Trip Overview

Experience the great outdoors by exploring Big Bend National Park in Texas. Take in stunning sunrises in the Chisos Mountains, explore the Rio Grande by canoe, and visit a ghost town. Hiking outings will weave you through contrasting deserts and canyons followed by star-blanketed night skies. 

Meet your fellow AdventureWomen guest and embark on a week exploring Big Bend National Park! You’ll meet other incredible individuals on your journey. They will help make your experience a fun and personally fulfilling adventure and will cheer you on as you reach beyond your comfort zone and embrace new challenges!

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Get to know the frontier of West Texas with a hike and picnic lunch in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Move your legs and start to take in the vast beauty of Texas.

Stop at the Fossil Discovery Exhibit where you will see the astonishing Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the world’s largest known flying creature which had a 36-foot wingspan and weighed over 500 pounds!

Participate in a famed ‘star party’ at the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas, Austin. Take a tour of the constellations and observe an assortment of planets and stars through various telescopes. See for yourself if the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas

Big Bend National Park

Head out to hike in the Santa Elena Canyon – the most majestic within Big Bend National Park. The towering stone walls can be seen for miles as the Rio Grande abruptly changes direction. On another hike, head into the Chisos Mountains, the only mountain range in the United States that is completely contained within one national park. With the highest peaks stretching to about 7,800 feet above sea level, the Chisos Mountains offer a great setting for rewarding day hikes with great views.

The adventure isn’t all on your feet – time to paddle! After an orientation about the gear and safe paddling, launch your canoe (or raft if the water is higher) and paddle down the Rio Grande! It’s a gentle paddle with some faster sections and some stunning scenery.

Art, fossils, canoeing, hiking, stars, and a ghost town create a quintessential old-west feel by the ages in one of America’s prized national parks. Enjoy a farewell dinner as you share stories about the highlights of your time in Big Bend before heading off home.

Main Attractions

  • Attend a Star Party at the McDonald Observatory
  • Hike at Santa Elena Canyon, one of the most iconic and breathtaking features within Big Bend National Park
  • Explore the Rio Grande by canoe and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery
  • See the fossils of the world's largest known flying dinosaur and visit a ghost town

What You'll See and Do

  • Astronomy
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Hot Springs
  • National Parks

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

The AdventureWomen itineraries are subject to change depending on the chosen departure date. To view a specific departure itinerary, simply click on the "Browse Detailed Itinerary" button above and select your date.

Day 1

Arrive in El Paso, Texas 

Arrive in El Paso, Texas (ELP) by 5:00 PM today and make your way to the Hampton Inn & Suites El Paso Airport Hotel on your own. A group transfer from the airport to the hotel will be provided when most guests arrive (exact time to be determined). Private transfers at other times are available for purchase.

Get comfortable at your hotel before enjoying a lively Tex-Mex welcome dinner this evening. Share stories and learn about why each woman in your trip is excited to explore more of Big Bend!

Dinner 

Overnight: Hampton Inn & Suites El Paso Airport

Day 2

Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Prada Marfa

After enjoying the breakfast buffet at the hotel, gather in the hotel lobby at 8:00 AM Mountain Time to meet your guide. Embark on a 2-hour drive to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, just crossing into the Central Time zone.

After making sure your watch is set one hour ahead for Central Time, set off from the visitor center at Guadalupe Mountains National Park for today’s hike.

Following lunch, enjoy expansive views of West Texas as we drive another 2 hours, to the town of Marfa. Known as a center for the arts, we’ll stop along the way at the famed “Prada Marfa” art installation – a fake Prada store located exactly halfway between the tiny communities of Marfa and Van Horn, Texas.

After we arrive in Marfa, we’ll get settled into our historic hotel which, in the mid-1950s, hosted the likes of James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor as they filmed the epic Western “Giant”.

Today’s total hiking will be 4 miles with 600 feet of elevation gain.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Overnight: Hotel Paisano

Day 3

Guadalupe Mountains National Park to Fort Davis

Following breakfast, you’ll head out to the historic town of Fort Davis. Established in 1854, Fort Davis is the highest elevation town in the state of Texas at 5,050 feet above sea level. Fort Davis is not only a historic site but also home to a former Cavalry post where the African American soldiers, famously known as “Buffalo Soldiers,” were stationed in the latter half of the 1800s. They played a crucial role in safeguarding emigrants during the western expansion of the United States. Explore the grounds to gain insights into life on the West Texas frontier and discover more about the native plants in the area.

Return to Marfa for lunch and spend the afternoon delving deeper into the arts scene of the area.

After dinner, you will take a quick drive to the University of Texas McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis. Participate in one of their famed star parties along with the general public. Take a tour of the constellations and observe an assortment of planets and stars through various telescopes before heading back to the hotel.

Today’s total hiking will be 2 miles with 500 feet of elevation gain.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Overnight: Hotel Paisano

Day 4

Big Bend National Park and Terlingua

Drive south as you make your way toward Big Bend. About 2 hours into your journey, you will stop at the Fossil Discovery Exhibit where you will see the astonishing Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the world’s largest known flying creature which had a 36-foot wingspan and weighed over 500 pounds!

After a picnic lunch, drive another hour to Terlingua, a former mercury mining town that became a ghost town when the price of mercury collapsed in 1947 and the mines closed. In the 1960s, it experienced a renaissance when artists, musicians, naturalists, and river guides moved there and tourism reshaped the local economy.

Enjoy a scenic hike near your hotel just steps from the Rio Grande. Later, enjoy dinner as a group near the hotel.

