|Our room at the Gage.|
|My 2005 BMW LT|
Marathon is a small community north of Big Bend National Park
, divided by the railroad, trains run just about on an hourly schedule, round the clock. If trains bother you keep riding another 32 miles west to Alpine. Aside from the Austin influence that's taking over some of the real estate and raising prices it is still a great place to visit before heading into Big Bend National Park
. This is especially true if it's late in the afternoon since chances are you will not get a good campsite at the Chisos Basin (that's the place to camp) so I'd recommend staying at the historic Gage Hotel
in Marathon, Texas for at least one night. All campsites at Big Bend except for those at the Chisos basin are probably too hot if its after May so check-in at the Gage and get an early start to the basin. Marathon is about 45 miles north of the park entrance and another 20 plus to the park headquarters and finally another 10 to the basin.
The Gage Hotel, built in 1928, has two sections, one being the old historic section and the newer ground level rooms near the pool and an outdoor panel. If you're a history buff stay at the main building, if you want to kick back in the patio and drink some refreshments then go for the newer section.
The Gage also has a nice bar and a good restaurant, but it's pricy and something we usually avoid.
Once in Marathon there are few good places to eat and just to walk around and see. There's an old cemetery across the tracks and just a few miles away are the remains of Fort Pena Colorado which protected settlers from Indians. It was settled in 1879 and closed in 1893.
|Downtown Marathon at sunset|
|rap & irma|
An alternative to the Gage is the Marathon Motel & RV Park
just west of the Gage. It not as fancy, but it has a great outdoor patio and fire place. You're free to start up a fire in the fire place and settle back into a lawn chair.
There is a great view of the Glass mountains to the north and east as well as the Santiago mountains to the south and southwest. It has small cabins which are not as nice as the rooms at the Gage. Of course, this is the place to stay if you're pulling an RV. They will also let you setup a tent if you want to camp out on their grounds. Both locations are great and it's best to call ahead for reservations.
|Marathon RV & Motel Patio Area|
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