Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hiking Rio Grande Village to Hot Springs trail

It was Jeffs turn to plan our day.

We left Homey at 8am and took the long drive to Rio Grande Village..

Texas Bluebonnets lined the drive..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_008I wondered why bluebonnets just grow on the sides of the road here.

I don’t see them while hiking.

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Big Bend bluebonnet, Big Bend lupine,
Lupinus havardii

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  We arrived at Rio Grande Village and did a little birding around the campground and trail head.

It was the beginning of a very hot day.

Hot Springs Canyon Trail
Difficulty: Moderate; Distance: 6 miles round trip
Begin at Daniel's Ranch or Hot Springs

This 3 mile trail (either direction) connects Daniel's Ranch and the Hot Springs. In places, it runs close to the river; in other areas along the rim of Hot Springs Canyon. This trail offers beautiful views of the Rio Grande, Chisos Mountains, and Del Carmen Mountains. No shade makes this trail a challenge in summer heat.

 

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_019When they say there is no shade on this trail….believe it.

There is absolutely no where to get a break from the hot sun.

Be prepared and bring plenty of water.

The hike starts with an uphill climb.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_020With the elevation gain we start to get nice views of Rio Grande Village area and a few retention ponds. No birds in the ponds.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_021The prickly pear cactus look like they will burst forth with flower any day..

I sure hope we are around to see it..

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Rio Grande Village to hot springs_025The scenery on this hike varies..

We go through some very rugged rocky areas..

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As we gain more elevation we get bigger views of the Rio Grande.

below view looking east..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_034View looking west…

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_039I found what I think is a worked stone…is it flint or agate?

Remember do not take ANY relics, rocks, plant life from the park..there is a large fine.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_043The hike was not at all what I had envisioned.

I thought we would hiking along the Rio Grande River with views the entire time of the river.

Most of this hike is not on the river ….it does go thru some very interesting and beautiful terrain.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_048Wildflower growing in the middle of a dead Prickly pear cactus.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_049The trail meanders through rocky areas..

ok..well, most of this trail is through rocks..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_050Its just this particular area was loaded with small rocks..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_052Then we go through an area with larger rocks..

so..you see the terrain changes with size of rocks and the plants that grow there.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_054Another uphill climb..

Its very hot..with no clouds in sight. If you don’t like hiking in heat ..I suggest going on a cloudy cooler day.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_055I don’t like hiking in the heat at all…

I try to take my mind off of the heat and take photos of the wildflowers we pass.

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This one was particularly beautiful and we only saw one of these..

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Rio Grande Village to hot springs_058View of the trail we came from..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_066We trudge on..

Did I mention it was hot?

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_070We get a small glimpse of the Rio Grande..

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Rio Grande Village to hot springs_073

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_074A feather found high above the Rio Grande

Any idea what bird this belongs to?

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_076We hike on with dreams of water and cooling.

Right now the thought of a hot springs doesn’t sound refreshing.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_077We start to get a distance glimpse of the Rio Grande..

see the green area left center of the photo below..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_078Getting closer..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_079Is it a mirage?

Make it be real…I need some relief from the heat.

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Oh..it looks real..

Thank goodness! I admit..I am a whimp in the heat.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_082Another view of the green waters of the Rio Grande..

Mexico on the opposite side..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_083We walk over water worn rocks..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_085Very cool…

I mean..very hot rocks!

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_086The views of the river soothe my heat worn body..

I know I will soon be down there soaking and cooling..

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Nautilus fossil ~a stepping stone on the trail.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_092Yipee…

We made it!

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_109We decided before the hot springs plunge we would seek some shade near the parking lot..

(yes… you can actually drive to the hot springs and walk a short quarter of a mile to the springs..if you don’t want to do the three mile hike to and from Rio Grande Village~I do recommend the long hike for those who want to enjoy the beautiful scenery)

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_093We found some shade and a picnic table where we had our lunch..

Ahhhhhh…the shade was wonderful..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_094A little history of the hot springs area..

Via Wild Texas

The springs are the largest of several isolated hot springs found along this section of the river. In 1909, J. Oscar Langford and his family moved to the Hot Springs area of Big Bend to establish a health spa centered around these springs. Park literature indicates that prior to Langford settling in the area, Indians fashioned a natural stone "bathtub" out of a fissure in the rock. Indian activity in the area is evidenced by pictographs painted on the limestone cliff near the springs. In 1909, Langford improved the hot spring's appeal by hiring a stonemason to build a bathhouse over the springs. 

 

After leaving the area due to border unrest in 1916, Langford returned in 1927 and had a motel and combined post office/trading post built for his guests. The bathhouse was seriously damaged in 1932 by a 23' flood surge on the Rio Grande, and a subsequent flood in 1938 left only the foundation remaining. With the exception of the bathhouse, which was never rebuilt, all of the other Langford structures are still standing and accessible within a short walk of the parking lot.

 

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_095Time to head to the hot springs..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_096There were shrubs here a buzz with bee activity..

I went to get a closer look and saw the shrub had flowers..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_101Signs of swallows..

No swallows were present..

I suppose they haven't arrived from down south yet.

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Rock nettle

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Here I am soaking in 105 degree hot water..you would think It would be too hot after hiking in 80 degree weather..but it felt wonderful.

I brought bathing gear to change into but decided to soak in my hiking clothes so that the return trip..( which I was not looking forward to in this heat) would be cooler with wet clothes..

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After a half hour soak..

We packed up and hit the dusty trail….

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_123Saying goodbye to the views and the hot springs..

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The hike back was grueling in the heat..

For some of you I may sound like a real whiner..and I guess the heat makes me whine..

I was melting..I wasn't the only one..

This butterfly took shade in a tree..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_125I was very excited to see this cactus blooming and scurried up a hill from the path to take its photo.

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_132I didn’t stay long as my skin was burning with the heat..

yeah..me complaining again..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_136By this time my legs moved slowly and I was so focused on moving forward and getting back to some shade that I didn’t take that many photos..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_147I did take this photo of a wildflower lined pathway..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_154And then..

The glimpse of where we will cool off and have refreshments..

Rio Grande Village to hot springs_157Almost there…

I started dreaming of popsicles..

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While walking to our car, I passed a family of five eating popsicles….they looked so refreshing and delicious..

I just had to have one..but… I didn’t have one....

I had two..

and was watched by a friendly Roadrunner..

popcicle and roadrunnerAll in all it was a great hike..despite the heat.

Next time I will bring a shade tree with me.

Smile

1 comments:

Kathie Brown said...

Dawn, I wouldn't have been complaining from that heat, I would have passed out! I don't know how you did it! The scanner and wildflowers are all so lovely, but I would have to drive to the hotsprings on a cool day and walk that 1/4 mile! I am so glad you made it back safely without getting heat stroke!

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