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For hikers searching for solitude and a longer loop trip, the Marufo Vega trail provides a strenuous but spectacular journey through the rugged limestone of the Dead Horse Mountains to the banks of the Rio Grande. This trail has NO WATER and is NOT recommended during the summer months when the heat is unbearable. From the trailhead along the Boquillas Canyon road, this trail heads 1 mile up a sandy wash and then turns sharply up a high limestone ridge to the east. After 3 more miles, the trail splits into two forks. The north fork descends for two miles to the Rio Grande. The south fork crosses another high ridge and after 3 miles also descends to the river through a steep 800 foot canyon. Between the two forks, a trail parallels the river from high above.

Be sure to watch for trail markers, carry a good map and plenty of water whenever hiking this rugged yet spectacular trail.

Please Note: The dry desert air quickly uses up the body's water reserves. We recommend that you carry a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day in the summer, slightly less in the winter. For half-day hikes, carry at least 2 quarts per person.

Springs and tinajas (depressions in rock where water collects) are unreliable and may be unsafe to drink. Springs are rare in the desert and wildlife depend on them. Please carry enough water to supply your own needs

Due to the complex topography and vague trails, detailed 7.5 minute topographic maps and a compass are necessary for most hikes.

On a final note, the weather in Big Bend, hot or cold, injures and kills more hikers than any other factor. Come well prepared because weather changes can be dramatic and unexpected.

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Big Bend National Park, Texas

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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