Alto Relex

Marathon, Texas 79842

Alto Relex

Alto Relex Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Alto Relex—it’s a name and a soaring plateau that has always intrigued visitors to the national park. Geologist Ross Maxwell, in his article about the region written for a national park service publication in 1941, claims the name meant “high bluff.” The translation falls short, however, as while alto is Spanish for “high” or “tall,” it also means “stop.” And the word “relex” doesn’t seem to appear in any language. It’s a mystery.

Needless to say, a hike up Alto Relex reveals plenty of outdoor magic. Once hikers mount a good portion of the northeast face, the plateau’s uneven but expansive cap offers splendid views of the Chisos range to the east. It also provides vertiginous overviews along the three major pour-offs that dump tremendous amounts of rainfall over the west face to the desert below. This off-trail hike onto one of the most interesting plateaus in Big Bend National Park can be enjoyed in a day with an overnight at the Telephone Canyon campsite."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
8 hours
Best in Winter
3,000 feet
Trailhead Elevation
3,800 feet
Top Elevation
Big Bend National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Roys Peak
Local Maps