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Photos shot for the January/February 2018 issue






The Year of Epic Texas Challenges

Texas' vast and diverse landscapes and array of outdoor pursuits offer thrills for participants and spectators alike. Each issue of 2018 will feature an event to challenge even the most extreme athletes and sportsmen. We hope you'll enjoy reading it from the comfort of your armchair or perhaps be inspired to try a new pursuit.

Rock That Climb

Each year, Hueco Rock Rodeo crowns the world's greatest boulderer.

The bouldering route known as Esperanza stood for years as the hardest climb at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site, a place known for pushing the limits of what’s physically possible to climb.

Small cracks, edges and protrusions line the ceiling of a cave, requiring climbers to move precisely and powerfully across this near-horizontal surface to a hueco, or large hole, that serves as the finishing hold. In years past, when any climber actually completed this test-piece route, which may have also been the hardest climb in the U.S., it often made news in the climbing blogs and magazines.

(read more)

Deep in the Backcountry

Nature provides thrilling vistas and meditative solitude for Big Bend Ranch backpackers.

In the dying light, we race to pitch our tents as the lightning storm roars down on us.

Our group of 11 backpackers had started later than planned on day one of this three-day, 19-mile hike on the Rancherias Loop at Big Bend Ranch State Park. Our goal had been to reach Casa Reza and its nearby spring, where we could filter precious water and camp the first night. But as we struggle up the rocky way it becomes clear to me that we will have to make camp soon. Chasing up behind us is an ominous wall of gray-black clouds, pierced by the flicker of lightning. A big storm is coming.

(read more)

Crappie Day on Caddo

Of fish, ghosts and trees with knees.

At about the third brush pile we probe along Big Cypress Bayou, I have an epiphany.

“You know what the best part about fishing for crappie on Caddo is?”

Three heads swivel in my direction. Fishing guide Randy Parker, his son Chad and my wife, Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, wait to be enlightened.

“You’re not sitting under a bridge listening to cars and trucks roaring by overhead,” I explain.

Actually, that’s not the best part at all.

The best thing is Caddo itself.

(read more)

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Keep Texas Wild

It's not just for kids. If you like nature-related topics in an easy-to-read format, you can find three years of our popular Keep Texas Wild issues and the teacher resources to go along with them.

    Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine