Home|Big Bend|Big Bend & The Rio Grande

RIDING TYPE | ■︎ Intermediate

TRIP DURATION | 5-Days

SEASON | February – April

Do you want to have an adventure in one of the largest, most remote, and least visited national parks in the lower 48? Would you like to ride your bike through the beautiful and rugged Chihuahuan Desert and explore a region with over one million acres of public land? How about paddling for a day in the stunning canyons of the famous Rio Grande? Though off the beaten path, Big Bend was on the map in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a hot spot for mountain bike racing with the Chihuahuan Desert Challenge and the Mas o Menos 100. This is where the pros came to race their bikes and where hundreds now come each February for the Chihuahuan Desert Festival. After riding the trails in Big Bend Ranch State Park, with their unique challenges and spectacular scenery, you’ll see why IMBA designated an epic route here. Imagine riding all day, then coming back to camp and sipping on a cold one while we treat you to a delicious, hearty meal. Share stories and reflect on your adventure while you relax and enjoy the stars in the desert sky.

We will be without vehicle support during some sections of the ride. Many cacti, sharp vegetation, and sharp rocks exist along trail. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.

Road Surface: Mixed surfaces. Single track, double track, packed dirt road, rocky 4x4 road, loose rock, sand washes, and pavement.
Overall Rating: Intermediate
Technical Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. While much of the route is suitable for intermediate riders, there are some steep, loose, technical rock sections.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate. Some short, steep climbs at low elevations.
Altitude: 1,800- 7,500 ft

MEETING PLACE AND TIME

Midland, TX
The trip will meet at 7:00 AM CDT at the Sleep Inn & Suites, 5612 Deauville Blvd, Midland, TX. This is ~10 minutes from the airport. Sleep Inn & Suites offers
free airport shuttles. You may park your car here, gratis, during the trip. You will need to spend the night before in Midland, TX.

ENDING TIME

We will return to Midland between 4:00-5:00 PM on the last day.

GETTING TO MIDLAND, TX

Driving to Midland, TX. Midland is in west Texas, 300 miles west of Dallas/Fort Worth.

Flying into Midland/Odessa, TX
Airport Code: MAF

TAXI SERVICE

Imperial Taxi: 432-770-3660
Midland Shuttle Services: 432-312-0443
Midland Executive Car Services: 432-260-5428

LODGING BEFORE YOUR TRIP

It is a good idea to book your rooms in advance; here are a few recommendations for Midland, TX:

Sleep Inn & Suites
432-694-4200

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Midland Loop 250
432-520-3600

Quality Suites
432-620-9191

Country Inn & Suites
432-218-7980

Be sure to bring everything on this list. We have carefully developed this list to ensure your comfort on the tour regardless of the weather. If you are prepared for extreme weather, it is an adventure. If you are not prepared it can be a serious problem.We recommend the layering system, including a wicking or long underwear layer, an insulating layer and a weather barrier for wind and rain. This list reflects that philosophy. Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable so be sure to bring all the warm clothing and rain gear listed!

HOW TO PACK: The bulk of your gear and clothing will ride in the Western Spirit support vehicle (preferably in a large duffle bag) and will not be accessible during the day.

For this trip, you will need a riding pack and optional day bag:

  •  Your riding pack may be a hydration pack, but needs to carry 2-3 liters of water, rain gear, other warm clothing, and food for the day. You may be away from camp and the support vehicle all day and need to be self-sufficient.
  • A small day bag is optional and may be used to store things you’d rather not ride with, but would like to have access to during the day. This day-pack will remain with the support vehicle and may not be accessible, depending on the day.

WHAT WE PROVIDE:
✓ meals, snacks, water, electrolyte drinks, non-alcoholic drinks
✓ camp mugs, all kitchen and dining ware
✓ 2 large cycling water bottles
✓ camp chairs
✓ dry bags to pack your gear
✓ solar showers
✓ sunscreen & bug spray
✓ bike stand and lube
✓ guides bring their own tools
✓ first aid kit with basic medications

BRINGING OR RENTING

o bike (Our rentals come with flat pedals. You are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.)
o helmet (gratis w/rental bike)
o tent
o sleeping bag
o sleeping pad

CYCLING CLOTHING

o cycling shoes
o 3 - 5 pair cycling shorts
o 3 - 5 cycling shirts
o long sleeve cycling shirt
o long sleeve cotton shirt or solar sleeves
o cycling socks
o windbreaker
o tights or leg warmers
o 2 pair cycling gloves (1 pair full length for warmth)
o rain jacket (Gore-Tex or similar)
o rain pants (Gore-Tex or similar)
o warm layer (lightweight synthetic puffy jacket or long sleeve fleece shirt)
o sunglasses or other eye protection

CAMP CLOTHING

o camp shorts
o shirts
o warm socks
o long underwear, top and bottom (wicking layer, not cotton)
o 2 pair warm long pants
o long sleeve fleece or sweater
o pile or down jacket (insulating layer)
o warm gloves and hat
o brimmed hat or visor
o bathing suit (for solar showers on the trip and at the hotel before/after your trip)
o hiking shoes
o sandals
o cheap PVC rain gear (to wear in camp)

PERSONAL

o toiletries
o medication (daily and emergency)
o towel
o biodegradable soap
o wet-wipes
o flashlight or headlamp (with extra batteries)
o sunglasses
o optional day bag
o stuff sacks or reusable grocery bags (or separate compartments for your dry bag)
o cash for tipping guides: your guides work as a team and share all of their gratuities. A tip of 10-20% of the price of your trip given to either one of your guides when you return to civilization is a great way to say thanks for a job well done.

OPTIONAL

o camera, extra batteries
o binoculars
o alcoholic or any of your favorite beverages (your guides will pack these)
o books or maps
o we encourage you to turn your devices off, but if you cannot, please bring a way to charge them. We recommend a portable USB charger with 1-2 charges. Also, putting your phone on airplane mode to save power is recommended.

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Need more information about our bike trips? Check out what a bike trip is all about by visiting our camping and FAQ page or be the first to know about new trips, last minute trip openings and future discounts by .

Need even more details? Send us a message or call and talk to one of our trip specialist at (435) 259-8732 or (800) 845-2453.

Big Bend & The Rio Grande

PRICE | $1,595 pp

Private Departures Available
Call  435-259-8732

A Day With Western Spirit

Rise & Shine
How do you like to start your day? If you like waking up to hot coffee and unforgettable sunrises you’re in luck. Delicious cowboy coffee, fresh fruit salad, pancakes, bacon, granola, yogurt and more.

>>> Read More

Hit The Trail
Whether your trip includes: riding
the Rainbow Rim Trail; enjoying breathtaking views of the
Grand Canyon; leading your
friends on the White Rim Road in Canyonlands; or ripping down.

>>> Read More

Apres
We base our itineraries around the trails that we love to ride, but also around great camp locations. We love to find the perfect place next to rivers or lakes , or by vistas
and sunset spots.

>>> Read More

BIKE TRIP TESTIMONIALS

“I had been to Canyonlands two years prior so knew scenery was outstanding but it takes on even more magnificence when seen from seat of bike. The guides were awesome and supportive. Food was better than in most restaurants and more than you could eat.”

~ Michael

The guides made the trip totally beyond awesome. They were fun, the food was WAY better than I expected, the rides could be were tailored, guiding was superb, trails were a blast, our campsite was sweet. I have zero complaints.

~ Wendy

“Food was WAY better than I expected. I like to eat healthy and was worried about “camping food.” The guides prepared amazing food. The trip was a blast in general with gorgeous scenery and good campsites. Guides were very friendly, patient and helpful”

~ Erika

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on any organized event and this one was simply amazing. My skill and fitness level were not up to those as others in the group but never once did I feel intimidated…”

~ Nick

“The trip was one of the most incredible experiences of my life… the scenery, the views, the guides, and the food! I loved how great the meals were!!! The guides were unbelievable cooks! After biking all day, to be able to sit down and eat a great meal & drink a beer …man, it was great!”

~ Gary

“This was our 3rd trip with Western Spirit, so we knew what to expect from the guides and the support they’d provide. The trip itself was spectacular – the scenery was unbeatable and the weather was perfect.”

~ Jennifer

“Very accommodating of me being vegan, very cheerful and nice.”

~ Jason

“I was tired at the end of each day and to have everything taken care of as far as dinner and cleanup, it was so nice to have that not be my issue. The guides were amazing, simply amazing….the food was always excellent, their personalities are different but blended with everyone perfectly!”

~ Pam

“Warmth, humor, seriously good people skills,professionalism, competence. They execute their very serious responsibilities with confidence-inspiring grace.”

~ David

“Normally I do self supported but having someone else make excellent food makes me want to do it again”

~ Christl

Your guides are your ambassadors, they are fun, energetic and very knowledgeable. I would not do anything different.

~ Paul

“Great salads at lunch, a lot of variety, they guides had food specially prepared for those of us with food issues. Plus, they set up our chairs in the best spots!”

~ Teri

“To begin with the landscape and scenery was majestic and awesome. The guides were all instrumental in enhancing the experience with their knowledge, skills, and out of the goodness of their character.”

~ Edward

The food was fantastic! I didn’t expect such meals. The guides were so friendly, helpful, and entertaining. They really worked well together. Also, they made sure that everyone in their various skill levels enjoyed the rides and that there was enough for everyone.

~ Nichole
“I was worried riding and camping with a group… could I keep up?… would I “fit in”? I was able to keep up and push myself and was challenged by the terrain, I loved it! The group was great I had nothing to worry about, everyone was friendly and supportive.”
~ Robin

Great salads at lunch, a lot of variety, they guides had food specially prepared for those of us with food issues. Plus, they set up our chairs in the best spots!

~ Teri

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