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23329
Texas/New Mexico

Hiking at Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains & Carlsbad Caverns

Come south this winter to explore diverse ecosystems, geologic formations and human cultures, while hiking in three of our nation’s national parks.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23329RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,899
Texas/New Mexico

Hiking at Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains & Carlsbad Caverns

Come south this winter to explore diverse ecosystems, geologic formations and human cultures, while hiking in three of our nation’s national parks.
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,899
Program No. 23329 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 3 - Oct 10, 2021
Starting at
1,999
Oct 17 - Oct 24, 2021
Micro group
Starting at
2,259
Itinerary Note

This is a Micro Group departure, with 12 or fewer participants.

Oct 31 - Nov 7, 2021
Starting at
1,999
Nov 7 - Nov 14, 2021
Starting at
1,999
Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2021
Starting at
1,999
Dec 5 - Dec 12, 2021
Starting at
1,999
Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2021
Starting at
1,999
Jan 9 - Jan 16, 2022
Starting at
1,899
Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2022
Starting at
1,899
Jan 23 - Jan 30, 2022
Starting at
1,899
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Feb 27 - Mar 6, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Mar 27 - Apr 3, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Apr 3 - Apr 10, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Apr 17 - Apr 24, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Oct 23 - Oct 30, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Nov 6 - Nov 13, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Dec 4 - Dec 11, 2022
Starting at
1,999
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 3 - Oct 10, 2021
Starting at
2,499
Oct 17 - Oct 24, 2021
Micro group
Starting at
2,759
Itinerary Note

This is a Micro Group departure, with 12 or fewer participants.

Oct 31 - Nov 7, 2021
Starting at
2,499
Nov 7 - Nov 14, 2021
Starting at
2,499
Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2021
Starting at
2,499
Dec 5 - Dec 12, 2021
Starting at
2,499
Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2021
Starting at
2,499
Jan 9 - Jan 16, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Jan 23 - Jan 30, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Feb 27 - Mar 6, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Mar 27 - Apr 3, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Apr 3 - Apr 10, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Apr 17 - Apr 24, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Oct 23 - Oct 30, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Nov 6 - Nov 13, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Dec 4 - Dec 11, 2022
Starting at
2,499

At a Glance

Join local experts and a small group of fellow hikers as you explore the varied ecosystems of three national parks: Big Bend, the Guadalupe Mountains and Carlsbad Caverns. Learn how early natives, pioneers, miners and ranchers interacted with the land and its diverse flora and fauna, especially the curanduros healers. Find out what it means to live “off the grid” as you travel to remote Mexican border towns, and see why this region was once known as “the Last Frontier.”
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking 3-7 miles each day over varied terrain. Elevations from 5,500 to 8,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Hike down to the deepest caverns of Carlsbad Caverns, both a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Enjoy dinner at the historic Starlight Theater and an authentic Mexican lunch at a family restaurant in the border town of Boquillas.
  • Spend an evening stargazing in Terlingua, awarded the “Dark Night Skies Award.”

General Notes

Select dates are Micro Group departures, with 12 or fewer participants.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Erica Little
Erica spends her summers floating the Pigeon River in Hartford, Tennessee and winters in Terlingua, Texas leading single/multiday river trips as well as hiking and backpacking trips. She has a Wilderness First Responder first aid certification and is a self-proclaimed thorn and blister expert. She has through-hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT), the southern half of the Pacific Crest Trail, and completed multi-day hikes in Nepal, Switzerland, Tasmania, Patagonia and the Andes. Terlingua has been her winter home for 12 years.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Erica Little
Erica Little View biography
Erica spends her summers floating the Pigeon River in Hartford, Tennessee and winters in Terlingua, Texas leading single/multiday river trips as well as hiking and backpacking trips. She has a Wilderness First Responder first aid certification and is a self-proclaimed thorn and blister expert. She has through-hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT), the southern half of the Pacific Crest Trail, and completed multi-day hikes in Nepal, Switzerland, Tasmania, Patagonia and the Andes. Terlingua has been her winter home for 12 years.
Profile Image of Erin Little
Erin Little View biography
Erin comes from the Appalachian region of Tennessee. She has led groups for 19 years, typically spending the summer leading whitewater raft groups in Tennessee and the rest of the year leading hikes, river trips and Mexico outings in far west Texas. She is also a Swiftwater Rescue Instructor and Wilderness First Responder Certified.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Empire of the Summer Moon
by S.C. Gwynne
A must read about the rise and fall of the Comanche nation.
Apache Legends & Lore of Southern New Mexico: From the Sacred Mountain
by Lynda A. Sanchez
A wonderful collection of stories that captures the bygone Apache lifestyle.
The Big Bend of the Rio Grande: A Guide to the Rocks, Landscape, Geologic History, and Settlers of the Area of Big Bend National Park
by Ross Maxwell
An all-encompassing read covering geology, early park history, and medicinal plants.
Beneath the Window: Early Ranch Life in the Big Bend
by Patricia Wilson Clothier
A memoir of the author's upbringing in the wilds of the Chihuahuan Desert.
The Big Bend: A History of the Last Texas Frontier
by Ron C. Tyler
A chapter by chapter approach to the human settlement of the Big Bend.
22 Reviews
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5 Average
(5)

The three National Park tour of south west TExas was fantastic for those who want to get outside and touch the earth.

