In doing route planning, I try to know as much as possible about a road before I take it. Usually it works out as planned. Sometimes it goes wrong for some reason, e.g., construction. And sometimes it just knocks your socks off. That. That last one was today.
Knowing fuel stations are scarce in the Big Bend area, we started the day with a fuel-up near the Panther Creek Visitors Center. With fuel in the tank and extra water in the tourpak, we headed off for the Santa Elena Canyon at the base of the park. The canyon guides the Rio Grande river through this section. Unless you are on an adventure bike, it’s a one road in/out access, 30 miles each way...with a speed limit ranging from 35-45 mph. Sounds a little painful, but the scenery is outstanding along the way and at the end. The huge cliffs in the pics below are on the Mexican side of the canyon. Perhaps this is where President Trump got the idea for the wall.
We said our goodbyes to Big Bend National Park via the west exit, which is just three miles from Terlingua. In Terlingua, we turned west on FM-170, which is informally known as the “River Road” and is part of the Texas Mountain Trail. The road runs through the Big Bend Ranch State Park to Presidio and points beyond. Once we passed through Lajitas, the road just went wild - canyon runs along the Rio Grande, twisties, more twisties, roller coaster rides over the small hills, and serious elevation climbs (to go over the mountains) where Closed Canyon narrows the river substantially, making it impossible to fit the road along the river. I thought I had been on all the best roads in Texas, but this one is my new favorite. A 50 mile adrenaline rush, for sure. It’s over 675 miles from my hometown, but I will be back...and I will bring friends.
Thinking back over the last two days of riding in the Texas desert, I have a new appreciation for the different desert scapes that we have been blessed to see. Get out and ride!
Need some wind therapy?
With 45+ years of riding experience, the team has developed a library of our favorite rides in Texas and points beyond. We call them our Twisted Rides. We thought it might be a good idea to share that experience and encourage you to do the same!
We partnered with MyRoute-app, a leading provider of route planning tools, to create and share the routes. Using the map below, Users are able to view and download the routes without registering with MyRoute-app. If you would like the ability to open/edit/save the routes, the User will be prompted to register with MyRoute-app and offered two subscription levels - Basic (free) and Gold (fee dependent on subscription term and payment method). Being an avid ride planner, I prefer the Gold level for the additional features and I also believe in supporting independent software developers who invest their time and talents to create useful applications for the motorcycle industry. As a Twisted Rides referral, you receive an extended evaluation period and special pricing if you choose the Gold level - so give it a shot!
What journey is on your bucket list? Click on a ride below and we'll show you the way!