Big Bend Conservancy
2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!
Pinto Canyon is south of Marfa between Marfa and Ruidosa. Drive down paved FM 2810 for 32 miles. Travel past end of pavement about 5 miles and you will drop into Pinto Canyon. The road is no more that a a steep , ruggged Jeep trail thru the canyon. Ride either direction. But you will change over 1000' in elevation over about 2-1/2 miles. Some portions are very steep and rough. The road slopes down from Pinto Canyon to the Rio Grande and you could almost coast the whole way. Its about 20 miles from end of pavement to Ruidosa.Great Beauty and solitude; a challenging aerobic ride.You can travel entire distance by any 2WD vehicle but Canyon portion is very rugged. Road is graded gravel between Pinto Canyon and Ruidosa. You will pass by Chiantia Hot Springs. Look for tiny, tiny sign 4 Miles N. of Ruidosa.One great ride thru Chihuauahaun Desert , canyons, past abandoned ranches, adobe buidlings and a silver mine. There are several stream crossings. Store at Rudidosa on Texas FM 170 may or may not be open. Bring everything you need, especially water. 1. this is very isolated country with little population. Rudsosa pop 15. So be prepared. store in Ruidosa open for sodas, food, but no gas. nearest gas is Presidio or Marfa.2. for you herbalists : there is a 100% chance you will be stopped by customs(who are looking for drugs!). not just at immigration checkpoints on main Highways but anywhere along any roads at anytime. they DO NOT need probable cause to pull you over.
The Road to NowhereTexas MonthlyBY JOE NICK PATOSKIOctober 1997For a singular West Texas adventure, take a drive through Pinto Canyon to tiny Candelaria.The line on the map begins at Boca Chica on the Gulf of Mexico and hugs the Rio Grande from its mouth to the Pecos River. Ten times the riverside route changes highway numbers as it passes through Brownsville, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and points west, but only once does it stray far inland from the international boundary—between Langtry and Lajitas, where the Rio Grande is entombed in canyon lands so steep and rugged that not a single settlement occupies Texas soil along this section of river. Beyond Lajitas lie Redford, Presidio, Ruidosa, Candelaria, and . . . nothing. Just empty space on the map. Approximately 750 driving miles from salt water, Candelaria is in the middle of nowhere, the town at the end of the road. The few visitors who make it up this far usually follow FM 170 up the Rio Grande from Big Bend National Park, but I prefer to go cross-country from Marfa through Pinto Canyon. Most maps show the Pinto Canyon road (FM 2810) as petering out in the desert, but trust me, it goes through to Ruidosa, where you join FM 170 for the drive upriver to Candelaria. For those adventurous enough to take it, the rewards are scenic vistas and a sense of isolation that are remarkable, even by West Texas standards.My favorite drive in Texas begins west of downtown Marfa, by the Texaco station. In less than a minute civilization is a memory as the road is swallowed by the waist-high grasses of the Marfa Highlands. The 7,730-foot Chinati Peak rises from the horizon under a perfect blue sky marred only by a distant thunderhead, and the rolling terrain slowly gains altitude. Telephone lines and barbed-wire fences disappear, and nothing is left but road, land, and sky.Thirty-two miles from Marfa the pavement ends and the excitement starts. At first the dirt road is almost as wide as the paved portion, but after a couple of miles, it drops precipitously, twisting and turning down hairpin curves from a ridgetop into Pinto Canyon. Scrub oak and mesquite appear in this sheltered basin, where some of the low-water crossings are so jammed with gravel and stones that you have no choice but to slow to a first-gear crawl. I made it through with my Honda Accord's oil pan intact, but I strongly recommend a high-clearance vehicle.
Rio Grande river road from Candelaria to Esperanza?
Quote:Rio Grande river road from Candelaria to Esperanza?
considerable border patrol and
rgibson,Yep, I have encountered a lock gate or two in my explorations. Have to always be prepared with enough gas/time to retrace your route from whence you came. Would those be the Indian Hot Springs?
We have friends that went up Pinto Canyon from Presidio to Marfa and got stopped by Border Patrol, also got a thorough going over by BP. This was a couple in their 60's.We have been told by folks who live in the area (Presidio) to stay out of that area past Candeleria, due to drug trafficing, that it is a bad place to travel.Have not been to Pinto Canyon, so my info is second hand, but I guess I would be careful traveling past Candeleria.Safe travels,
Quote from: Wisconsin on January 13, 2008, 04:37:27 PMWe have friends that went up Pinto Canyon from Presidio to Marfa and got stopped by Border Patrol, also got a thorough going over by BP. This was a couple in their 60's.We have been told by folks who live in the area (Presidio) to stay out of that area past Candeleria, due to drug trafficing, that it is a bad place to travel.Have not been to Pinto Canyon, so my info is second hand, but I guess I would be careful traveling past Candeleria.Safe travels,Count on me for that road trip.Shoot, your probably very safe up there with the amount of white vehicles driving around that have green stripes on them along with airplanes in the sky. Story is recounted somewhere on the board, but we went up that way several years ago and FRED got tailed by the border patrol for a long time. We must have seen 3 or 4 vehicles, at least one airplane, etc. It is a very nice drive up through Pinto Canyon and I would highly recommend it. I've been wanting to go from Marfa to Candeleria (instead of Candeleria to Marfa). I've also wanted to take the river road all the way up to I-10 in the Van Horn area.
All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.