Contrabando Trail

Lajitas, Texas

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The Contrabando Trail meanders through washouts, eroded flats, and dotted fields of volcanic ejecta typically found throughout the Big Bend’s Chihuahuan Desert low country. The route, called Contrabando for more than 100 years, cuts across a formidable desert landscape that historically provided cover for trade in both raw and illicit goods including rum, wax, and stolen cattle. However, thanks to an ongoing partnership between park staff and the nonprofit citizens group Big Bend Trails Alliance, hikers, bikers, and horseback riders can enjoy the rugged and remote miles of the old Contrabando smuggleway with little worry but for a scare or two from ghosts of old contrabandistas.
100 Classic Hikes in Texas

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Classic Hikes in Texas

by E. Dan Klepper (The Mountaineers Books)

The Contrabando Trail meanders through washouts, eroded flats, and dotted fields of volcanic ejecta typically found throughout the Big Bend’s Chihuahuan Desert low country. The route, called Contrabando for more than 100 years, cuts across a formidable desert landscape that historically provided cover for trade in both raw and illicit goods including rum, wax, and stolen cattle.

However, thanks to an ongoing partnership between park staff and the nonprofit citizens group Big Bend Trails Alliance, hikers, bikers, and horseback riders can enjoy the rugged and remote miles of the old Contrabando smuggleway with little worry but for a scare or two from ghosts of old contrabandistas.

©  E. Dan Klepper/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Lajitas
Distance: 12
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 10 hours
Season: Best in Fall
Trailhead Elevation: 2,425 feet
Top Elevation: 2,700 feet
Local Contacts: Big Bend Ranch State Park
Local Maps: USGS Lajitas
Driving Directions: Directions to Contrabando Trail

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May 2018