Deep Purple Desert Sunset in Terlingua, Texas

As y’all can tell, I’m a big fan of the wide open spaces found in the desert and mountains around Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. I enjoy hiking, exploring and photographing the hundreds of miles of desert trails in this region and always look forward to my next visit. What many folks don’t know is that many of my favorite images from this region, like the one below, were taken less than 500 feet from my cabin in Terlingua, Texas.

Terlingua, Texas 1936

National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection

Terlingua (now a ghost town) was a mining district in southwestern Brewster County, Texas. It was located near the Rio Grande river and the Texas settlements of Lajitas and Study Butte as well as the Mexican village of Santa Elena. The discovery of cinnabar (quicksilver – from which the metal mercury is extracted), brought miners to the area, creating a “city” of more than 2,000 folks. Today, the only remnants of those glory days are the small ghost town owned by the Chisos Mining Company and several nearby abandoned mines.

The Chisos Mining Company now owns a small motel with several cabins in Terlingua and the folks there have been very accommodating to photographers visiting the region. Nothing fancy mind you, but a clean room with a hot shower is a real luxury after a long day of hiking, exploring and photographing Big Bend. The hills just behind the cabins make a great spot to enjoy the gorgeous colors of a deep purple desert sunset. Folks, it just don’t get any better than this!

Deep Purple Desert Sunset

Deep Purple Desert Sunset – Terlingua, Texas
Copyright © 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 28mm, f/14 for 8/10th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

7 thoughts on “Deep Purple Desert Sunset in Terlingua, Texas

  1. Just thought you might want to know that there is no such thing as the Rio Grande River-its the Rio Grande-which means big river-this mistake is common ! Charlie Carrillo

    • Gracie,

      Thanks for reading and for your kind words. A quick bit of advice. Don’t wait until “later” to visit the best spots in Texas. Life is too short not to enjoy every single moment to its fullest and Texas is too gorgeous to miss. Come visit this April for the spring 2012 Texas Landscape Safari. We’ll be exploring the Texas panhandle plains and canyons with our cameras and it’s a sight to see. I promise!


  2. P.S. Just now went back and saw your comment about going to the Big Bend in the spring. Sounds like a great idea. We are always up for a trip out there.

  3. Jeff, you are so right. It doesn’t get any better than that. Let’s not forget Easter Egg Valley, those pastel-colored cabins behind the Chisos Mining Company motel. We have stayed there many times. But the last time, a couple of months ago, we stayed at those new neat cabins at Far Flung Adventures.

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