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

Online Chat Offline
Call (800) 454-5768

New extended hours!
Now open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET

Create an account                             Forgot your password?

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

Enroll Here
Add to Your Wishlist
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging (Variable by Program Date)
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. 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.
Sharon from Monterey, CA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 01/31/16 - 02/05/16
It certainly is worth the long drive to visit this beautiful and remote part of the world! We just returned home from a wonderful and unique program of exploration and hiking the diverse environments of Big Bend National Park. The hikes were varied, picturesque and just challenging enough to feel that wonderful sense of accomplishment at their conclusion! Our guides, Erica and Dean, were fun-loving, attentive, well-organized and very informative. The Casitas at Far Flung Outdoor Center were comfortable and well-equipped. I thoroughly enjoyed this unique program and can highly recommend it to anyone who loves hiking and learning about the natural history of the South West.

Kenneth from Enderby, BC Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 01/17/16 - 01/22/16
Big Bend Park is quite a long way from other places however the trip to see this unique place is well worth it and the hiking trails are very well develped

Kay from Sterling, CO Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 01/10/16 - 01/15/16
Fabulous program! I attended Challenging program January 10-15, 2016. Wonderful leaders, challenging and varied hikes which gave us a taste of the varied geography of Big Bend NP. Accommodations at Far Flung Outdoor Adventures were comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised at the charm of the funky isolated town of Terlingua. Participants were the usual mix of interesting curious people.

Linda from Mission Hills, KS Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 11/29/15 - 12/04/15
Great program. If you like to hike, do this trip. Awesome and unbelievably beautiful part of the USA, worth the effort (fly to Midland or El Paso, TX, or drive) to get there. The stay at the Casitas, Far Flung Outdoor Center, was wonderful. Food delicious except breakfast, which was adequate. Go grocery shopping (beer, wine, etc.) before you arrive, but not an absolute necessity. Linda

Karen from Marietta, GA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 11/29/15 - 12/04/15
This part of Texas is so remote that I wanted to make a special trip to see it. This week of hiking was a tremendous way to discover mountain/river/desert of southern TX. Facilities were so comfortable. We were introduced to local eateries, professional guides and great support staff. Our group consisted of people up to age 83 and every one of us was successful in the rather challenging hikes. Beautiful!

Lois from Williamsburg, MI Number of programs attended: 16
Date attended: 11/15/15 - 11/20/15
The hiking was great, as was the scenery. Both guides, Dean and Randy, were knowledgeable and respectful of everyone's abilities. The casitas at Far Flung were nice, with good lighting. Food was poor compared to other RS programs we have done. We didn't starve, but it seemed that dinners and breakfasts were not nearly as nutritious or plentiful as they have been on other hiking trips we have done. Otherwise, the trip was fun and interesting.

Ann from Scottsdale, AZ Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 11/15/15 - 11/20/15
I would recommend this trip!

Marilyn from Bellevue, WA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 11/15/15 - 11/20/15
Great, fun guides. Great hikes through beautiful country. Learned a lot about the history of the area and contemporary life around Big Bend, West Texas.

Diane from Northbrook, IL Number of programs attended: 23
Date attended: 11/08/15 - 11/13/15
Big Bend is a very interesting area - desert, mountains, Rio Grande. Far Flung Outdoor Center was good. Adana and Thomas, our leaders, were excellent.

Carol from Fort Myers, FL Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 11/08/15 - 11/13/15
Big Bend Park is so different from any of the others in the National Park system. It is a BIG diverse area - so interesting and exciting to hike the trails.

Angie from Tallahassee, FL Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 11/08/15 - 11/13/15
My third Road Scholar trip. My first one choosing moderately challenging. Was easy for me. I will stick to challenging courses, until I age to the point of needing lesser so ones. Still it was a packed day and beautiful country, great guides, good food. Lodging was different, had my own casita which was furnished nicely and functional.

donald from cattaraugus, NY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 11/08/15 - 11/13/15
only my third trip but definitely the best. a wonderful place to visit and the staff was simply super

Roy from Saugatuck, MI Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 02/15/15 - 02/20/15
Wonderful part of the country to visit. Scenery is spectacular. A hidden gem.

Marian from Sagamore Hills, OH Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 02/15/15 - 02/20/15
Great trip, although it took 4 hours to get there from Midland, it was worth the drive. It drizzled a little the first day of this adventure and the whole desert came alive for the rest of the trip. The geology of the area is fascinating, the Santa Elena canyon is not to be missed. Be sure to sit with your feet in the Rio Grand River and the warm water from the hot springs pouring over your shoulders when you visit the Hot springs. Great trip!

Laurie from Hillsborough, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 02/15/15 - 02/20/15
Guides were helpful and enhanced my appreciation of Big Bend, with info on history, geology, plant life and just fun stories. Big Bend is vast and stunning, with many great hiking options.

Ferol from Granite Bay, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 02/08/15 - 02/13/15
This was a great trip in a wonderful, isolated national park. The hikes were very beautiful and not challenging. Adana Martinez and Dean Griffith were excellent, always informative and professional. I recommend this trip!

Bill from wylie, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/08/15 - 02/13/15
Big Bend is a very special place, and Road Scholar/and their affilates are the best partners to experience this large-880,000 acre 5 climate zone and potentially dangerous park. The personal care and education these team players share is unparalled. If beautiful landscape,topography,exciting and challenging hikes are your style this is a must do.

Bob from Duluth, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/01/15 - 02/06/15
We made friends that we expect to keep in touch with after the program. Group Leader Erin set a tone with the group that made this happen. Her knowledge, and skill at sharing her extensive knowledge of Big Bend National Park natural history and human history made this trip a great experience for us.

Eileen from Ann Arbor, MI Number of programs attended: 25
Date attended: 01/25/15 - 01/30/15
Big Bend National Park is definitely not easy to get to (most of a day flying from the Midwest, followed by a 4 or 5 hour drive the next day), but this program made all the travel more than worthwhile. The program is very well planned, with the hikes, meals, van rides, and educational talks perfectly coordinated. The casitas at Far Flung Outdoor Center are attractive and very comfortable, the meals were very good and included a variety of fun local dining options, and both guides were enthusiastic and extremely knowledgable. With only 12 participants, we quickly got to know each other and had fun traveling and hiking together. Each of the four days of hiking took us to a different area of this vast park. including beautiful deserts, canyons of the Rio Grande, high cliffs that look down on the river, a natural historic hot springs (bring your suit!), and a spectacular viewpoint at the end of a trail that climbs through the piñon pines and oak trees. The "Moderately Challenging" description is accurate, as are the descriptions on the web site and the printed materials. This is an excellent Road Scholar program! Please email me at emknesper@gmail.com if you have questions, and check out our pictures at https://bigbendroadscholarjan2015.shutterfly.com.

Stanley from El Paso, TX Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/25/15 - 01/30/15
The Big Bend hike activity was very memorable. Chris (Gypsy) and Erica as program guides were just outstanding. My fellow participants were great too. The accomodations were quite a treat. I strongly recommend this trip to anyone who want to experience a part of the Southwest that is is uniquely beautiful.

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

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
3 Expert-led lectures
7 Hands-on experiences
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. 2016
11 Avenue de Lafayette | Boston MA 02111 | Toll-Free 1-800-454-5768