Southeast of El Paso and east of Presidio in the Big Bend regions, the 280,000 acre Big Bend Ranch State Park has miles of trails. Embracing some of the most remote and rugged terrain in the Southwest, this state park encompasses two mountain ranges containing ancient extinct volcanoes, precipitous canyons, and waterfalls. Daily/Hourly horseback rides are offered at the Sauceda Ranch Headquarters with Park staff guiding visitors through some of parks canyon trails. For information and reservations please call office (432) 229-3416.
At this time, there is little development, but certain areas of the park have limited recreational use and vehicular access. Visitors must contact either Fort Leaton State Historical Park (4 miles east of Presidio on FM 170) or Barton Warnock Environmental Education Center (1 mile east of Lajitas on FM 170) to obtain permits, pay user fees.
The scenic drive along the River Road (Texas FM 170), following the meanders of the Rio Grande, is among the most spectacular in the nation. Vehicular traffic into the park interior is allowed on the 35-mile, well-maintained gravel park road and several miles of designated, 4-wheel-drive trails. Motor homes and large recreational vehicles may not be able to enter backcountry park areas.
Camping Areas are located at Madera (Monilla) Canyon and at Grassy Banks River Access along FM 170. Two group camping areas, Contrabando and Arenosa, have self-composting toilets. Ten (10) small, designated primitive campgrounds along the gravel park road in the backcountry are accessible to high-clearance vehicles only.
Overall, Big Bend Ranch State Park is the 12th most popular horse trail of all 22 horseback rides in Texas.