West Texas Road Trip / Basecamp Terlingua

Basecamp Terlingua

500 Kempf Rd, Terlingua, TX

by Ella Patterson

Drive time:  7 hours Cost per night:  approx.$179+ Must do: Check out the music scene at the Starlight Theatre Restaurant & Saloon Be sure to include: Comfortable hiking boots

After about an hour of driving from Dallas we arrived at  Base Camp Terlingua, we passed through the town of Alpine and once we exited we were reminded of why we decided to take this short get a way trip.

Highway 118 is a fun road that winds its way up through the foothills of the Davis Mountains before leading down into the sprawling flat of the Chihuahua Desert. The road runs straight as a ruler through the expansive landscape, and terrain that loom on all sides. We can see the wonderful Big Bend.

Big Bend is really beautiful, which has long meant that its natural wonders were reserved for adventurous sorts who pack a tent or brave the environment, Spartan lodging in the area. The Airbnb business has made finding a place to stay more accommodating. Basecamp Terlingua, is a “rustic resort” right on the outskirts of the tiny Terlingua Town, introduced a way to experience the scenery of Big Bend with some of the creature comforts of a luxury hotel.

Basecamp Terlingua offers a range of accommodations, from tepees and lotus tents adorned with queen-size beds, minifridges, and Keurig coffee makers. The campsites are furnished with power and USB outlets, running water, Wi-Fi, and a bathhouse within walking distance.

I was excited about the two Basecamp Bubbles. Designed by the French company BubbleTree. The air-conditioned inflatable plastic spheres sit on concrete bases sunken into the soft undulation of the desert floor. In a landscape that itself looks somewhat Martian; the bubbles look like cosmological stations from a sci-fi film. They share all the tents’ and tepees’ amenities with one critical bonus: they have a window to the skies. In the morning, while lying in bed, you can see the sun as it glimpse out over the distant Chisos Mountains. When you are ready to chill out and relax around a campfire you can enjoy the pit dug just outside the bubble or you can easily crawl under the covers and watch the stars emerge.

It’s like camping in the skies with the comfort of cool air, showers, and high-thread-count sheets. And the location is the best.

A drive to the east leads straight into Big Bend National Park. To the west, there’s the underappreciated but no less spectacular Big Bend Ranch State Park. There are outfitters in town who can fix you up with your desert sport of choice: canoeing, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking (even small airplane tours). And don’t overlook the jewels of Terlingua: the famous Starlight Theatre Restaurant & Saloon and the evocative, La Kiva bar. 

Ella Patterson

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