Sunsets really do set the Chisos Mountains ablaze at Big Bend National Park. This particular peak is named Casa Grande; due to its majestic prominence in the Chisos Basin valley, Casa Grande has become something of a poster child for the park. Dream on, hikers and rock climbers – park rangers adamantly deny access to the peak, since human presence tears up the fragile rock that gives Casa its character. Taken on January 10, 2013 with a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Nikkor lens. Click image to enlarge.
“Then shouldering their burdens, they set off, seeking a path that would bring them over the grey hills of the Emyn Muil, and down into the Land of the Shadow.” – J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. In some places, Big Bend National Park does look like Mordor; as a land birthed in volcanic activity, the result is a valley of stunning, jagged mountains, striped ruddy, white, and black. Taken January 11, 2013 with a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Nikkor lens.
Gray skies blanket the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend National Park, near Castolon Village and Visitor Center. The prominent peak is called Cerro Castellan, which means “castle-warden’s hill.” Stretching 3,293 feet above sea level, TSHA calls it “a high stack of volcanic rocks.” Read more from TSHA here. Taken on January 11, 2013 with a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Nikkor lens. Click photo to enlarge.
A free climber begins her winter ascent of Big Bend National Park’s Burro Mesa Pour-Off, a desert waterfall that is only active after substantial rains. She made it into the cave, but the slick, volcanic rhyolite at the higher levels of the pour-off made it impossible to continue. Photo taken January 14, 2013 with a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G Nikkor lens. Entered in the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Contest. Click photo to enlarge.