Big Bend Hikes – Blue Creek Trail

Red Rocks along Blue Creek wash…

If you’re looking for something a little different and less travelled, the Blue Creek Trail has a lot to offer. The trail starts in the Blue Creek wash near the Homer Wilson Ranch ruins and climbs up into the Chisos Mountains – from desert floor to mountain vistas all in one hike! The round-trip hike is about 11 miles.

We got a late start on the day we hiked the trail, and chose to do a 6-mile hike which would take us past the red rock hoodoos and into the foothills leading to the mountains. If you want to just get a look at the red rock formations, then you can shorten the roundtrip walk to 3 miles.

Heading into the arroyo near the ranch, the trail follows the wash winding past impressive, stories high red rock formations.

After leaving the red rocks behind, the trail climbs up out of the wash and starts its ascent to the intersection with the Laguna Meadows Trail high in the Chisos. If you take the trail all the way to its terminus, it would be about a 2600+ elevation change. We hiked well into the foothills before turning around.

The trail starts to climb towards the Chisos Mts.

Our return trip towards late afternoon offered some beautiful vistas looking out towards the Rio Grande River valley and the cliffs that line the river.

The late afternoon light was really illuminating the red rocks on our descent and casting interesting shadows. I was amazed at the plant life that survives on the steep cliff walls!

Back at the start of the trailhead, we wandered around the historic ranch ruins admiring the architecture of the buildings – including the artistically laid flagstone floor in the house. The house and buildings in this location were used by a foreman named Lott Felts. The main house for the ranch was located a few miles away in Oak Canyon. I had the pleasure of talking with a descendant of Homer Wilson a couple of weeks ago. He mentioned that Homer Wilson was his grandfather and he was headed to Oak Canyon to visit the site of his ranch. I love it when people with real connections to the park come back and tell me stories about their ancestors. Pretty cool!! 🙂

Remnants of the old ranch
Blue Creek headquarters

What a wonderfully peaceful and picturesque spot! Can you imagine living here?

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