Friday, January 11, 2013

Lajitas, Texas

Like Terlingua, Lajitas is one of those unusual places in the Big Bend with a colorful history. For years, the mayor of Lajitas was Clay Henry, a beer drinking goat. Welcome to the Big Bend!

Lajitas is located on the banks of the Rio Grande. In 1916, General John J. Pershing established a cavalry post there in response to raiding in the area by Pancho Villa. Today, the area is a desert resort.

Our first stop was at the Barton Warnock Visitor Center on the eastern edge of Lajitas. The visitor center is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and serves as an information center for the recently created Big Bend State Park that covers more than 300,000 acres of land along the river between Lajitas and Presidio.

Barton Warnock Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is a good place to stop and stretch your legs. Restrooms are modern and clean, and there is an area with numerous exhibits and pictures describing life in this rugged section of the state. Outside there is a very good desert garden. A short walk up the bluff provides good views in all directions.

Donna roaming the desert garden at Barton Warnock

The visitor center from a bluff behind. The desert garden is to the left of the building.

A little farther west is the actual town of Lajitas. There are several "subdivisions" located along both sides of the road, and a small convenience store on the edge of town. On the north side of the road is an RV park with paved interior roads. Should we take our trailer to this area again, we will probably stay here.

The desert around Lajitas. Houses in front left are part of a subdivision.
On the south side of the road is Lajitas proper, with the Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa. Yep, that's right -- golf in the desert. There is a sort of board walk here, with a hotel, restaurant, bakery, and numerous other tourist-oriented shops.

Boardwalk at Lajitas

Lajitas is about 15 miles from Study Butte, and offers a bit more "upscale" accommodations and amenities than the Terlingua area. Its location also sets it farther from the national park, though it is closer to Big Bend Ranch State Park.

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