Black Gap Road

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4.6/5 (23 reviews)
Terlingua, Texas (Brewster County)
Last Updated: 03/30/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Camping Category Icon Camping
Desert Category Icon Desert
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Overland Category Icon Overland
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
Black Gap Road in Big Bend National Park is 1 of only 2 Jeep Badge of Honor Trails in Texas; and arguably the most well known off-road trail, in the state of Texas. Connecting Glenn Springs Road with River Road, Black Gap is perhaps the most remote un-maintained road in the park, providing scenic views of the Chisos Mountain Range as well as wide-open vistas of the Chihuahuan Desert. For those looking to experience Texas at its best, Black Gap Road is an absolute must do!

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Traveling north to south, Black Gap is roughly divided into two halves. The northern half (approximately 4.5 miles) of the trail being the more technical, consisting of loose rock, a section of slightly off-camber ledge road, dry river beds of loose sand, heavier washouts, and the "the gap" - the obstacle giving the route its name. The southern half (approximately 4 miles) is primarily flat, dirt road along the open desert.

While the trail can be traversed in either direction, most generally consider traveling north to south the more convenient and slightly more challenging for stock vehicles since this includes climbing up the gap, rather than descending.

High-clearance vehicles are a must given the breakover angles of many of the washouts, with 4WD only being needed in some select areas. Stock 4WD vehicles with minimal approach and departure angles may want to pay special attention to navigating some of the obstacles to avoid scraping bumpers, however most 4WDs with even a minimal lift and/or larger tires should easily clear all obstacles. Wide-body vehicles will be prone to heavy pin-striping through much of the trail and only the most experienced of full-sized vehicle owners would want to consider traversing the washouts of the off-camber ledge road near the northern end of the trail.

Trail Reviews

4.6/5 (23)
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/18/2024
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great trail. Short wheel base necessary due to wash outs. We had the trail to ourselves all day. The national Park has rules and regulations that limit all kinds of abuse. In this case, the non used up desert was exceptional. We turned west/north at the south end of the trail and enjoyed another 3 hours of scenic and desolate desert. (Except when we missed a turn and were lost for a while.) Be sure to have a good paper map and a good GPS in addition to your phone for navigation. There is no phone service most of the trail.
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 12/30/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Probably the easiest Badge trail. There is really only 1 obstacle but worth every mile in scenery. Along the trail we saw wild donkey's
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/11/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Fun trail for a beginner like me to get a Jeep Badge of Honor and experience the beautiful remote region with a variety of terrains. Ran it in my stock 2021 WK2 TrailHawk. The steep, off-camber hill at the beginning (north to south) was the scariest moment, and the rest had enough challenges that were interesting and required a little thought, but nothing too difficult. The Black Gap itself required a pause and line-sighting, but with all the rocks piled up as a ramp, I watched a Subaru Crosstrek with 31's and a 2" lift do it, no problem. Not mentioned in the waypoints is an open space after the Black Gap that has a large ramp to nowhere - a great spot to climb and take pics (with no spotter, I just went up halfway). I called it the Victory Ramp to celebrate my first BoH.
Trail Review: Black Gap Road - Paul Williams
Trail Review: Black Gap Road - Paul Williams
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2650
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/02/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

One of our "bucket list" trails because it’s so far from everything else, but it was a fun ride. We ran it North to South so we could climb the gap. The only sketchy part was at waypoints 4 & 5 where recent rain had washed it out more and made us lean hard towards the cliff! Great trail and amazing National Park!
Trail Review: Black Gap Road - Tony Faiola
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1400
Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 01/24/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Not very challenging, we had 6 jeeps and the dust was horrendous.

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