Your Guide to the Big Bend National Park

Rio Grande River Big Bend National Park

Big Bend Ranch State Park: General Summary

Spread over 1,252 square miles, the Big Bend National Park is one of the largest parks in the USA. The beauty of this park is that its untamed wilderness presently is very similar to its original landscape. The most well-known feature of this park is the Rio Grande River that acts as a boundary between Mexico and the USA. Much of the Big Bend National Park entails Chihuahuan Desert topography. It is a major attraction for geologists and paleontologists due to its interesting historical background.


Date of Inauguration

In the 1930s, the Big Bend was recognized as a unique and gorgeous piece of land that was worth preserving for many years to come. In 1933, a legislature was passed by the state of Texas to develop a Texas Canyons State Park. Later that year, this park was revamped and renamed as the Big Bend State Park. In 1935, another legislation was passed that enabled the accession of the land to create a national park. Finally, on June 12, 1944, the Big Bend National Park was established, but it didn’t open up to its visitors until July 1,, 1944.


The Visitor’s Center

There are five main visitor centers spread through the Big Bend National Park. One visitor center is at almost every extreme end of the park. One visitor center is located at the Panther Junction; it is called the Panther Junction Visitor Center. This is probably the best place to start your tour of the Big Bend. Situated in the Basin developed area is the Chisos Basin Visitor Center. Another center iIs the Rio Grande Village Visitor Centre that is located at the distance of a quarter-mile from the Rio Grande Village. The Castolon Visitor Centre is situated inside the historic La Harmonia building. Lastly, the persimmon gap visitor center is situated at the north-most entrance of the Big Bend National Park.


Introduction

The Big Bend National Park, with over 1,252 miles of land, is classified as one of the largest state parks in Texas. This park is located in West Texas, where its shares the Rio Grande River with Mexico. The Rio Grande acts like a natural international border between the two countries.

Experiencing only about 8-10 inches of rainfall a year, the number of cottonwood trees lining the canyons and the fern-filled hanging gardens is astonishing. Much of this state park entails high desert uplands and peaks averaging over 4,000 feet – the tallest peak being the Emory Peak. Various archaeological fossils and dinosaur bones signify that there was significant activity here dating back to 10,000 years.

In the 1930s, the Big Bend Area was recognized as one with rich cultural history and amazing topography. It was then decided that this land was to be preserved for the future generations. After various legislations were passed, the park was finally developed in June 1944, but it didn’t open to the general public until July 1944.

The Big Bend National Park entails a gorgeously huge chunk of undeveloped wilderness. Its original landscape has been preserved even after it was turned into a park. This park bears witness to millions of years of human history that is evident in the mortar, middens and pictographs of the area’s native settlers. This area is famous for all the geological processes that took place there. The backcountry of the park is where many water features are present, which essentially serve as habitats for plants and wildlife. Most of these springs are situated in areas that are arduous to reach and have out-of-the-way tracks and paths. Many adventurers love this park due to its rugged terrain and untamed wilderness.

Now, almost a third of a million people visit the Big Bend annually for some enjoyment. There are a is a wide range of activities to do over there such as driving, sightseeing, birding, hiking, biking, and stargazing. These are just a few amongst a multitude of outdoor recreational activities.


A Brief History

While the Big Bend area is widely renowned and appreciated for its natural resources, the park also has a very rich cultural background and history. Natives have lived or passed through this area for centuries. Their existence over there is very evident through pictographs and also various archaeological sites. Cretaceous and tertiary fossil exists in the area,. I in addition to almost 9000-year old artifacts that were discovered by archaeologists.

Even though the Big Bend has been a home to people for centuries, however the Rio Grande wasn’t as well-known amongst the non-Indians at least for the past 150 years. Back in the 16th and 17th centuriesy, Spanish people arrived at the Rio Grande, looking for resources and fertile land. In the 19th century, Comanche Indians all crossed the Rio Grande and kept going and coming back and forth from Mexico. Anglo-Americans also participated in farming activities after 1920. Many food crops were also grown near the Castolon – this area is now known as the Rio Grande Village, even after the Big Bend National Park is fully functional.

So, remember this when you’re driving around the Big Bend, remember that this is the same route on which Spanish people, Comanche and even Anglo-Americans travelled around. Some of the archaeological sites here date back to almost 10,000 years. This makes the Big bend National Park an amazing place to discover history.


