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Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

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Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

We will be driving to Big Bend from just outside Dallas at the end of September. Where should we stay en route before our 3 nights in the park? What is the closest town just outside the park?

Houston
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1. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

Woody--I'm not sure if you're asking for a way to split the trip in two, or if you're planning on driving pretty much all the way in one day, but here goes.

If you're trying to split the trip in two, you might see if you can get a reservation in Midland (reservations are key, as they can be difficult to get in that area with the oil boom going on). Odessa is more of a blue-collar town, but could be acceptable, as well.

If you're willing to make a long day's drive, you could take I-20 to Monahans, turn south on Hwy 18 to Fort Stockton, and continue south on US 385 into Marathon, which is about as close to BBNP as you're going to get (unless you go to Terllingua, which to my recollection, doesn't have much to offer).

I hope this is helpful info for you.

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2. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

That is very helpful. How long is the drive to Marathon? How far from Midland to BBNP

Houston, TX
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3. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

Marathon is a tiny little town with a couple of places to eat, a couple of places to stay and a couple of gas stations. It's about a 70 minute drive from Marathon to the entrance to BBNP, then another 30 minutes or so from there to the main visitor center at Panther Junction. There is a border patrol station that may or may not be open between Marathon and the park; you will have to stop there for a vehicle check if it is open.

Are you staying at Chisos Mountains Lodge or are you camping? If it's the lodge, it's about another 30 minute drive from Panther Creek VC up to the lodge.

Don't miss the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive in the park.

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4. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

Thanks. We are staying at the lodge for 4 nts. Any other "do not miss suggestions " would be great appreciated.

Pearland, Texas
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5. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

Midland is in super boomtown mode, but several new hotels have been built and it's gotten some better for hotel rates and availability.

Houston
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6. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

Woody--according to Rand-McNally mileage calculator, from Dallas to Marathon, it's 506 miles, or roughly a 7.5 hour drive. Here's the website: maps.randmcnally.com/mileage-calculator.do in case you want to do any calculations yourself. I haven't been to Marathon in awhile, but I remembered it being big enough to have more than a couple of motels, even though it was fairly small.

From Midland to BBNP is 232 miles, or about 4.75 hours (personally, that sounds like way too much time to me, as roads aren't very busy, and speed limits are mostly at 70 MPH). The question is WHERE in BBNP that's measured to. Have a great trip!

Houston, TX
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7. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

One of the things about many of the places to eat in Marathon is that they are open for breakfast and lunch only. Evening dining options are limited. Most of the places to stay are B&B's, with the Gage Hotel being the best known of the hotel style accommodation.

I don't know your travel style, but if you got an early start you could do the drive in one day. The thing to consider is that you will want to be at the lodge before dark. Another option for an overnight stay could be Fort Stockton--town is pretty much a way-station for travelers along I-10 with mostly chain budget hotels and fast food or casual food options.

Edited: 5:38 pm, September 02, 2013
Houston
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8. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

TxOffWeGo's post reminded me that we had an absolutely great dinner at The Gage Hotel on our trip to BBNP about 3-4 years ago. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a room there because a wedding party had taken most of the rooms, but the hotel looked very nice. Here's their website, if you're interested: http://www.gagehotel.com/

Another place we stopped to visit that looked very nice was the Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa, very close to Terlingua: www.lajitasgolfresort.com/default.aspx… This would add some driving time, but would put you very near the southwestern edge of BBNP, and is very nice.

Pearland, Texas
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9. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

Just FYI, the speed limits south of Midland at least until I-10 are 75 mph, although you can expect a lot of oil field traffic slowing things down, especially around Midland, on weekdays in the mornings and late afternoons.

10. Re: Getting to Big Bend from Dallas

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