History • West Texas
Adults: $7 • Children 6-18: $4 • Children 5 and under get in free
El Paso was a small frontier town in 1877, when Joseph and Octavia Magoffin and their children moved into their new adobe home. The multicultural family and their descendants lived in the home for more than 100 years and actively participated in U.S. expansion and settlement, military service, trade and U.S.-Mexico relations.
Snap a selfie in front of the home’s exterior adobe walls.
Splash • West Texas
Adults: $7 • Kids 12 and under: Free
Yes, we know we picked Balmorhea last year. There aren’t a lot of public splashy places in West Texas, and Balmorhea is amazing — it’s the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool, and we love it. We’re going back this year, and you should too.
Note: Only the pool and day use areas of the park are open; the rest of the park is closed for renovations.
Snap a selfie poolside at Balmorhea, or have a friend take a picture of you in the water.
Wild • West Texas
$15 per individual or $30 per vehicle
Santa Elena Canyon is a Big Bend classic! With cliffs rising up to 1,500 feet, it might be the most dramatically beautiful part of Big Bend National Park. Explore on foot via the 1.6-mile out-and-back trail, or bring a canoe or kayak to explore by water.
Snap an upwards-facing selfie with the canyon walls in the background. Let’s see those dramatic heights!
Quirky • West Texas
Presidio County has a population just over 6,000 — and an enormous, three-story courthouse located in the county seat of Marfa. Sitting atop its octagonal domed tower you’ll find a large statue of the Goddess of Justice, who hasn’t misplaced her sword and scales so much as she’s lost them — legend has it that they were shot off almost 100 years ago by a citizen unhappy with county governance.
Snap a selfie in front of or inside the courthouse (if you’re going to look inside — and you should! — call ahead to make sure they’ll be open).
Regional sponsors: Texas historical commission, visit Big Bend, Visit Marfa
Grand Adventures in State Parks
For thousands of years, humans have drawn artistic inspiration from the natural landscape — and occasionally on it as well. Long before the advent of paper, native peoples made drawings and paintings on rocks (called pictographs), or carved images into the rocks themselves (petroglyphs). We encourage you to enjoy such artwork today, but ask that you please not add to it. (Save the graffiti for Cadillac Ranch.) You’ll find abundant evidence of both ancient and modern rock art as you explore parks across West Texas.
JIMMIE GARZA’S SAILOR, BIG SPRING: Over 300 rock carvings in Big Spring State Park tell the stories of past visitors. “Jimmie Garza” is listed as a member of Company 1857 in the Civilian Conservation Corps, which quarried limestone in 1934-35 for the construction of buildings in the park. Was Jimmie a sailor about to ship off, returning from an ocean voyage, or just a young man yearning for the sea? That’s a mystery — but we do know what he was working on during his free time.
PAINTED MASKS, HUECO TANKS: Around A.D. 1150 the Jornada Mogollon people began farming at the base of Hueco Tanks' rock hills, which provided access to water for their crops. The people also painted more than 200 mask images throughout the park, the largest such grouping in North America. [Note: Access to the park is restricted to protect its fragile resources, so you must schedule your visit. To schedule a guided tour, call (915) 849-6684 at least one week in advance. To reserve a permit for a self-guided tour, call (512) 389-8911 up to 90 days in advance.]
Snap a selfie in front of any pictograph or petroglyph in a state park. Make sure you tag the state park in your post.