Volcano Country of the Big Bend

The western side of Big Bend National Park is a place of geologic marvels.  From the fault blocking of the Chisos to the depths of Santa Elena Canyon.  Between those two lies an area of ancient volcanoes with fins, plugs, tuff and volcanic features spread across the landscape.

One of my favorite views in the park take in some of this country and for sunset on my first night in the park, I thought I would take in one of those views. I had found this spot several years before while hiking cross country in the desert.  It is off trail, unmarked, and frankly lost amid the splendor that is Big Bend.

Finding these off the map places is one of the great things of Big Bend.  There are so many well marked and amazing views that just photographing from overlooks can easily fill a week.  There are amazing views off every road too.  Just photographing from the side of the road and the overlooks will be very fulfilling with great views.

The abundance of possibilities is still actually only a fraction of what is possible here.  Even after visiting here for twenty years, I still find new sights to photograph.

This is one of those great areas that I found and now keep coming back to photograph.  I love the rocks and the view.  All it needs is great light to get a great image.

I made my way here in the late afternoon.  There were clouds in the sky and I thought there might be some good possibilities that the light would be nice over these volcanic features.

I set up the tripod on a hill overlooking this valley and watched the show unfold.  The light on the volcanic peaks was great and the clouds had just a little bit of movement I was able to capture.  I enjoyed the light until the sunset.  Then just when I thought the evening was over the clouds to the west started to light up.

My view was to the northeast and I was far enough from the road that I could not get to a another spot so I framed up the sunset with Cerro Castolon with the Sierra Ponce wall and the sunset above it.  Here was the highlight of it.

As the light faded I made my way back to my vehicle already with some great captures and wondered how the rest of the trip would go.


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