Start in Alpine TX and head south on 118 till you get to Study Butte TX where you need to go west on Farm to Market 170 road. Take that to Presidio TX where you need to get on US 67 and head north all the way up to Ft Davis.
During the April-May time each year, this is the best Bluebonnet viewing and picture taking area in all of Texas. It is a very quiet country farm road with plenty of places to stop and take pictures. Take your time and enjoy the country. This is a good cruiser route with plenty of gas stops along the way.
This road is a very well maintained Farm to Market system with plenty of twists, turns, hills and flat straight-aways.
Good accommodations in Alpine, TX with several motels, etc. This is a college town. Study Butte has the Big Bend Motel and Mission Lodge and you can also stay within the National Park at the Chisos Mountain Lodge. Just don't venture too far during your travels without supplies and a full gas tank. At Contrabando, TX along the road to Presidio you can pull off and enjoy a permanent movie set that is still used for movies and commercials. There is also an old mission just outside of Presidio that you can visit. There are several pull-offs and you should just to breathe in the silence and isolation. This is also "open range" territory meaning that you may find livestock meandering on the road at odd intervals. Presidio has some accommodations also, but you might want to go up Route 67 out of Presidio towards Ft Davis and visit the sights there. Rt. 67 goes through Marfa, TX and Shafter, TX (a ghost town).
Nice write up, but your map is incorrect. The road from Study Butte to Presidio is labeled at 117, it should be 170.
I was there 12/4/2010 and have a few tips.
Once away from the bigger towns of Alpine and Marfa ... gas is available in Study Butte and Presidio. Plan accordingly.
There is a bank with an ATM in Study Butte. Bring cash, this area hasn't quite caught up with the digital age. Be sure to visit the Study Butte store, its a step back in time. And they have premium gas for those who need it.
The Starlight Theatre in Terlingua doesn't open until 5pm. The ghost town cafe in Terlingua serves up a decent burger.
Presidio is a bigger town than I expected. Plenty of services and 24 hour gas.
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6 riders found this road review useful
September 7, 2011
2 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport - Touring
Highway 118 out of Big Bend NP was one of the single best rides this summer during a 6200 mile trip. The road has a 75 mph speed limit outside of the NP and almost no traffic. It is characterized by a mix of long, open stretches and curves that tighten down as low as 20 mph max safe as it winds around and over mesas. It was a sport-tourer's dream to dive into these curves at 75-80 mph while not violating the law. Of course, the scenery was dramatic and worth the ride alone. The only minor inconvenience was having to stop at an immigration checkpoint. Again though, with no traffic, we had the opportunity to shoot the breeze for a bit with Border Patrol before moving on. Great ride!
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4 riders found this road review useful
May 16, 2010
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
Spend a night at the motorcycle-friendly Prude Guest Ranch just outside of Ft. Davis, have dinner at the Black Bear Lodge in the Ft. Davis State Park almost across the road from the ranch before going up to McDonald Observatory for a tour of the night skies using a number of telescopes on Tuesday & Saturday evenings. When touring the old fort at Ft. Davis, be sure to sit on the porch of the Commander's House during the fort-wide presentation of "Retreat". I would suggest you NOT go into Ojinaga Mexico- you might come back without a motorcycle unless you want to pay a substantial bribe to the border guards (theirs, not ours). The ride up "Panther Hill" between Terlingua (site of the World Chili Cookoff) and Presidio is a sight you'll never forget. Terlingua was at one time the largest cinnibar mine in the country (that's the ore they get mercury from). The ghost town of Shafter is worth a stop - at one time it was "The richest hole in the world", a huge silver mine going over a thousand feet deep. Visit the cemetery there where there are hundreds of miners buried, and a great historical montage. A very historical town. Overall, an unbelievably good ride that I've made many times. HINT: Take at least three times the water you think you'll need! YOU'RE IN THE VERY HOT DESERT!!!! General rule: If you're not urinating frequently, you're not drinking enough fluids. I lived there for years - believe it! Drink a lot of water.