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“Interesting Place but nothing special”
Review of Mariscal Mine

Mariscal Mine
Ranked #6 of 22 things to do in Alpine
Attraction details
Reviewed 9 March 2017

Typical abandoned mine, interesting to stop by if you are driving this route but would not make a special trip to see it

Thank Adrian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (18)
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"river road"
in 4 reviews
"high clearance"
in 3 reviews
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4 - 8 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 15 November 2016 via mobile

After starting at Solis camp we traveled west toward Mariscal summit. View from the top and many spots on the way down to the mine were spectacular. Once at the mine you descend a mile past an old tower and then the old cinnabar brick structures to the parking area. Much easier just to hike up and have a little lunch at the mine but at least go high enough for a good vista!

Thank Stuart C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2016

First of all, the Mariscal Mine is more than 100 miles from Alpine, in the Southeast corner of the Big Bend National Park. Access is by the River Road just out of Boquillas. The road is mostly a wide gravel road with a few narrow low spots. I would recommend a high clearance vehicle as larger rocks sometimes appear on the road. Take snacks and plenty of water as the mine site is in the desert. It is possible to get up into the mine with a 4X4 if you are an adventurous driver. Most people will park on the flat and hike up to the mine. On the flat are ruins of housing and stores of mine employees. Some are adobe and some are concrete. The mine itself is a collection of ruins as each owner tried different extraction methods of refining the mercury from the ore. Climbing around in the mine buildings is very dangerous. Last time I was there was winter and there were no rattlesnakes, which are common in the area. Always be careful in the Texas desert areas. There are no gas stations on the route, so fill up at Panther Junction or the Rio Grande Village store.

It is possible to reach the mine via Glenn Springs Road and Black Gap Road, but these are rugged 4X4 trails. A longer back country route is from Castalon in the West end of the park, but that may require getting an overnight camping permit from the Ranger Station. This route follows the Rio Grande river and is along the border and may be dangerous due to trafficking across the river by illegals or drug smugglers. Really rough road. Keep in mind that things are always further apart than what you may think. Allow plenty of time and don't get caught out at night in the desert without proper gear. All of the Big Bend is a lonely, desolate, but very beautiful scene.

5  Thank Bob79734
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2016

From Panther Junction in Big Bend NP, this is approx. 2 HOURs driving to the Mariscal Mine. From the paved 2 lane hwy, turn down River Road, which is a PRIMITIVE one lane path that demands a high clearance vehicle with tires that can withstand large, sharp rocks. If you get a gashed tire, pray you make it to Fort Stockton before it goes flat. That was our case -- thank God! We passed a few other trucks on the 4 hours RT driving, and only one other couple walking the mine area on the October Sunday we were there.

No water. No food. No toilets. No shade. This is the DESERT. Plenty of walking up -- to the mine ruins and then to the top of the hill for spectacular views & photos. Signs give warning of touching the red bricks, which are part of the Huttner & Scott Furnace, built in 1919. Also seen everywhere is reddish ceramic pipe that was part of the condensers.

The only detailed history I've found of this mine is an online (pdf) article by Art Gomez published in the 1998 Mining History Journal (vol. 5).

With beautiful views of Boquillas Canyon (south) & Chisos South Rim (north) surrounding you, the rewards of this adventure outweigh the dangers. We didn't see much wildlife -only a bat escaping its "cave" at the top of the hill if you keep left from the parking lot. However, there's plenty of ocotillo on the land, which I hear is beautiful when blooming red in the spring.

If you're fascinated with ghosttowns, this is much more haunting than the buzzing Terlingua. The only thing in Big Bend that I enjoy more than this adventure -- is the Rio Grande River.

3  Thank Holidav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 April 2016

There are several buildings still standing that were part of the mine complex. A quarter mile walk is required to get from a parking area to the mine buildings, but it is worth the walk if you are able.

1  Thank Tuna77573
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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