Big Impressions from Brewster County – The Largest County in Texas

If you’ve been following my blog since I first started it in June, you know that I was in the Big Bend Region with my friends Morgan and Debra when we took our perimeter trip around Texas. I’m a huge fan of this area of the state, as is my husband, Dan, so when we have the chance to visit, we do.

Over the weekend, we did a quick getaway with our dogs back to Brewster County. A few years ago, we took a year off to travel in our fifth wheel across the south west so we decided to dust it off and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful mountains of Texas for a few days. We packed our food, our drinks, and the dog food for our girls, Sadie and Angel and headed 3 1/2 hours from San Angelo to Lost Alaskan RV Park in Alpine.

Sadie and Angel hanging out with us in the mountains of Brewster County.

While Harris County is the largest county in Texas by population with more than 4.7 million residents living across 1,777 square miles, Brewster County in west Texas is the largest in size, covering 6,193 square miles with a population of only 9,267. According to the U.S. Census, that’s 1.5 people per square mile living in this rustic part of the state.

Alpine

Having camped in Alpine a number of times in the past, we arrived late on Friday evening so only had a chance to see the stars. The skies are incredible here due to the Big Bend Dark Sky Ordinance, which regulates outdoor lighting.

The Milky Way over our Blue Ridge fifth wheel in the RV park in Alpine.

Because many attractions were closed last weekend, I still wanted to share much of what you can enjoy when you are in Brewster County, as we have done in the past. You’ll need a few days to take in these wonderful communities so when you do plan your visit, keep that in mind.

While the area is certainly remote, Alpine has wonderful food options. Check out Reata. So delicious!


You can get to Alpine by driving or you can take Amtrak. The station is across the street from the downtown.

Study Butte

When driving SH-118 to Big Bend National Park, you’ll come to the tiny community of Study Butte, 79 miles south of Alpine. I’d suggest you gas up here before you head to the park. We like the Alon station because of it’s convenient location along the road. We also like that the prices are not horrible, considering how remote this area is. There are also a number of lodging opportunities, if you want to stay the night.

If you have a hankering for barbecue, stop by DB’s Rustic Iron BBQ for a sandwich with a fantastic view of the mountains. It’s located between Study Butte and Terlingua.

Terlingua

As I’ve shared in previous blogs, Terlingua is one of my favorite places to have an adventure.

The first time my husband and I visited the area years ago, we stopped at High Sierra Bar & Grill. Dan ordered Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas and has stated they were the best he’d ever had. He still brings it up years later.

Lajitas

Twelve miles down on Ranch Road 170, you come to Lajitas, population 58. I’ve heard it said that buying Lajitas Mayor Clay Henry, the communities goat mayor, is a tradition.

Having seen it first hand, I know the goat does enjoy a cold one occasionally.

Big Bend National Park

If you travel back, you’ll go through Terlingua again, which isn’t a bad thing, then head to Big Bend National Park. While I would love to say a description would give you an idea of what to expect, it’s simply not true. Even the photos I’m sharing don’t do it justice. Until you’ve experienced it for yourself, much like seeing the Grand Canyon in Arizona, you won’t understand. Because of that, I can’t stress enough why you should see this beautiful park for yourself.

Marathon

Once you finish what will no doubt be an incredible experience at Big Bend, head north on US-385 for 40 miles and you’ll arrive in Marathon.

Grab a coffee at the V6 Coffee Bar. Yes, they have gourmet coffee in this small community of under 500. I recommend the Mexican Mocha Latte with soy milk on ice. And if they have espresso chocolate chip cookies, grab one of those, as well.

If you go west from Marathon, you can head back to Alpine on US 90. You can also reach I-10 by way of the same route, but turn north on US 67. As you drive toward Alpine, you’ll come across Target Marathon, a former utility building and billed the World’s Smallest Target Store. Unsure of who painted it, graffiti has now been added along with a shopping cart. Some believe it was inspired by Prada Marfa, an art installation between Valentine and Van Horn.

Of course, I would suggest you avoid the interstate, if you’re driving in from the east. When you jump on US 67, stay there and it’ll take you to San Angelo, my home city.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Irene says:

    Ah, Texas! Gotta love it. 😊💙

  2. Really great writing and images, Diann.

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