— An alluring hike is what awaits anyone who ventures into Closed Canyon in Big Bend Ranch State Park, just adjacent to Big Bend National Park. Closed Canyon is easily accessed from a parking lot at FM 170, the scenic road known as River Road. The trail actually starts a few feet from the parking lot. Once you enter Closed Canyon, you will be surprised by the beauty of the high walls on either side. At times the canyon is wide, but as one proceeds toward the Rio Grande, the trail becomes narrower. In some points, you can even touch both sides of the canyon with your arms spread wide open. The trail is easy at first, but as it progresses, there will be some pools to cross. Sometimes that will be easy, but at times you have to exert caution and avoid slipping and falling in the tinajas (pools). The round trip hike, if you get to make it, is about 1.5 miles total. The canyon floor, as you can see in the photo above, is very smooth and polished in some areas due to some raging flash floods that happen in the area. The deeper you get into the canyon, the harder it becomes. Besides having to scramble to avoid slipping, there are some drop-offs. The first of those will be easy, but you’ll eventually reach a point that you’ll need to use ropes to get lower (and be able to climb up, too). The canyon can be a very intimate experience. The times I’ve been there, there was never anyone else around. Those are the best times to experience Closed Canyon. Just pause and appreciate all the beauty and what might lie around the next corner. The second photo (shown below) shows how smooth the ground can be around these tinajas.
Taken: 29 October, 2012
Focal length: 18mm
Location: 29° 19.5763′ 0″ N 104° 1.9893′ 0″ W
Shutter speed: 1/60s