Where Nature Meets Space Dreams: Boca Chica Beach

A Walk to the Rio Grande's Mouth

We drove to Boca Chica Beach State Park at the southernmost tip of Texas, close to where the Rio Grande River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. We have seen the Rio Grande River several times at Big Bend National Park, Las Cruces, Albuquerque, and El Paso, and we were looking forward to seeing the end of its 1885-mile journey.

We walked along the empty beach through the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area to the river’s mouth, an estimated distance of about 3 miles. The Rio Grande in Texas forms the border with Mexico; We, therefore, weren’t sure if access would be restricted due to border security. However, to our surprise, there were no obstacles. Border patrol vehicles patrolled the beach, and the officers greeted friendly as they drove by. On the Mexican side, fishermen were fishing, with the Mexican Faro Bagdad lighthouse visible in the distance. It was an idyllic scene, quite different from what we expected, given the recent political discussions about increased border security measures.

SpaceX at Boca Chica Beach, Inspiration and Concern

Since the late 2010s, SpaceX has become the neighbor of Boca Chica Beach State Park. This private company is developing Starship, a reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft, a potential “gateway to Mars.” Standing this close to a platform with such ambitious goals is inspiring; however, it’s hard not to worry about Starship’s environmental impact on this beautiful state park.


Monday, April 15, 2024


5.95 miles

Moving Time

2:04:04 hours


82 °F, fresh breeze, cloudy