By Alicia Neaves
BIG BEND - West Texas has one of the top ten national park lodges in the U.S. That's according to a survey by USA Today.
NewsWest 9 went to investigate what keeps visitors coming back.
"'Always a beautiful sunset at Chisos Mountain Lodge!' That's how we answer the phone - and it is," General Manager of the Chisos Mountain Lodge, Danny Ferguson said.
Hidden in the heart of Big Bend National Park is the Chisos Mountain Lodge.
"I've only been to Dallas and Houston and this is not Texas," visitor from Chicago, Sharon Sobel said.
"I figured this part of Texas would be flat as a pancake. It was anything otherwise," newlywed and tourist from Corpus Christi, Michael Dergmark said.
"It was amazing to see his expression when we were driving. He said, 'I never knew this was out here. This is huge!'" newlywed and tourist from Corpus Christi, Cheryl McLaughlin said.
When you walk out the door of your room, you are greeted with a wall of mountains and hiking trails.
"We really hit the trails hard just riding our 4x4 truck through some of the rough terrain," said McLaughlin.
"The roughest terrain in the park. Black Gap Road," Dergmark added.
Some visitors come as a tradition. Others are first timers escaping the real world.
"This doesn't even look like Texas to me. [It looks like] another Texas," visitor from Chicago, Judith Jakaitis said.
Reservations are made months in advance. For Room 103, famous for the breath-taking view, try a two-year wait list.
"Summer is starting to pick up. They realize it's not as hot up here as down below," Ferguson said.
But be wary. Some visitors say once you arrive you won't want to leave.
"[My husband] goes, 'When are we gonna get up and go early?' and I'm like, 'You're gonna drag me kicking and screaming! I don't wanna leave,'" McLaughlin said.
"It's a long way out here, but it's definitely worth it," Ferguson said.
For your convenience, here is a link to the article of the ten best national park lodges: