Lajitas Trail System

With the main traithead marked by a simple kiosk and nothing but mountains on the eastern horizon, the Lajitas trail system crisscrosses the hilly arroyos that separate the 25,000-acre Lajitas Resort from the 800,000-acre Big Bend National Park. Just keep your eyes peeled (or airport signs on the south side of Ranch Road 170, halfway between downtown Terlingua and the Rio Grande, 14 miles from the national park entrance at Study Butte Ipronounced "stoo-dee beaut'l.

From either the airport or the resort trail-head, you can shape up a smoking 15-mile loop almost entirely on singletrack, hitting sections like Dog Loop, Jackrabbit Flats and Fun Valley, which are featured as part of the Mas-o-Menos racecourse.

Those hungry for miles can double back on parallel jeep roads and link together 30 miles or more of trail, but don't let those West Texas postcard views distract you: In addition to the thorny cactus and ever-present Spanish daggers, desert obstacles include dry-creek dips, ass-busting limestone ledges and loose stone and sand. Stilt, make time to conquer the Outer Loop (designated Trail A), and do yourself a favor and hit the roller-coaster-like Lajitas Half-pipe and Brennecke Loop (Trait 3).

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toward lake isabella


A Gem in the Southern Sierras annual Kernville Fat Tire Fest happens each October.

Also, unless you love traffic and crowds, avoid planning trips on a holiday weekend, when Kernville morphs from a quaint riverside village into a three-headed tourist monster. The upside of the

Kernville area Forest Service is a good source of info as well, as trail condition updates [760-376-^81].

The Kern River Brewing^'m-pany on Sierra Highway near downtown is an essential slop. The beers are brewed on site, and can pack quite a donkey krck to a dehydrated rider, so it's a good idea to also order the fish tacos or any of the other fine menu choices. For those with a True sense of adventure, venture down to The Hut on Kernville Road. It's a paradise for true dive bar aficionados.

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