Tuff Canyon, Big Bend National Park

Distance: ~1 mile round trip
Location: Big Bend National Park, Texas
Date: October 20, 2013

Tuff Canyon and Cerro Castellan at left

Tuff Canyon is a small, narrow canyon no more than perhaps 100 feet deep directly along Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive on the southwestern side of Big Bend National Park. From the parking area, two very short trails go to overlooks at the top of the canyon's sheer cliffs. The primary views from both of these overlooks look up the canyon towards the Chisos Mountains.

From the western (downhill) overlook, you can continue on a trail to the bottom entrance to the canyon. The official trail is hardly noticeable and just follows the wash through the bottom of the canyon. The trail also ends at a point where there a numerous large rocks making travel a little more difficult. But in reality getting around these rocks isn't that difficult, so you can continue on up the canyon and further up Blue Creek as long as you want. There was one point where there was about a 6+ foot drop that I had to climb straight up, but once past this it is very easy to continue up the wash. I simply looked around at the upstream end of the canyon before climbing out the side to the road and walking back to the trailhead along the road.

The canyon from the overlook

Cerro Castellan at the downstream end of the canyon

The only obstacle in the canyon

At the upper end of Tuff Canyon

In the middle of the canyon

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.


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