Coordinates: 29°17′16″N 103°53′49″W / 29.2877°N 103.8969°W / 29.2877; -103.8969
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
LocationChihuahuan Desert, Presidio / Brewster, Texas, United States
OperatorTexas Parks and Wildlife
WebsiteTexas Parks and Wildlife Website

The Contrabando is a ghost town within the Big Bend Ranch State Park, 9.5 miles (15.3 km) west of Lajitas, Texas, on the Texas State Highway 170.[1]

The church from the movie set

The Contrabando consists of an original adobe building called 'La Casita' and several later additions that became part of the Contrabando during its use as a movie set.[2] The movie set was constructed in 1985 for the Roy Clark film Uphill all the Way.[3] The site has been used as a set for nine movies including John Sayles' 1996 movie Lone Star; as well as Dead Man’s Walk and Streets of Laredo, which were part of the Lonesome Dove miniseries based upon the novel by Larry McMurtry.

In September 2008, heavy rains and flooding occurred in Ojinaga, Mexico. The rain, and the ensuing release of water from local flood control structures, caused widespread flooding, and resulted in damage to the movie set buildings at the Contrabando. The original Casita was not damaged. In 2015, the buildings, except for the Casita, were removed for safety reasons.


  1. ^ "Lajitas, TX - Abandoned Contrabando Movie Set". 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  2. ^ "Contrabando | Atlas Obscura | Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  3. ^ DB's travels Don Barrett+ Add Contact (2010-06-17). "Big Bend Contrabando Movie Set Site 2676a | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 2012-03-18.

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29°17′16″N 103°53′49″W / 29.2877°N 103.8969°W / 29.2877; -103.8969