Terlingua Ghost Town, Big Bend National Park
Listed as a 'ghost town' on the National Park map, this is not entirely true. The old townsite is changed a bit, resurrected by tourism. Terlingua is about 10 miles away from the western entrance to the Park at Study Butte on TX 170 direction Presidio. The townsite sits high above the Terlingua Creek valley. There is a restaurant and bar which is probably the highpoint for nightlife on both sides of the border for a hundred miels. From out in front, the vistas stretch long, your eyes are drawn to the Chisos Mountains riding high above the desert plains, 30 miles to the east.
Terlingua is a village located a few miles West of Big Bend National Park. It is very spread on barren hills and consists mainly of your typical trailer houses (see my Local custom tip on local architecture). There are shops for souvenirs, art and crafts, and for rafting trips on the Rio Grande river.
The only nice-looking part of town is the Ghost Town, which are ruins of a miners settlement. At the end of the XIXth and beginning of the XXth centuries, there were mercury mines nearby. These ruins are the miners houses. A lot of them have been refurbished by private owners who thus created a nice little artsy community there. From this village you get breathtaking views on the Chisos mountains at the horizon (picture).
Do not miss the cemetery of Terlingua Ghosttown! It has lots of charm, which lies between the neglect it is suffering while still being a minimum taken care of as the numerous little candles will testify. It is a maze of tombs with broken wood crosses and local stone piles and walls. Notice the dates, mercury miners did not live long!! I find this place great to take pictures!
A mass of dilapidated wooden board houses which have fallen into disuse. They were built by the miners who came to pan for gold in them thar hills. Quite interesting to visit. There is a hotel there, which is $180 a night which I thought was a bit steep. However, because of the total lack of light pollution in this part of Texas, it's possible to have a fantastic view of the night sky and star constellations. You can clearly see the Milky Way and the Southern Cross, which is impossible for me to see at home.