Today’s total hiking will be 4 miles with 500 feet of elevation gain.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Overnight: Lajitas Golf Resort

Day 5

Big Bend National Park and Santa Elena

Today is all about Big Bend! Begin the day with a one-hour drive to the main visitor center to learn more about Big Bend’s natural and human history. After a short 20-min drive, tackle an iconic trail in the Chisos Mountains for a hike to a scenic overlook.

Following a packed lunch, embark on a 70-minute drive to Santa Elena Canyon, a strikingly beautiful destination nestled within Big Bend National Park, boasting canyon walls that soar up to 1,500 feet. Enjoy a short hike in this breathtaking locale before returning to the hotel.

Tonight, drive 15 minutes to dine at the Starlight Theater Restaurant, an adobe structure built in the 1930s as the Chisos Movie Theater. When the mines went bust, the roof materials were sold for scrap, leaving only the adobe walls intact. The roofless adobe building became a gathering place for open-air parties, concerts, and plays, thus the Starlight Theater was named. In 1990, the building was restored – including a new roof – but the adobe walls still remain.

Today’s hiking will be 5 miles with 900 feet of elevation gain as well as 2 miles with 200 feet of elevation gain.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Overnight: Lajitas Golf Resort

Day 6

Paddling to Rio Grande, drive to Van Horn

After breakfast, meet your local river guide after a short drive. After an orientation about the gear and safe paddling, you will launch your canoe (or raft if the water is higher) and paddle down the Rio Grande. It’s a gentle paddle with some faster sections and some stunning scenery. After your paddle, you can change clothes before driving 3 hours to the town of Van Horn and another historic hotel.

After settling into your room, enjoy a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends. Reflect on the cherished memories you’ve created and celebrate the conclusion of an amazing journey through this truly remarkable land.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Overnight: Hotel El Capitan

Day 7

Depart

After breakfast, drive an hour and 45 minutes to El Paso International Airport (ELP) where you should arrive at 10:00AM MST. We recommend scheduling your departing flight no earlier than 12:00PM today.

Breakfast

 

Please note: AdventureWomen will attempt to adhere to the itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, and cultural) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. AdventureWomen reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participants.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Big Bend



Arrival and Departure Information

November 14, 2024 Departure

Arrive: Arrive in El Paso, Texas (ELP) by 5:00 PM on November 14, 2024

Depart: Depart from El Paso, Texas (ELP) after 12:00 PM on November 20, 2024

November 13, 2025 Departure

Arrive: Arrive in El Paso, Texas (ELP) by 5:00 PM on November 13, 2025

Depart: Depart from El Paso, Texas (ELP) after 12:00 PM November 19, 2025

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Preparation and Packing  

Please use the following guides as a reference when preparing for your adventure. We also encourage you to adapt the guides to your travel style as well as the destination’s forecasted weather.  

Gratuities  

Gratuities are a personal decision and are at your own discretion based on your level of satisfaction with the service provided. Gratuities are dependent upon the number of guests on your departure, and they vary greatly from trip to trip. As a general reference, AdventureWomen suggests you plan for $125-$175 (or more) worth of gratuities for this adventure. Specific tipping recommendations for your trip will be provided to you closer to your departure date and may fluctuate due to inflation, exchange rates, and the number of travelers on your trip.

Activity Level

We rate this trip as High Energy. Our High Energy adventures are designed for women who enjoy a physical challenge and crave being on the go! You should be prepared for itineraries that include (but are not limited to): a full day of biking on rolling terrain, hiking 5-8 miles on moderate to steep trails, being active at high altitudes, whitewater rafting, or skiing. Please note that this is a general description of what you might encounter; for specific details about your trip, please consult the itinerary.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission) to make the most of your adventure. With this itinerary in mind, we have a partnership with Trailblazer Wellness, a woman-owned, women-run company that will design an individualized fitness plan just for you! Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 10% discount with the code AVW. Learn more on the Trailblazer Wellness website.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

The deposit for this trip is $800 and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Supplement Health and Safety Form
  • Additional supplemental whitewater rafting release form

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

November 14, 2024 Departure Final Payment Due Date: August 16, 2024

November 13, 2025 Departure Final Payment Due Date: August 15, 2025

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodations as per itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • Guided sightseeing and activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • Airport transfer on arrival and departure
  • Ample snacks throughout the trip
  • All park fees
  • All gratuities except for guides

 

Not Included

  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, or travel insurance
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for guides

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Hampton Inn & Suites El Paso Airport

Conveniently located just five minutes from the El Paso International Airport, the Hampton Inn & Suites is a comfortable accommodation in which to spend the night after a day of traveling.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, air conditioning, Wi-Fi

Hotel Paisano

A charming and historic hotel located in the middle of Marfa, the Hotel Paisano was built in the 1930s and has been the social hub of the quirky town of Marfa.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, air conditioning, Wi-Fi

Lajitas Golf Resort

Nestled in the desert between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park in Texas, Lajitas Golf Resort displays many enjoyable amenities, including an award-winning golf course, SUP Rio Grande, a thrilling zip line adventure, a relaxing spa, and various outdoor activities. Unwind by the pool or savor the stunning vista views at the resort's casual outdoor restaurant.

Amenities: complimentary toiletries, flatscreen TV, safe, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi

Hotel El Capitan

A beloved historic gem in West Texas, Hotel El Capitan offers modern amenities and personalized customer service. Built in 1930 by the Gateway Hotel Chain, led by Charles Basset and designed by renowned architect Henry Trost, the hotel operated until the late 1960s. After serving various purposes, it was restored to its former glory in 2007 by Lanna and Joe Duncan. Originally part of Basset's initiative to boost tourism within 200 miles of El Paso, it stands as one of the five Gateway Hotels.

Amenities: complimentary toiletries, flatscreen TV, coffee/tea maker, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686