Great Chihuahuan Desert

Location:

From Lajitas, literally on the edge of Big Bend National Park, west Texas and then a hop into Chihuahua State, Mexico.

History:

Spanish Conquistadors, Chisos, Mescalero and Comanche indians, outlaws, U.S. Army, Mexican bandits and revolutionaries operated here. In 1570 Cabeza de Vaca trailed through this region – by 1760, Jesuits convinced Spain to build a series of ‘presidios’ around the Rio Grande. The Comanches would raid deep into Mexico on their terrifying horse-stealing forays near Lajitas – outlaws often crept over the line here too and the U.S. Cavalry established a fort for General ‘Black Jack’ Pershing in 1916, to thwart raids by Revolutionaries led by Francisco ‘Pancho’ Villa.

Ride:

Our horse riding holiday, south of the Texas border in Chihuahua State, Mexico lies an expanse of remote, rural and authentic land. Experience the charm of tiny unchanged communities and ejidos in a part of the world lightly touched by the 21st century. After orientation, load and head to Lajitas Crossing, utilizing a row-boat to jump the border into Mexico! Meet your guides and horses for orientation and get ready for adventure.

Altitudes rise from 2,300 feet. Explore remote mountain and canyon country, through red rock strewn landscapes. See desolate miles of cactus and look out for bands of wild horses and burros. Visit abandoned ranches dating back 200 years during the great hacienda era, several of which are built on ancient Indian sites. Narrow trails wind up twisting side canyons. Pancho Villa hid here during the Mexican Revolution. Be prepared for rough riding, traversing tricky trails in and out of the desert mountains and wild canyons. You should be familiar with horses and be prepared to hike very steep tracks – not for the feint-hearted! Film buffs may be thinking of the excellent Tommy Lee Jones movie, Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Details:

Accommodation: old ranchos;  Duration: tailored; Group size: 4-10; Departures: March-April & September/October; Cost: £ POA