West Texas Tour

West Texas & New Mexico

March 29- April 7, 2016 



On this tour, we will examine the rich history of West Texas and southern New Mexico from the founding of the Spanish missions to the atomic age.  At sites along our route, expert historians Ed Bearss and Neil Mangum will discuss the bloody dispute between Texas and Mexico that led to the founding of the Republic of Texas in 1836 and the Mexican Revolution that began in 1910 featuring the notorious raids of Pancho Villa.   We will explore Spanish missions, frontier forts, and the McDonald Observatory. Highlights will include visiting the Trinity Site (only open to the public two days each year) and spending a day at spectacular Big Bend, one of our nation's most remote National Parks.  We hope you will join us this spring when carpets of bluebonnets adorn the wide expanses of this great western frontier.


March 29, Tuesday (R,D) Arrive in El Paso and check into our hotel. We will toast the beginning of our journey at tonight’s welcome dinner. Overnight at the Indigo Hotel, Downtown El Paso, TX

March 30, Wednesday (B,L) Begin the day with a walking tour of downtown El Paso where we will see the Acme Saloon (where outlaw John Wesley Hardin was killed), the Wigwam Saloon (where John Selman, the gunslinger who shot Hardin, was killed), and Paso del Norte (site of the "Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight"). Other stops will include Concordia Cemetery, Old Ft. Bliss Museum, and the San Elizario Mission where we will learn about the El Paso Salt War of the late 1870s. Overnight at the Indigo Hotel, Downtown El Paso, TX

March 31, Thursday (B,L)   We will spend the morning in Columbus, NM, where we will hear about Pancho Villa's 1916 raid, and proceed to Santa Teresa to see WWII planes in the War Eagles Museum.  Overnight at the Indigo Hotel, Downtown El Paso, TX

April 1, Friday (B,L,D)  We follow the Rio Grande north to Las Cruces New Mexico where we will hear about the Mexican American War Battle of El Brazito (Christmas Day 1846). We'll see the remains of Ft. Fillmore built in 1851, Old Mesilla Plaza, and walk to the Pat Garrett murder siteContinue to Ft. Selden, constructed on the banks of the Rio Grande in 1865, and the El Camino Real International Heritage Center.Enjoy a green chili cheeseburger at the famous Owl Cafe. O/N Holiday Inn Express, Socorro, NM

April 2, Saturday (B,L,D)  Today we will visit the Trinity Site, the location of the first detonation of an atom bomb. It is only open to the public two days of the year. We will stand on ground zero and see the McDonald Ranch House and "Jumbo."  Continue to Lincoln for lunch, before proceeding to Roswell.  Tour the Goddard Wing of the Roswell Museum and Art Center.  Overnight at the Fairfield Suites, Roswell, NM

April 3, Sunday (D)  Following a stop at the UFO International Museum, we will drive to Carlsbad Caverns National Park for a ranger-led tour of "King's Palace." Continue to Fort Davis State Park. Overnight at Indian Lodge, Ft. Davis State Park, TX

April 4, Monday (B,D)   Fort Davis National Historic Site is one of the best surviving examples of an Indian Wars' frontier military post in the Southwest. From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and on the Chihuahua Trail. After a tour of the fort, we will visit McDonald Observatory situated in the Davis Mountains.   Overnight at Indian Lodge, Ft. Davis State Park, TX

April 5, Tuesday   (B,L,D)   We will spend a full day exploring Big Bend National Park with stops in Santa Elena Canyon, Chisos Basin, Boquillas Canyon, and Castolon. Overnight Lajitos Resort, near Big Bend National Park

April 6, Wednesday (B,L)  We will return to El Paso making several stops including Fort D.A Russell in Marfa TX to see murals painted by German WWII prisoners. We will toast our western adventure at the Paisano Hotel, headquarters for the cast and crew of the movie Giant.  The tour concludes at the Chamizal National Memorial that honors the peaceful resolution of the Chamizal Dispute, a more than 100-year border dispute between the U.S. and Mexico that resulted from the natural change of course of the Rio Grande between the cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.  Overnight at the Holiday Inn, El Paso Airport

April 7, Thursday (B) Individual departures.

PLEASE NOTE: This tour begins and ends in El Paso, TX. Our coach company is based in Albuquerque, NM. If it is more convenient for you to fly into Albuquerque, you can ride our coach to El Paso (approximately a 4-hour drive including rest stop).  Our bus will depart Albuquerque Airport for El Paso at approximately 11:30 am on March 29.  On April 7, our bus will depart our El Paso hotel at approximately 7 am and is scheduled to arrive at the Albuquerque Airport at approximately 11:30 am.  If you wish to ride our coach to ABQ, please do not book a flight that departs Albuquerque before 1 pm.    A SECOND OPTION:  You might consider flying into Albuquerque a day or two early to see the sites including the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, and fly home from El Paso.  Call us for more details before booking your flights.



* Services of two Historian Guides
(Ed Bearss and Neil Mangum are scheduled to lead this tour)
* Services of a Tour Manager
* 9 nights hotel accommodations
* transportation on a full-sized coach
* all admissions and excursions
* two wine/beer welcome receptions; 8 breakfasts; 6 lunches; 6 dinners
* all taxes, baggage handling and gratuities; pre-trip notes, reading list and map book

Double Occupancy: $3595 per person

Single Occupancy:  $4195

(NOTE: All costs are based on a minimum of 20 participants.)