Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel,
the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975.

Call (800) 454-5768

Create an account                             Forgot your password?

or Log In via Facebook

Log in to see all you can do with your online Road Scholar account.


Hiking in the Unspoiled Beauty of Big Bend

Select a Date



and receive your



E-Photo Book:

Top 10 Learning Experiences Around the World

Find A Program

Search By:





Price Range

$700 - $1000

Start Date

End Date

More Options

Road Scholar
Program #11958RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Glenn from Bronx, NY Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 12/14/14 - 12/19/14
Big Bend National Park is special

Marguerite from Harlingen, TX Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 12/14/14 - 12/19/14
RoadScholar teamed up with Far Flung Outdoor Center to create a unique hiking experience at one of Texas' most diverse national parks. The hike leaders were knowledgeable and personable, the accommodations were delightful, and Big Bend is the type place to experience anew again and again.

Bruce from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 12/14/14 - 12/19/14
If you like seeing expansive landscapes, plants blooming in December, hidden cactus, a range of flatland and non-so-flatland hikes, try Big Bend National Park in the winter. For those who can stay up, the night sky is spectacular, or so I am told.

Jeffrey from West Hartford, CT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/14/14 - 12/19/14
Terrific trip in every way. The leaders, Chris and Erica, were outstanding, Far Flung Outdoors Center has great accommodations, and Big Bend N.P. is fantastic! Just superb!

Robert from Newburyport, MA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 11/30/14 - 12/05/14
Great program. Both Erica and Dean were exceptionally knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and professional with overlapping but complementary talents and areas of expertise.

Sheila from Sun City Center, FL Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 11/30/14 - 12/05/14
the hike was described accurately, sort of! while it was physically doable, it may, at times, be somewhat outside of one's "comfort zone". but it certainly increases your confidence AFTER completing the task!!!

Jesmin from Voorhees, NJ Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 12/07/14 - 12/12/14
This was the Level 5(challenging) hike option. I normally hike on minimal inclines at sea level, and I could not have done this hike without the encouragement of Thomas up front, and the support of Erin (bringing up the rear). They are wonderful guides and the hikes were perfect - challenging, but doable. I strongly recommend this trip.

Rosemarie from Burlington, VT Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 12/07/14 - 12/12/14
Guides Erin and Thomas are exceptionally good and passionate about the area and its people. Their gift for story telling made listening a great pleasure.

Ellen from Silver Spring, MD Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 12/07/14 - 12/12/14
This is an awesome trip. Big Bend is a magnificent park with new vistas at every turn. Hikes were great - lived up to the challenge of "challenging" and scheduled very well to prepare us for the big ones. The casitas at Far Flung are "5 star" and breakfasts, lunches, and dinners there top rate. Our guides, Erin and Thomas were exceptional.

Rhoda from Arlington, VA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 11/16/14 - 11/21/14
Terrific trip. The hikes are varied and interesting; challenging but doable. (The leaders also can accommodate those who want to do fewer miles.) The logistics are carefully thought out and executed. Be in shape and expect uneven terrain -- that's just the way Big Bend is.

Larry from Johnstown, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/02/14 - 11/07/14
The plant diversity in the desert was amazing. Learned much about geology also, a subject that I have little interest in. Thomas was quite good in stimulating that interest.

Cassandra from Richmond, VA Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 02/16/14 - 02/21/14
This hiking trip should not be missed. Big Bend is remote but the destination is a reward and the drive becomes more beautiful each mile. Patrick and Erika were exceptional guides. Their passion for the area, breadth of knowledge, thorough EMT training (which was put to the test), and delightful personalities made the unspoiled Big Bend a once in a lifetime memory. Far Flung Outdoor Center had all the comforts of home:comfort, clean,well maintained, friendly and delicious food.

Marsha from Fairport, NY Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 02/02/14 - 02/07/14
Highly recommend this hiking trip. Big Bend is remote so be prepared for a long drive to get there. Our guides, Adana, Billy, and Erin were exceptional - knowledgeable, caring, well prepared,interesting, and good leaders. Group was well matched in terms of physical ability. We hiked roughly 35 miles in 4 days and saw a wide variety of magnificent scenery.

Jeffrey from Thousand Oaks, CA Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 02/09/14 - 02/14/14
If you like an active vacation in the "unspoiled" outdoors in a unique ecosystem, then consider the adventure to Big Bend National Park, Texas.

