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Splendid Isolation

By Linda Tancs

Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas is one of the remotest places on earth.  Named for the vast curve of the Rio Grande, native peoples have lived in and passed through this expansive park (the 8th largest in the lower 48 states) for thousands of years.  Archeological wonders are also represented, including fossils like a world-record pterosaur and a 50-foot crocodile.   No surprise that the park offers idyllic hiking trails, like Grapevine Hills with its beautiful rock formations.  Over 150 miles of trails await for day hikes or backpacking trips.  Visitor information is available at any of the five centers, two of which are open year round.  The busy season is generally November through April.  Get there now before the crowds do.  The closest commercial airport is Midland International.

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