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West Texas Road Trips

Whether you’re on a Marfa vacation with friends or here for a board retreat, wedding, reunion or special event, these suggested West Texas road trips are a great way to spend an afternoon. Marfa is surrounded by several state and national parks and is near some of the most popular things to do in the Big Bend region. Grab a giant egg, chorizo and cheese burrito from Marfa Burrito and a freshly-made juice from Aster Marfa before hitting the road. When you get back, relax on one of the many patios in Marfa and reminisce with tall drinks and even taller tales.

The Texas mountains are calling. Check out these excursions around Marfa:

Day Trips from Marfa

Gage Hotel
The Historic Gage Hotel

From Marfa to the East

From Marfa to the East

Alpine, Museum of the Big Bend, Marathon, Gage Hotel

Head east on U.S. 90 and in less than half an hour you’ll be in the town of Alpine, home to Sul Ross State University. Explore the Museum of the Big Bend, a fabulous immersion into the history, geology and art of the region. Drive a bit further to Marathon, the picturesque ponds and wildlife in Gage Gardens, and the historic Gage Hotel.

Prada Marfa Art Installation
Prada Marfa

From Marfa to the Northwest

From Marfa to the Northwest

Prada Marfa, Van Horn, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The first stop of this West Texas road trip is Prada Marfa, an art installation in the desert that’s one of the most photographed locales of the region. Next, stop at the historic railroad town of Van Horn before hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park—home to the tallest peak in Texas. Then a tour through Carlsbad Caverns National Park, a magical underground world with highlights like King’s Palace and Balloon Ballroom.

Terlingua Ghost Town Graveyard
Terlingua Ghost Town

From Marfa South to Big Bend National Park

From Marfa South to Big Bend National Park

Terlingua, Study Butte, Big Bend National Park, Chisos Basin

It’s hard to visit Marfa and not make time to spend in Big Bend National Park. Stop at the ghost town of Terlingua—home to that famous chili cook-off—and grab a bite to eat in Study Butte before entering the park. Revel in the breathtaking views of Santa Elena Canyon’s limestone walls. You can bike, bird, raft and hike in Big Bend.

Fort Davis
Fort Davis

From Marfa to the Northeast

From Marfa to the Northeast

Fort Davis National Historic Site, Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center

A visit to the base of the Davis Mountains offers a look into the past and the beyond. McDonald Observatory’s world-class instruments give a look into deep space, while the historic Fort Davis National Historic Site shows how settlers and military lived in the 1800’s.

Night Sky over the Chinati Mountains
Night Sky over the Chinati Mountains

From Marfa to the South via Pinto Canyon Road

From Marfa to the South via Pinto Canyon Road

Chinati Hot Springs, Presidio, Fort Leaton

This West Texas road trip takes you to Pinto Canyon via RM 2810, a gorgeous drive for the adventurous wanderer. The Rio Grande and some of the most scenic West Texas views imaginable await on this excursion. Soak in the Chinati Hot Springs, grab enchiladas in border town Presidio, and step back in time at Fort Leaton. The ghostly Chinati Mountains are your backdrop for this drive.

St. Elena Canyon
St. Elena Canyon

From Marfa to the South via The River Road

From Marfa to the South via The River Road

Cibolo Creek Ranch, Fort Leaton, Terlingua Ghost Town, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Big Bend National Park

You’ll forget to breathe more than once while taking in the wonders along the route to Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park. Whether it’s the majesty of Santa Elena Canyon or the mining ghost town of Terlingua, River Road is full of surprises.

Balmorhea State Park
Balmorhea State Park

From Marfa to the waters of balmorhea

From Marfa to the waters of balmorhea

Calera Chapel, Balmorhea State Park, Balmorhea Lake

Travel north past the Davis Mountains for a day with the splendor of Balmorhea. Start with the famous San Solomon Springs in Balmorhea State Park where you can snorkel and scuba dive and then take in the wildlife in the city itself, where migratory bird routes keep birdwatchers busy.