Sam Nail Ranch, Big Bend National Park

Distance: ~0.5 miles round trip
Location: Big Bend National Park, Texas
Date: October 20, 2013

The old windmill with storms building over the Chisos Mountains

Sam Nail Ranch was the location of one of the several ranches in Big Bend National Park prior to the park's creation. Sam Nail moved to the area in 1916 and built a house above Cottonwood Creek along what is now Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive along the western side of the Chisos Mountains.

The ruins of the house

A short loop trail goes through the former site of the homestead, including the ruins of the house, an old windmill's ruins, a newer windmill, and through a grove of cottonwood trees and other vegetation. These trees grow thanks to the windmill that still works and pumps water, supporting these trees in the middle of the desert.

The Chisos Mountains viewed from the homestead

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