tour. The Limpia Hotel in the town of Ft Davis is a historic site and a great place to eat. Also check out the restored Gage Hotel in Marathon. The cast and crew of the 1950's movie Giant stayed here during filming.

If you like weird stuff go to Marfa after dark and look for the Marfa Lights. These are strange floating lights that can be seen in the distance where there are no roads or houses, and no one has ever been able to find anything that would be making the light. There’s a small observation area where the lights can be seen.

A little north of Ft Davis is Balmorhea State Park. Its main attraction is a huge spring fed swimming pool that is worth seeing even if you don’t swim in it.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Have a safe trip.
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RLM
post Aug 21 2008, 02:14 PM
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TX-RVer> Yeah, we'll be headed back from our host gig at one of the National Forests. Last year after being up north for the summer, we arrived back home around Labor Day and it was still in the 90s. Not going to make that mistake again. smile.gif

As luck would have it, I happened to meet someone the other day who had lived in Ft Davis. He also said not to attempt taking my rig into Chisos.

Between talking with him and what you and Kirk have listed, Plan B is now to stay in the Ft Davis area, probably Davis Mountain SP, for a few days, then move to the Rio Grand Village. We'll head back to the ranch via 90. There appears to be lotsa things to see along that route to.
I've lived in TX on and off for two decades and haven't been to the SW. Go figure.

I printed off your and Kirk's lists to have as a handy reference when we get into the area. Maybe a week ain't enuff time after all.

Thanks for the help.



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