How to drive the rugged and rocky Old Ore Road in Big Bend NP?

Located in Texas's Big Bend National Park, in the USA, the Old Ore Road offers a journey into history, tracing the path of early 20th-century mule and pack trains from Mexican mines to the Marathon railroad station. It's a primitive dirt road in the Big Bend National Park.

Old Ore Road

Is the Old Ore Road unpaved?

Located in Brewster County, this route is entirely unpaved and known for its rocky and rough terrain. It requires Four-Wheel Drive vehicles with High Clearance. Passenger cars, minivans, motorhomes, and smaller SUVs cannot navigate its challenging conditions.

How long is Old Ore Road?

Stretching 42.96km (26.7 miles) from Dagger Flat Road to the Rio Grande Overlook near the Mexican border, the trail crosses the Chihuahuan desert. Eleven Primitive Roadside Campsites are available along the route. The road is pretty challenging, with sharp rocks, deep sand, and steep inclines, making it unsuitable for regular vehicles.

Is Old Ore Road worth the drive?

Despite its challenges, the road offers great views. Plan about half day to complete the drive. The road tops out at 956m (3,136ft) above sea level, and provides great views of the Chisos Mountains to the west, with the Tornillo Creek drainage in the background. Ernst Tinaja, located five miles from the road's southern tip, is a notable spot worth visiting.
Pic: Eugene Mazz