This is a little hard to suggest because you can do a half day hike and be toast for the rest of the day. Many times, you can just rest an hour with a good lunch and regain the energy for another half day hike. But here I’ll try to keep it to one half-day hike a day with other points of intrigue. Unless a second (and third) hike is easy enough.
Regardless of the day, we always try to end up in Terlingua for dinner. Of course, the Starlight Theater is a favorite. But the infamous La Kiva has been also highly recommended. Rio Bravo has legit Mexican food. If you are staying in Marathon, you have the awesome options of the lovely 12 Gage Restaurant and, one of my cozy favorites, the White Buffalo Bar.
Take these suggestions with a grain of salt or an easy starting place thin customize on your own. Read what there is to offer then visit a ranger station and create what best suits you.
This will immediately get you acquainted with Big Bend.
- Visit Panther Junction Visitor Center
- Drive into Chisos Basin
- The Window Trail
- Hot Springs District
- Hike to the hot springs and soak in it
- Explore the trail beyond the springs and surrounding attractions
Let’s crank the fun up a bit. My favorite hike is the Upper Burro Mesa Pour-Off.
- Start off with Santa Elena Canyon early in the morning – best sunlight
- Lower Burro Mesa Pour-Off Trail
- Upper Burro Mesa Pour-Off Trail
- You will end up driving the entire Max Roswell Scenic Drive with this agenda
The drive to Mariscal will give you plenty of rest after the Lost Mine hike.
Or if you’re up for it, this loop:
These are really just loose guides. You should read through all possible opportunities and mix and match as you see fit.