Buttrill Spring

Marathon, Texas

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Buttrill Spring is one of several permanent water sources that bubble out of the north end of the Rosillos range, a cold blue mirage of mountains that rises above the desert in the farthest north section of the national park. Once part of the Buttrill Ranch (thus, the name), this spring and its attendant detritus of artifacts illustrate the long history of ranching in the region. Evidence of human habitation includes an abandoned ranch house along the ridge to the east of the spring as well as early historic adobe ruins that can be spotted on the west side of the arroyo across the dense brush that has all but choked the Buttrill Spring drainage. This short hike requires a dusty drive but is well worth the effort, leading to a deeply shadowed spring below and, above, a perfect perch for glassing the canopy and watching hawks cruise the arroyo for snacks.

Buttrill Spring Professional Review and Guide

"Buttrill Spring is one of several permanent water sources that bubble out of the north end of the Rosillos range, a cold blue mirage of mountains that rises above the desert in the farthest north section of the national park. Once part of the Buttrill Ranch (thus, the name), this spring and its attendant detritus of artifacts illustrate the long history of ranching in the region.

Evidence of human habitation includes an abandoned ranch house along the ridge to the east of the spring as well as early historic adobe ruins that can be spotted on the west side of the arroyo across the dense brush that has all but choked the Buttrill Spring drainage. This short hike requires a dusty drive but is well worth the effort, leading to a deeply shadowed spring below and, above, a perfect perch for glassing the canopy and watching hawks cruise the arroyo for snacks."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Marathon
Distance: 1
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 1 hour
Season: Best in Fall
Trailhead Elevation: 3,010 feet
Top Elevation: 3,400 feet
Local Contacts: Big Bend National Park
Local Maps: USGS Twin Peaks
Driving Directions: Directions to Buttrill Spring

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May 2018