Camino del Rio Drive
Voted one of the top 50 most scenic drives in Texas (Reader's Digest) and included in the top 20 "Bucket List" things you have to do in Texas" (Texas Monthly). This classic American roadway, commonly referred to as The Camino del Rio or River Road, stretches between the towns of Presidio and Lajitas within the Big Bend Ranch State Park. Over 30 miles of Highway 170 wind along the Rio Grande River; crossing arroyos, climbing mountains, and hugging beautiful canyon walls.
The Camino del Rio drive is famous for the "Big Hill", one of the steepest grades on Texas highway. Atop "Big Hill", the views east include the stunning Chisos Mountains, with mountain ranges of Mexico and Colorado Canyon to the west. This stretch of drive can be a challenge for motor homes, coaches and trailer trucks, as the roadway is narrow with very few shoulders.
Attractions along the way include The Fort Leaton State Historic Site, where you can learn all about Pancho Villa and his legendary border raids in Southwest Texas. A short drive west on the Camino del Rio from Lajitas yields the discovery of a completely vacant and mostly artificial ghost town, the Contrabando Movie Set. Among the movies filmed here are: Dead Man's Walk, and Streets of Laredo, both made for TV movies from the 'Lonesome Dove' series by Larry McMurty.
While you are driving slowly through some of the most scenic landscape, take the opportunity to smell the flowers, dip your toes into the river, or stop at one of several scenic rest stops along the way. Don't be surprised if you encounter a cow, horse, burro or mule grazing through a patch of open grassland.