Mariscal Mine

>1 mile round trip, but there is lots of exploring to do

About: An ore mine that got started when Theodore Roosevelt was still a vice president. The ore was refined into mercury, or quicksilver, on the mining site for much of its existence. Otherwise, the ore was refined in the nearby ghost town of Terlingua.

You can feel the history and almost see the community hard at work as you pass through the housing ruins of the employees. You even pass by the remains of an old automobile that is worth a spot in your Instagram feed. The body of the mine and much of its inner workings are still very much intact. You can make out how the mine worked during its prime and follow the path of the ore all the way from the mine to the refining chimneys. There are still several mine shafts you can peer into, though they are caged off.

mariscal mine big bend national park
Pros: Stimulating intrigue from the mine and surrounding housing ruins. Vistas of the desert.

Cons: Although worth it, this is a long drive down a dirt road. A very secluded part of the park. Make sure your vehicle can handle the trek.

Tips: Once you hike towards the “top” of the mine, you can follow a path to the top of the hill to adjoining hill. Follow that trail to the top of the hill for an amazing vista.

Rating:  Because of the rich history and high intrigue, this short hike gets: