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The appropriately named Alpine, Texas sits at a lofty position in southern Texas at just over 4,000 feet in elevation. This charming mountain town is right in the middle of Big Bend country, a 12,000-square-mile area near the shared border with Mexico.
Alpine began as a small cattle camp where ranchers and cowboys would stay while leading their herds through backcountry wilderness. With the arrival of the railways, family members of the train workers began to build up a town with business and homes, naming it Osborne at first. The name was later changed to Alpine.
When you book an RV in Alpine, you can feel the spirit of the Old West coursing through its streets. This spectacular heritage site is full of spaghetti-western style buildings, saloons, general stores, and other remnants from its past, largely escaping the big box stores and shopping malls of America. The town is quite remote and several hours' drive from El Paso and San Antonio in their respective directions, so feeling at peace in this tranquil town is part of the appeal. When you rent an RV, you can also head off to visit Big Bend National Park, the gorgeous hidden gem of a park to the south along the Mexican border.
Alpine is largely surrounded by serene desert landscapes, but with limited park options nearby, it is best to hit the road in your Alpine motorhome rental to seek out some of the state’s best recreation areas for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Davis Mountain State Park can be found over in the small town of Fort Davis to the northwest, no more than a half hour's drive away. The park is connected to the nearby Fort Davis National Historic Site by a great hiking trail, and it's full of historic adobe structures and lodges built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There is a wonderful mix of wildlife calling the park home, as well as interesting geological formations, high mountain views, and miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a few hours’ drive north in your Alpine camper rental, but well worth the effort to go and visit. The park is home to Texas’s highest peak, Guadalupe Mountain, a stunning 8,000-foot-high summit in the Guadalupe Mountains, the same range that contains Carlsbad Caverns National Park. There are historic buildings, white gypsum sand dunes, sprawling forests, and miles of footpaths weaving through the backcountry, along with a few campgrounds where you can stay with your Alpine RV rental by owner.
Down to the south along the international border lies Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park, two of the areas most responsible for Alpine’s burgeoning tourism industry. Both of these parks share the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem, a place that, at first glance, looks desolate; lurking beneath the surface however are thousands of animals and plants existing in perfect balance with one another. In both parks, you can find magnificent waterfalls, riverfront campsites, white water rapids, rugged canyons, rocky cliffs, elevated vistas with panoramic views, and if you are lucky, you might even stumble upon some billion-year-old fossils in an area rich with footprints and dinosaur bones.
Alpine is not overflowing with campgrounds, but there are a few places that can accommodate you when you rent an RV in town. La Vista RV Park is found in Alpine, with peaceful camping and a breathtaking backdrop provided by the Del Norte Mountains. You can set off on relaxing hikes in the desert, and see wild deer, horses, cows, and other animals.
Lost Alaskan RV Park is a family-friendly location with tent camping and RV sites. There are a pool and a splash pad for kids, and also an RV wash, a recreation room, a camp store, and a whole lot more at this festive resort.
Up in Fort Davis, you can stay at MacMillen RV Park, just minutes from the Fort Davis National Historic Site. The big rig-friendly park has massive camping sites, epic scenery, high-speed internet, and many other amenities to make you feel at home.
When in Alpine, a simple walk down the main road will yield some fantastic sights, from the old post office and saloons to homes belonging to the area’s first pioneers. The town has breweries, barbecue joints, antique stores, and a university too, so naturally, there has to be some semblance of nightlife to keep the college students happy. If you are a fan of baseball, you can catch an Alpine Cowboys game at Kokernot Field, a scaled down version of Wrigley Field in Chicago.
The Stillwell Store-Hallie’s Farm Hall of Fame Museum is a testament to a local woman who carved out her own business in a world dominated by men. The museum is housed in an old adobe building, with lots of memorabilia and possessions from the woman’s life on display.
If you really can’t resist museums, the Museum of the Big Bend is located in Alpine, and is the self-proclaimed “Heart of Big Bend Country.” The museum covers a wide range of topics and eras, from the ancient native people to the Spanish conquistadors, and the region’s railways and first pioneers. There is a powerful exhibit regarding the Buffalo Soldiers, slaves forced to fight natives on behalf of the country, and other dark topics concerning the country’s past. On a lighter note, there are lots of beautiful tribal paintings, costumes, beadwork talismans, and other pieces of art on display, and a lovely gift shop for purchasing gifts for friends back home.