Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big Bend National Park - Part 2: Cattail Falls

After our 13 mile hike to the south rim, we decided to spend the rest of our time exploring different ecosystems of Big Bend. The park encompasses so much land it's hard to cover much in 2 days, but we sought out different environments to give us the best cross section. Cattail Falls is an easy one way 1 mile hike to a spectacular waterfall.

The trail starts in typical Chihuahuan desert vegetation and landscapes...

and soon moves into a lush, desert oasis.

Spectacular vegetation populated the wet environment. Pictured below is some sort of mint (Labiatae), maybe a Salvia...

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum sp.)...

Unidentified fern...

After leaving the waterfall area, we climbed down the dry wash and found a warm, sunny place for lunch.

So many cools rocks rest in this wash...

Finally, a little animal sign. Yes! Steve spotted this pile of scat and unfortunately I did not put my hand in for scale, but it's a LARGE pile and to our deducing minds - bear scat.

And perhaps the most interesting for last - a radio tracking collar from a large mammal. Most likely mountain lion or perhaps a small bear. We've never found one of these before and found it in a great napping spot. A little fur stuck in the collar and a number marked the inside of the leather. We turned the collar into one of the visitor centers, perhaps ending the tale for that particular tracked critter.

Parts 3 & 4 later!


  1. This is more my type of hike - 1 mile as opposed to 13 miles;-) Looks amazing and you had some great finds with the scat and collar!

  2. Great pictures you guys!!!


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