West Texas Water Tour: Chinati Hot Springs

For our third spring, we had to drive on El Camino del Rio. 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.  You can take this road to get to Big Bend State Ranch Park, another favorite park of mine.  There is also a magical spot filled with hoodoos (weather-carved volcanic ash), always a great spot to get out and look around.


The farm pictured is part of an area that is believed to be the oldest continuously cultivated farmland in Texas.

The Third spring we visited was at Chinati Hot Springs. It is west of Big Bend State Ranch Park and south of Marfa, very remote (no wifi, no cell service). The hotel/campground has adorable cabins and a very large and functional community kitchen. It was the perfect place for short hikes, watching birds, relaxing in the spring and cooking good food. The community spring ‘tub” was wonderful for soaking during day and night.

From Chinati Hot Springs we drove to Marfa. Due to a thunderstorm the night before we were unable to take the Pinto Canyon Road to Marfa, saved for another trip. After a rain, the low water crossing areas become possible mud traps. We left later in the day to let others make a path and for the mud to dry some.


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