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!
From the intersection of 118 and 170 in Study Butte-Terlingua, travel south on 118 for 3.9 miles to the Big Bend National Park entrance. From the park entrance, travel east 24 miles to the Panther Junction Visitor Center and Service Station.
For those wishing to run the route north to south, continue east another 5.4 miles from the visitor center to the entrance of Glenn Springs Road. (Note that upon entering Glenn Springs Road, travelers may wish to air down at this point.) After turning right onto Glenn Springs Road, travel south 8.7 miles to the northern entrance of Black Gap Road on the right.
For those wishing to run the route south to north, continue east another 15.6 miles from the visitor center to the entrance of River Road. (Note that upon entering River Road, travelers may wish to air down at this point.) After turning right onto River Road, travel west 21.6 miles to the southern entrance of Black Gap Road on the right.
Did the Black Gap Road from South to North in my 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with the 4WD Low, Air Suspension, and stock 18" rim tires. Had no issues even though it has rather a long wheelbase. Never scraped anything to include the skid plates and rock rails. No pin-striping occurred.
Didn,t engage the 4WD much as the AWD was quite up to the trail tasks. Did use it a bit though when I got tired of some of the longer rocky parts. It sure is nice to engage that cruise control, let the Jeep control the throttle and brakes, and just steer. Really a nice setup!
Pretty area and some striking scenery.
Full disclosure: as equipped (stock) this jeep has a bit more clearance than a stock Wrangler on the same size tires. It is not exactly my first rodeo either. So you might want to reconsider using something with say 6" or so clearance.
decent trail for site seeing but difficulty rating is questionable. I went through all of Black Gap in slightly modified 03 rubicon towing trailer. Never engaged 4wd trail was not technical in any way except for wash by spring when entering trail head due to flooding. I actually found old ore rd to be more challenging along with being far more interesting. There are a few grave sites along black gap if you know where to look
A somewhat technical trail with great views of the Chisos Mountains and the desert. It is not maintained and I have driven it several times over the years and it's constantly changing. The step in the Black Gap has deteriorated over the years and may be difficult climbing for some low clearance vehicles. Worth all the driving to get to. Be sure to visit Mariscal Mine while in the area.
I really enjoyed Black Gap Road! The breathtaking views were fantastic, along with the feeling of being way off the beaten path! For those of you looking for a challenge, you won't find it here if you're a seasoned off-roader, there is only one technical section that was fairly easy in my lifted Tacoma, we had a stock jeep wrangler with a newbie off-roader behind the wheel make it through with some spotting. My friends and I hiked up to the nearby Quick Silver Mine and that really added to the fun!
Prepare for a long day (pack a lunch and snacks/water), the trail has much ground to cover and can take a while, especially if you have a big group.
The trail itself was not difficult. I took my stock Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and didn’t have any issues with scraping. The trail is a little narrow for a full sized truck so be prepared for some pretty decent pinstripes. The only thing to look out for is the areas where water has washed the trail out, I could see how it would make the trial extremely difficult after a good flood.
JP began his off-road adventures as a "Toyota guy", then later crossed the dark side when he bought a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Describing himself as a 'heavy overlander / moderate crawler', he enjoys everything from long beach runs, to the mountains of Colorado, to the rocks of Moab.