Active + Adventure

Best Adventure Trips 2008

by Sarah Tuff

Texas Chain Saw: Biking Big Bend

For those who prefer rolling hills and traffic-free highways, West Texas is road-biking nirvana. There are seemingly endless ribbons of smooth pavement flanked by desert grasslands and canyons carved by the Rio Grande. The rides, the sights, and the plates of food are nearly as big as the state itself. But unless you hop on board Butterfield & Robinson's new six-day trip, you'll be in a big tangle of logistics. That's because B & R is the only outfitter pedaling through this part of the country; after creating bespoke Texas trips for years, guides are offering two scheduled departures for 2008. Riding from 26 to 35 miles a day, bikers launch from the town of Marathon, where the 1927 Gage Hotel provides wrought-iron four-posters and chicken-fried steaks. Tomorrow means Big Bend National Park and Marfa's Hotel Paisano, which has seen the likes of James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor. Next up: tracing the Mexican border along the Rio Grande. As a reward for a mile-long climb near Contrabando Canyon, you get a couple of nights at Cibolo Creek Ranch. Stash the bikes to go skeet shooting, ATV riding, or hiking on the 19th-century ranch's property. At 30,000 acres, it's—what else?—big.

Departures: September 22–27, October 27–November 1

Price: $5,995, including lodging, meals, and wine; originates in El Paso.

Butterfield & Robinson
Tel: 800 678 1147 (toll-free)
Tel: 416 864 1354

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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