This place is AMAZING!!! There are so many diverse habitats in this area, and is well worth a visit, even though it is out of the way.
We were lucky enough to get one of the primitive backcountry sites in General Springs - Grapevine 1, and we were the only humans for miles around. We watched spectacular sunrises, walked trails from our camp in the mornings, sunbathed in the afternoon, colourful sunsets, and black starry nights. There were lots of great things about this site but for us the cost was the best; for $5 (or is you don't have a golden age or disability access pass it is $10) you get 10 days of this beautiful landscape. The park rangers have done an awesome job of creating these primitive sites so that they can not be seen from the main roads, so as someone is driving down the paved park roads they would have no idea there was a family of 9 living for 10 days back in the hills.
Our first sunset at Grapevine 1
The Sunrise on our first morning at GV1
Another great thing about this park is that there are quaking aspen groves around old ranch wells, desert washouts, rolling cactus desert hills, mountains with oaks, pines, and mesquite, and snow on the mountain peaks. Plus there is the Rio Grande with a whole new set of ecosystems; and lets not forget the hot springs.
We DO NOT just blatantly disregard the posted signs but the ranger said since we were such a large group we would probably scare away the resident mountains lions and keep them from attacking one of the kids.
This is what they call window canyon, which is a spectacular view in the Chisos Mountains.
One day we ate lunch at Dugout Wells, which actually had pools of water and a totally different feeling about it compared to the desert just yards away.
This one is for my mom; she loves old windmills.
A person could easily spend a month here roaming around, and if funds were unlimited we could have really rocked out; however, because gas was about 70 cents more a gallon here we really had to conserve our gas money and there were places we just didn't go because it was too far down the road to spend the gas to get to it. Most places are about 20 to 30 miles apart, and when you add that as a round trip plus 10 mpg it is easy to see why having a gas budget is a bit of a bummer here; however, I am not complaining because what we did take in was fantastic.