The best kept secret in the south is tucked into a corner of Texas. Big Bend National Park is one of the largest in the lower 48, yet it gets about one-fourth the number of visitors annually as Yellowstone and Yosemite. Okay, so it's a bit off the beaten path (ten hours from Austin), but it is totally worth the drive. Even if you break down in the middle of nowhere.
First you drive through a whole lotta nada that looks like this...
But well before you even enter park boundaries you are rewarded with views like this...
Highlights of the week for us included the Lost Mine Trail hike, sunrises over the Rio Grand and Santa del Carmen Mountains, stargazing (it's the darkest place in the entire lower 48 states), soaking in the hot spring, and after-dark javelina hunts. Also worth mentioning: getting hit by our first dust devil while biking, AMAZING rock hunting, watching Kristin butt-slide down a volcanic ash deposit, tossing stones into Mexico, and witnessing an illegal border crossing. I leave you with a few photos below, but for the full gallery in a much better viewing platform click here.