Updated: Jun 27, 2022
Big Bend Ranch State Park is the "hidden gem" of Big Bend with miles of dirt roads, solitary hiking and mountain biking trails, and FM 170, the paved highway between Lajitas and Presidio, TX. FM 170, locally known as "river road" follows alongside the Rio Grande with several campsites that have river access and boat ramps.
Dark Canyon is a short, scenic canyon ideal for a half-day float on the Rio Grande. The put-in is at LaQuesta and there are 2 take-out options, depending on water level: Grassy Banks or Lower Madera campsite.
Quickly after you start floating downriver, the canyon walls start to build.
This trip is great for families or old time river runners. There are a few little riffles, which makes for fun boat maneuvering. If you only have a short time to visit Big Bend, I recommend adding this excursion to the list of great things to do!