Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Big Bend National Park: Dog Canyon & Devil's Den

Chisos Panoramic
We woke up at our Grapevine Hills campsite this morning and we were treated to a wonderful view of the Chisos Mountains. We ate breakfast and got ready for the day's hike. We were headed to the northern section of the park and Dog Canyon. We had hiked Dog Canyon before on a cold, windy day. We had not, however, hiked to Devil's Den. The hike started out at a small pull-off of the main park road. We started out hiking in the baking sun. This is not a hike I would recommend on a hot summer day.

Soon we could see Dog Canyon and we headed into the wash and the canyon itself.
In Dog Canyon
It was just as I had remembered on our last visit. The canyon was impressive with lots of small caves in its limestone walls. We traveled clear through the canyon and then turned around to head for Devil's Den. The hike to Devil's Den followed a dry, narrow wash.
Hiking Wash

The hike wasn't really all that interesting until we came to a section of the wash that featured a solid rock floor. There were some potholes where water had carved right through the rock. One of the potholes had formed a small natural arch.
Devil's Den Arch

We headed further up the wash and could soon see Devil's Den Canyon itself.
Devil's Den
The canyon features a lot of boulder hopping and climbing.
Boulder Hopping
We weren't really prepared to do a lot of climbing and so we went into the canyon just a little ways where we stopped and rested before heading back out. We found a short cut back to the car, a cairned rock across the desert.
Noelle and Distant Dog Canyon
Soon we were back to the car. We still had plenty of daylight and so we decided to take our time driving back to camp. We stopped at the Fossil Bone Exhibit and admired the view.
Fossil Bone Overlook
Then we headed to the Hannold Grave site.
Hannold Grave

At this point we were a bit conflicted about what to do with the rest of our day. Finally we decided to head to the Terlingua Ghost town for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants ever, the Starlight Theatre.
Starlight Theatre
We got into town a bit early and so we explored the remains of the old mining town a bit before we headed into the restaurant for a delicious dinner.  
Eric in Terlingua
Mine Elevator

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