Mimi from Peru, IN Number of programs attended: 14
Date attended: 01/19/14 - 01/24/14
The Big Bend program is full of surprises. The casitas are a real treat, clean and functional with frig and microwave. We loved sitting on our porch in big rocking chairs. The town of Terlingua is unique and we enjoyed the diverse meal options and cute restaurants. The park is magnificent, especially the canyons and mountains. All of the staff was exceptional, especially Chris and Erica. We strongly recommend this trip. It was not overly difficult. Mimi and Jim Berkshire

Mary from Hingham, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/02/14 - 02/07/14
A long drive from the airport, but very much worth it. Magnificent scenery and a deep, deep quiet.

John from Morrison, CO Number of programs attended: 45
Date attended: 01/26/14 - 01/31/14
Out of the way in "far" West Texas, Big Bend is unique, partnering river, desert, forest, peaks, mesas, antiquities. The Far Flung casita experience was wonderful.
We trekked 39.5 miles in 4 days! Small group of 10, out of nearly 50rograms with E'hostel/RS, one of the top three.

Kathleen from Spring Hill, FL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/26/14 - 01/31/14
This is a fantastic program if you are up for both a physical and mental challenge in a wild and beautiful place! The trip leaders, Erin and Patrick, were wonderful! I loved my Casita and experienced a beautiful sunrise from the porch every morning. I learned a lot about the area - cultural and natural history. You will be outdoors all day for 4 days - glorious!

Lynne from Metuchen, NJ Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/27/13 - 11/01/13
“Hiking the Unspoiled Beauty of the Big Bend” with accommodations at Chisos Mountain Lodge provides a superb hiking experience with an opportunity to learn about desert, river and mountain ecology in this remote special national park in Texas. Bravo!

Christine from Medford, NJ Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 12/08/13 - 12/13/13
This was a great hiking program. High desert is very different to other deserts we have hiked, and there were so many different micro climes that we visited. We had only 11 hikers in our group, and that made it much easier to get to know the other participants. We were lucky, too, that the group had self-assessed pretty well for hiking ability. However, this was a Moderately Challenging program, which meant the pace was never so fast that keeping up was a problem. Our accommodations at Far Flung were very comfortable. As noted earlier, the wifi can be very spotty, dropping in and out. This is a very isolated spot, which also means the food is less than gourmet. But we were well-nourished for our hikes. If you like strong coffee, bring your own! Our guides were Chris and Tim, and they did a great job in every way. Be aware that the airports are either 4 or 5 hours away by car. And be prepared for Border Patrol stops along the way.

John from Austin, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/01/13 - 12/06/13
Great program. Enjoyed it immensely. My only complaint is despite the Far Flung accomodation description saying it has wifi internet, there was no internet access available.

William from Colorado Spgs, CO Number of programs attended: 33
Date attended: 11/10/13 - 11/15/13
An active program but be prepared for possibility of chilly (or rainy) weather while hiking, even though this is in southern Texas. Also be prepared for long roads (roads are excellent) with little to no other vehicles to be encountered on the way. Be sure your vehicle is reliable.

Janet from Salt Lake City, UT Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/27/13 - 11/01/13
This program was a true adventure!! Our guides were excellent and gave us great insights about the area known as Big Bend National Park. Each of the hikes ended with a great surprise--a balanced rock, narrow river-carved canyon, a spring in the middle of the desert... I could not have asked for a better experience!!

Wayne from Fort Mill, SC Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 11/10/13 - 11/15/13
I have participated in 9 Road Scholar Programs including four hiking programs. This program was one of the best and by far the best of the four hiking programs. Good group size (12), excellent mix of hikes introducing the Big Bend Nation Park. Leaders Adana and Billy were tops...knowledgeable, friendly, caring, and interesting. By the end of the program I felt they were friends rather than trip leaders. Particularly enjoyed Billy's life stories. An unexpected benefit was being introduced to the history and culture of the small number of people who live in the area.

James from Perry Hall, MD Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 10/27/13 - 11/01/13
We found the hikes and presentations to be most enjoyable. Our leaders were a joy to be with. They were informative, flexible, and their stories and poems added so much to our experience.

Nancy from Houston, TX Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/27/13 - 11/01/13
You simply must sign up for Hiking in Big Bend! The sights of mountains, trails, plants, and beautiful, ever expanding blue skies, will give an experience you will never forget. Pack not only your hiking boots, but your cowboy boots as well and experience Texas in the most rewarding way. Great trip!

Allan from Dallas, TX Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/09/13 - 02/16/13
What a great trip through the Big Bend National Park. Hiking on trails spanning the entire park brought us to 4 or the 5 environments and introduced us to a wide variety of sights and sounds. The hikes were complemented with great insight to the history and conditions of the area. I learned more and enjoyed hiking more than I ever expected, especially because of the friendliness of the entire group. What a wonderful time!!

