About the Photographs

Most of the photographs were made in Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, or along Texas FM 170 between Lajitas and Presidio. There are also a few photos that were not taken in Big Bend but at interesting locations that are on the way there.

All of the photographs on this page are copyright Bill Pogue. Comments or questions about this site may be made by

General Photography Tips

Photographs of the Big Bend region of Texas

Big Bend National Park
Santa Elena Canyon seen from the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook near the end of Ross Maxwel Scenic Drive. This is where the Rio Grande exits the canyon. The rock face runs north northwest to south southeast. This is a mid-morning shot, the rock face is about 3/4 mile from the camera position, and the camera was pointing southwest.
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Big Bend National Park
The Rio Grande river in Santa Elena Canyon at the end of the Santa Elena Canyon Trail. The trail crosses Terlingua creek before entering the canyon and it may be muddy or have flowing water so have appropriate footwear. The canyon is narrow and the walls sheer so both walls receive light only in the middle of the day.
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Big Bend National Park
A volcanic neck exposed by erosion. This is just west of Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive near Tuff Canyon. It is close to, and easily spotted from the road. Morning is the best time for this site.
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Big Bend National Park
Mule Ears Peaks, at sunset, as seen from the Mule Ears viewpoint through a 200mm lens. The viewpoint is on the east side of Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive and is about 3 miles northwest of the peaks.
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Big Bend National Park
This erosion feature is not on an established trail but is an easy walk of about an eighth of a mile northeast of Maverick Drive (Texas 118) just inside the west park entrance. It is at 29º 17' 58.01" N, 103º 30' 8.07" W. This is the east side of this feature.
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Big Bend National Park
This bed of fossilized oyster shells is about 2.5 miles northeast of Maverick Drive. past the landmark described above. To get there locate the landmark, pass on its east side, then hike northeast up the low valley between Maverick mountain on the west and a series of low hills on the east. The fossils are at the head of the valley on an east facing slope, nearly to an east-west running arroyo. There is no trail and several washes have to be crossed so it is a long 2.5 miles but there's interesting scenery on the way.
The approximate co-ordinates are 29º 19' 19.03" N, 103º 28' 43.43" W.
This is an isolated and infrequently visited desert location. Do not go there without adequate water!

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Big Bend National Park
This view of Maverick Mountain and a desert arroyo is from the southeast shortly after sunrise. It is a short walk on level ground northeast of the parking area at the junction of Maverick Drive (Texas 118) and Old Maverick Road. The approximate coordinates are 29º 17' 44.22" N, 103º 29' 32.77" W.
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Big Bend National Park
This desert sunset features the silhouette of a volcanic neck that is off Maverick Drive about 8 miles west of Basin Drive. Maverick Drive makes a bend to the south as you approach this feature from the east. This view is from a point about a fourth of a mile west of the road just past where it heads south. The approximate coordinates are 29º 19' 53.18" N, 103º 22' 32.33" W.
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Big Bend National Park
Balanced rock after sunrise on the Grapevine Hills Trail. An easy walk from the parking area at the end of Grapevine Hills Road, this east facing hill is strewn with boulders.
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Big Bend National Park
Boulders on Grapevine Hills trail near Balanced Rock. Morning.
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Big Bend National Park
This feature is west of US 385 in the upper drainage of Tornillo Creek. It is in the vicinity of the bridge that crosses Tornillo Creek and can be seen from the roadway but it's about a half hour desert hike.
The camera is pointing south with the Chisos Mountains in the distance. The sun is low in the west.

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Big Bend National Park
A closer view of the previous feature earlier in the afternoon.
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Big Bend National Park
On the South Rim looking east, late afternoon. The south rim is reached by a designated park trail that begins in the Chisos Basin. It is a 13 mile round trip the park service classifies as strenuous.
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Big Bend National Park
Sunset on the South Rim. The South Rim is on the southwestern edge of the Chisos Mountains about 2500 feet above the desert. It makes an arc allowing views to the east, south, and west.
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Big Bend National Park
Ernst Tinaja is in a canyon that runs southwest to northeast. It is an easy hike from the parking area off the Old Ore Road.
The canyon walls here are high enough that the tinaja is in shade until afternoon. This photo is a composite of different exposures so that good detail is held in shadows and highlight. Use of a tripod makes it posible to seamlessly merge the exposures with photoshop or similar software.

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Big Bend National Park
The Window pour off is an iconic scene in the park. A short trail leads from the Chisos Mountain Lodge to this viewpoint. Many visitors come to watch the sunset here so it's a good idea to get set up early.
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Big Bend National Park
The Window from the Window View Trail, morning, looking west.
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Big Bend National Park
The Window seen from the west, afternoon. Camera position is about one fourth mile east of Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.
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Big Bend National Park
Entrance to Boquillas Canyon seen from the Boquillas Canyon Trail, a medium difficulty but short (1.4 miles round trip) trail, afternoon. The camera is facing east northeast.
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Big Bend National Park
Mesa silhouette after sunset. Taken from a pullout on the west side of Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive north of Sotol Vista.
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FM 170, Study Butte to Presidio
Late afternoon thunderstorm over the Sierra Santa Elena shot from a pullout near Lajitas.
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FM 170, Study Butte to Presidio
Clearing storm at sunset over the Sierra Santa Elena, looking southeast.
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FM 170, Study Butte to Presidio
The TeePee rest area is west of Lajitas and is close to the Rio Grande. Just west of here FM 170 climbs a steep grade with excellent views of the Rio Grande to the east and west. This is a morning shot looking west.
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FM 170, Study Butte to Presidio
View to east about an hour before sunset from pullout at a high point of FM 170, just west of the teepee rest area.
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FM 170, Study Butte to Presidio
View to west of the Rio Grande at sunset from pullout at a high point of FM 170, just west of the teepee rest area.
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FM 170, Study Butte to Presidio
A view to the east along the Rio Grande and FM 170 east of Redford. Afternoon.
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FM 170, Study Butte to Presidio
This tuff formation extends to the north shoulder of FM 170 near Lajitas.
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Big Bend Ranch State Park
Just off FM 170 between Lajitas and Redford and on the bank of the Rio Grande, what looks like a quaint village is really a quaint movie set. This is in the morning looking southwest.
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Big Bend Ranch State Park
Closed Canyon is a marked trail in the park with a parking area on the south side of FM 170 about 17 miles west of Lajitas. It is narrow and deep, so it is shaded except in the middle of the day.
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Big Bend Ranch State Park
Closed Canyon trail at a 10 foot drop off.
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Big Bend Region
Shafter cemetary, about 18 miles north of Presidio on US Highway 67, is about a half mile east of the highway.
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Big Bend Region
About 9 miles south of Marathon on US 385 there is a picnic area and historical marker opposite the caballos flatirons that are west of the highway. They face, roughly, to the southeast.
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Big Bend Region
Seminole Canyon State Park is on US 90 about 8 miles west of Comstock. Fate Bell rock shelter, the shaded overhang in the photo, contains Native American pictographs and is open to visitors on guided tours. The shelter faces eastward, this view is to the south in mid morning.
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Big Bend Region
Pictograph in Fate Bell rock shelter. The pictographs don't receive direct light so take a tripod.
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Big Bend Region
Casa Piedra is the nearest marked place on most maps to this location. Going south from Marfa on 67 take the left to FM 169. The pavement ends after about 25 miles but the road continues as a bladed dirt road that heads east and eventually reaches 118 about midway between Alpine and Study Butte.
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Big Bend Region
Same location as above but showing the volcanic boulders that are strewn about.
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