Guided Backpacking Trips in Big Bend

Angell Expeditions offers 2-5 day guided backpacking trips thru some of the most amazing scenery, terrain and canyons of the Chihuahuan desert! The Chihuahuan desert is a high mountain desert ecology covering much of Big Bend and Northern Mexico.

We can tailor a trip for you that can be from moderate to expert levels. Being physically fit is important; also realize that the months of June, July and August are not recommended due to the extreme heat in the desert. May and September are also very hot, but early May can be okay, as well as late September. Anyone who trying this for their first time should stick to October to April timeframe.


Chisos Basin Backpacking Trips


Chisos Basin in Big Bend

Packing list:

  • 50# multi-day backpack or greater
  • Inflatable or lightweight roll-up sleeping pad
  • Sturdy, high-ankle hiking boots (if new please wear for casual use several days to break them in – new boots on the trail can cause chafe/blisters)
  • Thick padded, wool socks – minimum 3 pairs
  • Headlamp
  • Lightweight flip-flops/camp sandals to allow feet to air out at days end
  • Compass and appropriate maps
  • Large-brim hat for sun protection
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bladders, nalgenes, platypuses, etc. – having the capacity to carry 2 gallons total per person, minimum, is important

Packing list, Continued

  • first aid kit
  • pocketknife/leatherman
  • proper clothing for expected environment and temps.
  • base layers of clothing for expected temps.
  • lightweight backpacking sleeping bag for expected temps.
  • survival/space blanket
  • compact rain poncho
  • emergency whistle
  • bear spray/pepper spray
  • compact fuel and single burner stove
  • individual mess kit (plate/bowl, spork)

BE AWARE that the less weight you carry the more enjoyable your trip. Keep this in mind when making product selections, for example, a backpacking sleeping bag will stuff down 1/5th size or smaller than a regular sleeping bag and weighs much less.

A good rule of thumb is the higher the price of gear the lighter it weighs and has less bulk. REI stores have very knowledgeable staff and can give good advice, please make sure to discuss purchasing with us beforehand, this will assist in making sure you don’t buy the wrong items or gear unsuitable for a desert environment.

We have all of these items in stock and can rent or loan for modest fees; if you intend on backpacking more in the future purchasing these items are recommended. We are happy to talk with you on what works best, what price ranges to stick with, etc. You can also rent or borrow some of our gear to decide what works best for you on future trips.

Contact us to schedule a backpacking trip. We also offer day trips, bird watching, dark sky camping, and more.

Rancherias Loop Hike


Marufo Vega Trail
Big Bend National Park

Named after Gregorio Marufo, known for herding goats along the Rio Grande in the area, the trails are steep and rugged but beautiful. A day hike or overnight camping are options, and you must be able to carry your own water. Best done during the cooler months, a 14 mile loop through the Deadhorse Mountains with 2000 ft of climbs each way, with some shorter options.

The National Park has a lot more information on it plus maps.

Photos by Madison Melton