John from San Antonio, TX Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/27/13 - 02/01/13
Do you want to spend your day experiencing physical exertion and wonderful paneramic views of southwest Texas and the Mexican border? Do you want to be as close to nature and solitude as the desert promises? Do you wish to learn how the early inhabitants of Big Bend survived and thrived? This is the program for you.

Barbara from Hayward, CA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 02/09/13 - 02/16/13
Hiking in the Unspoiled Beauty of Big Bend was great! The group leaders were knowledgeable, capable and fun; the scenery was awesome; the variety of land-forms and plants crazy-making...try it, you'll like it! Barb from Hayward, CA

Roxanne from Okemos, MI Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 02/02/13 - 02/09/13
Big Bend National Park offers a very diverse hiking experience---mts., desert and Rio Grande. Tim and Erica were wonderful guides. A warm place to hike during the winter months was a treat for me.

Diane from La Habra, CA Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 02/02/13 - 02/09/13
This was a great hiking trip! We saw a lot of the park and the hikes were quite varied with just the right amount of difficulty. Our guides were very knowledge, responsive to the needs of the group, and fun to be with. Tim & Erica worked hard to make sure we had a great time. The accommodations were fine and located right in the middle of beautiful mountain scenery.

Harriet from Milford, DE Number of programs attended: 30
Date attended: 01/27/13 - 02/01/13
Bold Hikes in Big Bend National Park is exactly as stated--the hikes are bold and challenging, but not beyond the capability of "in condition" adults. I particularly liked the variety of the hikes, from desert scrub land to the high forested land of Emory Peak, and crossing a mesa was something I'd never done before. Views are amazing! The program included some fairly unique features--lunch one day at the Chisos Mountain Lodge between hikes, lunch prepared in the field by the guides another day,a historical tour of Terlingua Ghost Town, and three dinners at different local restaurants. Our guides, Chris and Patrick, love the area and are enthusiastic about passing on their love and knowledge. The casitas are wonderful--I especially like having breakfast there before joining the group for hiking each day. I had put off registering for this program for several years because it's relatively hard to get to (from Delaware); it is well-worth the trip.

Susan from Cary, IL Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 01/13/13 - 01/18/13
Highly recommend this program, especially staying at Far Flung. The casitas are cozy and the staff is fantastic. Adana and Erica, our guides, we're knowledgeable and interesting. Loved having Erica read stories to us in thevan in her cute TN accent.

Chriss from San Antonio, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/27/13 - 02/01/13
The Challenging level program was as advertised. Completed lots of hikes and viewed some magnificent scenery. The lodging and organization was above expectations. We had a great time and feedback from the group was the same.

Please enter your email:

Providers click here

Upload Your Photos and Videos
Add A Photo
Click on images to see larger view
Uploaded By: Suzanne
Uploaded By: Suzanne

"Ice Covering Trees" Uploaded By: Peter

"Ice Covering Trees" Uploaded By: Peter

"Ice on Prickly Pear Cactus" Uploaded By: Peter

"Hiking the Lost Mine Trail in Freezing Fog" Uploaded By: Peter

"Group of hikers in Big Bend" Uploaded By: Glen

"Lost Mine Trail in Chisos Basin" Uploaded By: Sheila

Uploaded By: Glen

"Hot Springs Canyon 2012" Uploaded By: Jonathan

"December 2012 Group at the Lost Mine Trainhead" Uploaded By: Jonathan

"Lost Mine Trailhead 12-6-2012" Uploaded By: Jonathan

"Hiking into Santa Elena Canyon 12-4-2012" Uploaded By: Jonathan

"Hiking into Santa Elena Canyon 12-4-2012" Uploaded By: Jonathan

"Desert Marigolds in Grapevine Hills" Uploaded By: Esther

"The Balanced Rock, from the "other" side." Uploaded By: Esther

"Blooming rock cactus on the Hot Springs trail." Uploaded By: Esther

"Hiking, Big Bend National Park" Uploaded By: Ronald Attended: 01/17/11 - 01/22/11

"The Window, Big Bend National Park" Uploaded By: Ronald Attended: 01/17/11 - 01/22/11

"Rio Grande River as seen from Santa Elena Canyon" Uploaded By: Ronald Attended: 01/17/11 - 01/22/11

Upload a picture

You can upload a jpg, jpeg, png, or gif file.
The maximum file size is 4 mb.

Upload a video

Select Video Host (Instruction)

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips
1 Performances


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

Support Lifelong Learning

Our educational adventures are made possible by donors like you

Please support lifelong learning here

Free Catalog | Refer a Friend | Gift Certificates | Press | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Careers | Contact Us

© Elderhostel, Inc. 2015
11 Avenue de Lafayette | Boston MA 02111 | Toll-Free 1-800-454-5768