One of the most charming juxtapositions in life is that it is always burly bikers who know the prettiest drives to take. I spent several months exploring all the corners and sections of The Three Twisted Sisters, which is a twisty, turny, hilly drive in the Hill Country of South Texas.
Coming from San Antonio off the 1604 Loop, head north on Bandera Road: roughly 30 miles and 45 minutes of driving. When you get to the light for Main Street in Bandera (Highway 16), turn right. If you’re peckish, I suggest stopping for a bite at Gringo’s Burritos (a local rendition of a Chipotle) or The Hen’s Nest if you’re there in the morning.
About 14 miles later, hang a right at FM-337 heading toward Vanderpool. FM-337 is the first of the Three Twisted Sisters. After about 20 miles you’ll come to a T in the road at Highway 187. Turn right and after about a mile you’ll come across FM-337 again where you’ll turn left to drive on toward Leakey. Bandera to Leakey is roughly 50 miles and will take about an hour.
When you get to Leakey, you’ll pass an ancient graveyard on the left and come to a stop sign at the main road. Keep going straight and you’ll find the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop, which is officially a place to eat and drink and pretend you’re as cool as the guys on the hogs or driving the sport cars you’re probably also not driving. If’n you’re not interested in stopping for a bite, though, you have two choices: hang a right at that stop sign on Highway 83 to take you around the loop back to the Motorcycle Shop or drive past the Motorcycle Shop to circle the loop (my favorite), either way, it’s the same amount of driving.
US Highway 83 for a short way – I honestly can’t tell you how far so don’t ask – and then you’ll see the next leg with FM-336 or Ranch Road 336 on the left (I’m not sure how it’s labeled, honestly, so just watch the signs for a 336). This is the second of the Three Twisted Sisters. Watch out for whitetail dear, cows, cattle guards, and did I mention cows? When you get to the end of the road at a T some 10 miles plus on FM-336, you’ll be at Highway 41 where you’re going to hang a left. Its roughly 14 easy miles to the next step but what you miss in the twisting and turning you make up for in huge blue skies. And then you come to the FM-335 (also labeled US HWY 377 on some maps) where you’re going to turn left on the last of the Three Twisted Sisters. Follow this south through Rocksprings where it will turn to Highway 55, through Barksdale (don’t blink, you’ll miss it), and into Camp Wood where you’ll make a left back on FM-337, which will take you to the Motorcycle Shop for that bite you’ll wish you had earlier.
Or… Past the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Shop on FM-337 straight to Camp Wood where you’ll hang a right on Highway 55, through Barksdale and into Rocksprings where it turns to FM-335 (or US HWY 377) and you won’t turn off that road until you get to Highway 41 where you’ll hang a right again. Roughly 14 miles later there will be a sign for FM-336 or Ranch Road 336 on the right. When I drove this way, it only said there was an intersection on the highway with a 336 and I actually missed it the first time; I made it all the way to US 83 trying to find it and had to backtrack. I like going down FM-336 more than I like going up. At the intersection with US 83, turn right and it will take you back into Leakey where you can backtrack back to Bandera and San Antonio.