Return to the Great Wide Open

Mar 02, 2014 View Comments by

Return to the Great Wide OpenI don’t need to tell anyone that most of the U.S. has been experiencing one long, cold, and snowy winter. Shortly after the holidays were over, Kris and I started looking for an escape. Having had a great time on our first trip to Big Bend (see the April 2014 issue of RoadRUNNER), we decided to head back. Flying into El Paso we made the 3.5-hour drive to Big Bend/Terlingua. Once there we again met up with Dan from GSM MotoRent, picked up our KLRs, and laid out our plan—return to some of the roads and places from our previous tour and check out some we didn’t get to the first time around.


Marfa, an eclectic small town north of Big Bend is a five to six hour ride by way of some truly fantastic roads. FM170 lead us through Presidio and into the tiny village of Ruidosa where we picked up Pinto Canyon Road. This very remote, rarely traveled dirt and gravel county trail winds up, over, and around the Chinati Mountains for roughly 20 miles before meeting up with the paved RM 2810. Where the pavement begins rugged mountains give way to wide open spaces all the way to Marfa. We stayed the evening before making the two-hour return trip back to Terlingua via Hwy 118.


The border crossing inside Big Bend was recently reopened after being closed for nearly 11 years. Just a short boat ride across the Rio Grande and you’re in Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico. Admittedly, there is not much there as the town is just now undergoing a renaissance since the crossing re-opened. However, you can always stop in at Falcon’s for lunch or a beer.

If you are planning a visit to the Big Bend region, both of these routes/destinations are worth including on your agenda.

Check out the video from our last trip to the area for an idea of the excellent riding it has to offer.


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About the author

I've been called a "Free-Spirit", "A Lost Soul", and "A Wanderer" for as long as I can remember. I prefer to think of myself as a Traveler. Most at ease when I am in motion, two of my favorite things are arriving somewhere new, and heading off for somewhere yet unexplored.