(5)

This was an excellent program, well-organized and well-led. Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, and Carlsbad Caverns are spectacular places. The accommodations were fine and were clean and well-managed. Both Erin and Caiti were excellent leaders. The hikes were excellent. I learned much during this program and I highly recommend it.

(5)

After nearly 30 Road Scholar hiking trips this particular one run by Erin and Erica Little is in the top 10% of the experiences I have had. For someone looking to bust their chops hiking there might be a bit of disappointment but the overall experience is exceptional. The twin sisters who run the company are VERY customer focused and have great knowledge of the history, geology and geography of the area that they share with infectious enthusiasm. You will return home with LOADS of stories to tell and wishing I were close so you could give me a hug.

(5)

The hiking and experiences were awesome. Erin and Caiti were informative, funny, caring, and flexible in accommodating participants various needs. We really appreciated this trip.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This was my first Road Scholar trip. As a solo female traveler I have been looking for a way to take some of the hiking trips on my bucket list. This turned out to be the perfect answer. Our leader Erin and assistant Katy were both wonderful and informative. Erin is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the Big Bend area. You have to appreciate people who show up every day with enthusiasm and a smile on their face. The logistics of everything from transportation to, lodging, meals, communication, bathroom stops, etc. were all dealt with in a very professional manner. One night Erin treated us to a view of the stars/constellations/galaxies that I will not forget. It brings tears to my eyes when I think of that experience. Those of us in big cities do not have any comprehension of how much we do not see in the night sky. I think Road Scholar is the key to my solo travel future.

(5)

Erin Little is an inspired, efficient and fun leader! She accommodates all levels of ability. Highly recommend this trip.

(5)

This was a fantastic program ! The leaders were truly impressive. The hiking was challenging as described in the Road Scholar materials and the scenery was outstanding. In addition to the wonderful hiking, we crossed the Rio Grand by row boat and spent a day in a remote Mexican village, and also visited an "off the grid" home in the desert. Both great learning experiences.

(5)

Go for it! This is an amazing tour of beautiful trails in Big Bend and surrounding Parks. The guides are fantastic, the country beautiful beyond expectations. We loved every minute of our experience.

(5)

This hiking trip was amazing! The hikes took us through beautiful mountains, desert and caves. The group leaders, Erin and Caiti, provided a wealth of information and they were kind, caring and very organized. They worked as a team to provide a wonderful experience for everyone and could not have been better. This was my first Road Scholar trip and I can't wait to book my next hiking trip.

(5)

Fun hiking trip. Don't expect a lot of luxury because of remoteness and distances involve. A different way of living in Telingus(Sp) with off the grid folks, etc.

(5)

What a fabulous tour! Very well organized. Beautiful trails and scenery. Food was very good. Having now done 23 Road Scholar trips, this one is definitely one of the best. Erin is absolutely the best tour guide!

(5)

This was an amazing adventure. Our group leaders, Erin and Caitlin, were so knowledgeable and shared their love of this wild, rugged, and remote area with all of us!!

(5)

THIS is the trip of a lifetime. And I have been in 40+ countries! Erica's knowledge of 'all things Big Bend National Park' will astound you as it did me.

(5)

Great tour that included many of the "must see and do" short hikes and cultural sites of Great Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks along with visits to public and private locations that provided insights to life in the community of the desert boarder country.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Loved the hiking and viewing of beautiful country. Enjoyed the day we ventured into Mexico. Our guide,Erica, was informative and entertaining. Our driver,Ronnie, was always helpful and friendly. Some of the eating venues needed improvement. The pizza place ran out of salad and the pizza was burned. And our last night we had to stand for 30 minutes waiting for a table. Overall, it was a fun experience.

(5)

Big Bend NP is a remote and rugged park filled with beauty. Every hike was amazing. Carlsbad Caverns NP exceeds expectations. The Guadalupe Mountains NP is totally different and equally beautiful. Three different and beautiful parks in one visit--I call that a win!

(5)

I loved seeing a part of my home state that I had never seen before. I was so amazed by the canyons, the river and surrounding beauty, the people and the wildlife. We happened upon the most beautiful days to hike. not too cold, not too hot, brisk in the morning, warm during the day. The locals of the area were welcoming and kind. I can’t wait to explore the area again one day.

(5)

This was my first Road Scholar trip and it provided me with much more exciting experiences than I ever imagined.

(5)

This is a fun program that lets you experience the three national parks through the eyes of people who live there, are passionate about it and want to provide you with the best experience. The days are packed with beautiful settings including gorgeous lunch breaks. This program is as carefully "curated" as an important art show. Lots of extras are included. Totally enjoyable and memorable experience. We had a great grupo muy simpático y divertido.

(5)

Hiking in Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains and in Carlsbad Caverns was a great experience, but being in this part of the country and on the border with Mexico and learning about how many people are living their very interesting lives was a highlight. Road Scholar never disappoints in lifelong learning experiences.

(5)

This program is an excellent combination of hiking interesting and historical trials, along with learning about nature, local culture, environmental issues, and many other things. The instructor guides were terrific!

(5)

This trip provides a snapshot of an area the USA which is relatively unknown. This is an intimate peek into the culture and characteristics of the Big Bend area, but especially allows a view of it's physical beauty and its beautiful people






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