Driving the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive in Big Bend NP

Located in West Texas, the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is a wonderful journey through one of America's true hidden gems: Big Bend National Park, winding along the Rio Grande.

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

The road is totally paved but steep, hitting a 20.4% of gradient through some of the ramps. Starting from Maverick Drive, the road is 30 miles (48km) long. The drive is definitely worth it. A drive not to be missed. It’s one of those unforgettable stretches of road that unfolds before you in a series of vistas and experiences. Along the way the road showcases some of the historic and geologic features this region is famous for. The drive skirts the western slopes of the Chisos Mountains, climbing up to one the park’s most outstanding views at Sotol Vista, then winding down to parallel the Rio Grande at Castolon Historic District and winding up at Santa Elena Canyon trailhead, where the pavement ends. You can make this drive a loop by reconnecting with Highway 118 from Santa Elena Canyon via unpaved Old Maverick Road. If you're in an RV or a low-clearance car, don't even attempt Old Maverick Road. The road isn't paved and is rough going in some spots.

Located in Brewster County, in the western part of the U.S. state of Texas, there are many excellent photo opportunities. Don't forget your camera with lots of film/memory, fully charged batteries and an empty memory card! This drive will amaze and astonish. There are scenic overlooks, a backside perspective of the Chisos Mountains, plenty of exhibits, and the ruins of old homesteads. It’s named for Big Bend National Park’s first superintendent and geologist who served from 1944-1952.