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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From Marfa to the South via The River Road
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.
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.