Arroyo Venado

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Arroyo Venado ("Deer Creek") is a rugged canyon cut by an intermittent stream in the Sierra del Caballo Muerto of the eastern reaches of Big Bend National Park in southeastern Brewster County. From the head of the arroyo (at 29°22' N, 102°57' W) the streambed runs south-southeast for seven miles to its mouth (at 29°17' N, 102°54' W) on the Rio Grande in Boquillas Canyon, eleven miles below the entrance to that canyon. In places the walls of the canyon reach a height of 500 to 600 feet above the streambed, before the arroyo opens out in a broad mouth upon the green-clad bottom of Boquillas Canyon several hundred yards from the Rio Grande. For most of its length Arroyo Venado, like the rugged desert mountains surrounding it, is covered with sparse arid vegetation characterized by Chihuahuan Desert scrub, including various semisucculents such as lechuguilla and yucca and shrubs such as creosote bush and ocotillo. Desert willow and other desert riparian species grow in sheltered spots along the arroyo, and the streambed crosses a narrow belt of denser riparian vegetation at its juncture with the Rio Grande. Mule deer are native to the region. The only established route of access to Arroyo Venado is an arduous backpacking trail called the Marufo Vega, which leaves the paved park road near the mouth of Boquillas Canyon and follows a winding route over the Sierra del Caballo Muerto to its terminus near the mouth of the arroyo.

A. Michael Powell, "Vegetation of Trans-Pecos Texas," in New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook (Socorro, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society, 1980). David J. Schmidly, The Mammals of Trans-Pecos Texas (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1977).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Arroyo Venado,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994