Route: Moderately Easy, hikes of 5 to 8 miles with 500 to 800 foot of gain, Easy and Moderate options available on most days.
Start/Finish: Odessa, TX
Days 2 thru 4 - Chisos Basin: The rugged Chisos Mountains fill the skyline as we hike the Lost Mine Trail. Switchbacks ascend Crown Mountain to reach a high promontory that delights us with breath-taking views into the heart of the park. Set in "The Basin", with rock spires towering all around, is the Chisos Mountain Lodge, our evening retreat.
Hiking The Window Trail right from the lodge brings us to the mouth of a hanging canyon where tall rock walls frame a "window" that looks down on a panorama of the Rio Grande valley.
Today our canoes glide down river through Hot Springs Canyon. Stopping we explore a ghost town and view ancient Indian pictographs before a delightful soak in a natural riverside hot spring.
Days 5 thru 7 - Lajitas: A guest naturalist joins us to explain the intricacies of the desert ecosystem as we walk through high chaparral and fluted rock forms to the oasis of Pena Spring. Nighttime finds us on the banks of the Rio Grande at the Cavalry Post Hotel where the tall mountains surround us and the pool invites us.
Marvel at fields of glittering calcite and mica crystals as a morning horseback ride takes us to a mesa where these natural occurring crystals are abundant. An afternoon of excitement and incredible scenery awaits as we raft the whitewater of Santa Elena Canyon. Here in one of the world's most dramatic canyons; limestone walls soar 1,500 feet straight up. Sample find Southwestern cuisine tonight at the quaint Starlight Theater in the "ghost town of Terlingua.
A morning shuttle through the Santiago Mountains returns us to Odessa where out trip concludes.
Dates February 27 - March 4, November 5-11
Single Room Charge: $350