Boquillas Trail, Big Bend National Park
When the official border crossing closed, trade coming across the border here slowed down a lot but did not stop. These enterprising Mexicn goatherders had a sideline selling souvenirs to tourists visiting the park. They had snuck across the river to set up their souvenirs then went back to Mexico to tend their goats. I guess they return when no one is in sight, or after dark to retrieve the items that did not sell and the money.
If you look across the Rio Grande from the trail you can see Boquillas, Mexico. There used to be a busy, official crossing point here; but that closed many years ago. The town of Boquillas shrunk a lot after that.
At the end of the road in the far eastern part of the park is Boquillas Canyon. A 1.4 mile moderate trail will lead you into the canyon for a nice view of how the Rio Grande carved through the rock. There is also a pullout with an overlook just before the parking area for the trailhead.
Compared to other areas we have visited, I didn’t think the look out point here was very spectacular. The 1.4 mile hike rated as medium difficulty was pleasant. The trail took us down into the canyon over a low hill, and then down to the Rio Grand River. We saw a group of ancient Indian bedrock mortar holes in one area near the river. The canyon walls rose high above us, and in one area on the way down we walked through a natural tunnel of tall, thickly growing reeds.
Boquillas Canyon is really a fun easy hike, only 1.4 miles (2.2 km) long round trip. You first go up a little hill from the parking lot, and that gives you great views of the Rio Grande. Then you go down and through an amazing forest of tall reeds. You end up in this huge canyon with Mexico on your right, the US where you stand on the left, and the Rio Grande in the middle (photo). Now is time to refresh your feet in the river! The bird cries echoing on the canyon walls are really haunting!
Here you can see some of the indications that this place was inhabited thousands of years ago. The inhabitants used to use these holes for grinding grain and processing food.