2020 Heartland Pioneer
2020 Heartland Pioneer
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Devils River State Natural Area is a nature preserve located in Del Rio, Texas. The 37,000-acre nature preserve is surrounded by privately-owned ranches, but it is a publicly-funded area. Devils River runs through the preserve. The river is a popular destination for Texas campers because of its remote location. Devils River is considered one of the most unspoiled rivers in Texas and features whitewater at points.
Devils River State Natural Area and Del Rio are located in Val Verde County. The region is a liminal space between semiarid and subtropical climates. The amount of rainfall is typical of a semiarid environment. The temperature is typical of a subtropical climate. The humidity in the area is high more often than it is low. The area covers three different distinct ecosystems: the Tamaulipan Mezquital, the Chihuahuan Desert, and the Edwards Plateau.
Val Verde County, located in southwest Texas, sits in a very remote area. The remoteness of the area makes it ideal for camping with an RV, but it can take a while to get to larger cities. The nearest town, Del Rio, is about 90 minutes away from the natural area. The Mexico border is about two hours away, and San Antonio is a little over three hours away.
Devils River State Natural Area offers a true wilderness experience for campers who book an RV in Val Verde County. Outdoor enthusiasts can go swimming in Devils River. The river is fairly quick at certain spots, so it’s important to be careful. Paddling in a river raft or a kayak is also possible. Some travelers decide to paddle the entire length of the River, and a trip down the entire river generally takes about three days. Since it is such a wilderness area, outdoors lovers should pack all of the supplies they need while out.
The river is also full of several different kinds of fish. The many rocky outcroppings and whirlpools create ideal habitats for several fish species.
On land, outdoors enthusiasts can explore the area by bicycle or on foot. Hiking is a popular activity. In fact, the river is about one mile from the parking lot; so, even getting to the river will take a little bit of a hike. Furthermore, the mixture of three different ecosystems and two different climates means that there is a unique mix of plants and animals in the area. Birdwatchers might rent an RV in West Texas to see the various birds.
Lastly, the remoteness of Devils River State Natural Area means that there is very little light pollution at night. So, astronomy enthusiasts can spot many constellations in the night sky. Many of them are visible to the naked eye; even more, stars are visible to enthusiasts who bring binoculars or telescopes.
From time to time, Devils River State Natural Area campers can also take part in guided tours or hikes through the wilderness. The local park rangers sometimes provide these opportunities.
Devils River offers outdoors lovers a truly rustic camping experience. Campers who rent an RV in Val Verde County can camp at primitive campsites. These are drive-up campsites that do not have water, electrical, or sewer hookups. There also are no restrooms. However, the natural area does offer a bathhouse near the Visitor Center. The bathhouse has restrooms and showers. The barracks offer water, electricity, and an ADA bathroom.
Del Rio Campers who want a few more hookups may choose a nearby RV park such as American Campground & RV Park in Del Rio. This campground offers 50-amp electric, water, and sewer hookups. The park has big rig access and pull-through sites. Also, RV campers can find WiFi and cable television for their enjoyment.
Amistad Outdoors RV Park & Boat Storage provides space for travelers who book an RV near Devils River State Natural Area and bring their boats with them. The park has 50-amp electric, sewer, and water hookups. They also offer parking sites accessible to big rigs.
Del Rio, Texas, and the surrounding areas offer many museums and historical sites for history enthusiasts to explore. The Whitehead Memorial Museum is a public museum in Val Verde County. The museum collects artifacts, exhibits, and information about the history of Val Verde County. The history explores the original Native American inhabitants, the decades as part of New Spain, the period known as the Republic of Texas, and much more.
Laughlin Heritage Foundation Museum in Del Rio is a military museum devoted largely to the U2 spy planes used in the 1960s. Planes from the area were deployed during the Cuban Missile Crisis to take photos of Cuba. The museum features artifacts and memorabilia of the planes as well as information about the crisis.
Crockett County Museum in Ozona, Texas features several exhibits and artifacts detailing the history of Ozona, Crockett County, and West Texas in general. The museum outlines hundreds of years of history. History lovers often spend about one or two hours at this museum.
Most of the restaurants and gas stations in the area are near Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña. Hungry travelers can find well-known fast-food chains, local restaurants, and some national chains as well. From Devils River State Natural Area, drivers can reach Interstate 10 very quickly and from there access just about any needed amenities.