“An unpaved road through Big Bend National Park passing the abandoned town of Glenn Springs.”
— Lost Justpastnowhere
This is an easy, unpaved road through Big Bend National Park that will allow you to experience the desert in a more personal way than from the seat of a car on the paved main park road. Glenn Springs Road is open to traffic, but usually requires a 4×4 and/or high clearance vehicle, so it gets a lot less traffic than the main park road.
From this road, you'll have views of the Chisos Mountains to the west. As you approach the junction with Black Gap Road
, there's a deep canyon to your left. Just after the junction with Black Gap Road
at about the halfway point, you can explore the remains of the town of Glenn Springs.
As you travel southeast towards the Rio Grande, you'll have views of the Sierra Maderas del Carmen mountains in Mexico off in the distance. The vegetation also becomes noticeably sparser as you approach the end of the road at the junction with River Road East
At the end of Glenn Springs Road, you can arrange a shuttle (high clearance 4×4 needed) or you can do it is an out-and-back or take River Road East
back to the main park road.
Keep in mind this is a desert and it can be very hot most months of the year. There is no potable water available, so you'll want to carry more than you think you might need, and there is no shade available. Winter is a great time for this ride, but the desert can get surprisingly cold in the winter, and the sun can still be intense. Past the ruins of Glenn Springs, there is nothing to stop the wind so you might add that to the list of potential calamities. If you're unsure of conditions, check with a ranger.