Illustrations © Bryan Spear
History | WEST TEXAS REGION
$5 park admission
Snap a selfie below the CCC water tower.
Abilene State Park’s concession building is the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps. After construction, workers discovered there wasn’t enough water pressure to flush the toilets. Whoops. Their solution: build a water tower designed to blend in with other park structures. While it no longer holds water, the tower still stands as a monument to the labor, craftsmanship and ingenuity of the CCC.
WILDLIFE | WEST TEXAS REGION
Take a selfie from the Group Pavilion on top of the hill.
There are no big springs, but there are dramatic views off the 200-foot bluff and from the CCC-built loop road. Plan your visit to include at least one sunrise or sunset, or mark the calendar to take in the Fourth of July fireworks display, one of the largest in the region.
Parks | WEST TEXAS REGION
$6 park admission
Snap a selfie inside the courtyard at Indian Lodge.
Nestled among the Davis Mountains you’ll find one of the only hotels operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Originally built in the 1930s, the white adobe walls of Indian Lodge resemble a multi-level pueblo village. Today, the lodge features 39 guest rooms, hand-carved cedar furniture, pine viga and latilla ceilings and a swimming pool. The Black Bear Restaurant offers breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday, year-round.
Splash | WEST TEXAS REGION
$4 park admission
Wade into the lake, then snap a selfie.
In 1949, the Morgan Creek Power Plant needed cooling, and nearby Colorado City needed water. Lake Colorado City was built on a tributary of the Colorado River to serve those purposes. The power plant no longer needs the lake, and the city has found other sources of water, leaving Lake Colorado City open for recreation. Take a swim or rent a kayak on site.
Quirky | WEST TEXAS REGION
$4 park admission
Take a selfie in front of any of the Lower Ghost Camp’s abandoned shelters or signage.
Ever seen a ghost camp? Take a short hike from the River Bend Camping Area in San Angelo State Park and you’ll find one. Unused and abandoned for nearly 20 years, these sites don’t appear on any park maps, but you can ask the park staff for directions — if you dare.
BONUS | WEST TEXAS REGION
Snap a selfie with a single order (three tacos) or a double order (six tacos) of Chico's legendary rolled tacos in chile sauce at any of their El Paso-area locations.
No visit to West Texas is complete without a visit to El Paso’s Chico’s Tacos.