Geological Formation

The part of earth popularly recognized as the Big Bend is often explained as a paradise for geologists. The sparse vegetation in the area makes it easier to study and observe the various strata of the region. The complicated geologic history of the site has posed a tough challenge for students and researchers from the world. However, not all geologists find this place to be a paradise; for many of them, this area can be quite a nightmare. The majority of us can comprehend how normal time works— days, months, years, decades and even millenniums— but understanding geologic time presents quite a challenge. Most of the geology of this area was formed through the compression, volcanism and tension of the land. Higher lands in the Big Bend eroded to fill in the neighboring basins. This entire process is the most prominent prospect of Big Bend’s current geological state.

The big bend started gaining popularity in the 1800s due to its geological formations. Landscapes at the Big Bend range from desert basins to rugged crusts of isolated mountain uplifts. This entails the Sierra del Carmen on the eastern border of the Big Bend and the Mesa de Anguila, which lies on the far western boundary. The Big Bend is a 1252-square mile portion of the Chihuahuan Desert. This desert meets the huge south to northeast bend in the Rio Grande River – from where the park gets its name. The Big Bend is a stretched-out strip entailing riverine corridors, scenic canyons, arid plains and high and rugged terrain.

The land in the area is rugged. The Big Bend National Park is the only park with an entire mountain range— Chisos Mountains. The range runs for over a mile along the Rio Grande River. Its altitude ranges from 1800 feet to 7830 feet. Emory Peak is the highest peak.

The Rio Grande River extends in a long 118-mile arc along the southern area of the park. Vertical-walled canyons - Santa Elena, the Mariscal, and the Boquillas— are an eye-catching site near the southern border of the park. Big Bend comprises of a multitude of complex geological formations such as anticlines, faults and eroded rock formations that mesmerize the visitors.


Planning Your Itinerary

The gorgeous landscape, ranging from flowing rivers to rocky canyons and sheer mountains of the Big Bend National Park, has been discussed before. Therefore, it’s only obvious that this breathtaking park has hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. From picturesque views to several outdoor recreational activities – the Big Bend National Park has it all! A well-thought-out itinerary must be drawn up in order to explore the beauty of this area.


Visit during Popular Seasons

Timing your visit is extremely crucial. Before planning your trip to the Big Bend National Park, consider a few factors such as the kind of weather you can bear, how much ‘alone time’ you want, whether you want to stay at a developed campsite or not, recreational activities you’re interested in and the locations within the park you’re planning to visit.

Big Bend is commonly sunny and warm; however, the temperature can vary depending on the season and altitude. The weather can change unexpectedly at any point. In the fall and spring season, the weather is generally pleasant, while in winters, it remains mild. Summers tend to be really hot, considering it’s a subtropical desert. So, if 100-degree heat is too much, then it’s preferable not to visit the park in the hottest months (May and June). The rainy season stretching from mid-June to October can be a big turnoff for some as there are frequent thunderstorm occurrences. If you plan on visiting the Big Bend in winters, you’ll need to be on the lookout for flash floods and dangerous lightning.

Variations in altitude impact the weather conditions dramatically at Big Bend. Therefore, visitors going through the park need to be prepared for different weather conditions. After 1,000 feet, the temperature drops by 3.5 degrees. This means that while rafters might be enjoying a hot day on the Rio Grande, hikers are probably enjoying the cooler temperatures somewhere in the Chisos Mountains. One must ensure to check the conditions before visiting Big Bend.

For most of the year, Big Bend remains un-crowded. Very few people visit during August and September. March is the busiest month at the Big Bend. Since Spring Break commences during mid-March, flocks of college-going students visit this place for some fun-filled activities. Most of the lodgings are fully booked at this time as well as during a few famous holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas or even the week after Christmas. So, if you want to avoid large crowds and get inexpensive and convenient lodgings, you should avoid visiting the Big Bend from February to April.

When visiting the Big Bend National Park, make sure to carry along some essentials because there are a lot of places to discover that will require some time. Here’s how you can plan your itinerary.


One-Day Itinerary

The Big Bend National Park is too massive to be enjoyed in a single day. But if you do decide on a one-day trip to this geological wonder, make sure you include a trip down the Ross Maxwell Scenic Driver and the Chisos Basin. The main attraction at the Big Bend is the rugged Chihuahuan Desert landscape, which will guide you to the beautiful Rio Grande River as well. There are picturesque exhibits along the road. Taking short walks to Sam Nail and Homer Wilson Ranch and visiting the Castolon Historic District also gives you insight into Big Bend’s extensive historical background.

The highlight of your one-day trip will be your walk into the Santa Elena Canyon, which is one of the best spots at Big Bend. To further explore the beauty of this area, drive eight miles west from Castolon till the end of the road. You can get back on the main road by returning on the Ross Maxwell Driver or Old Maverick Road. The conditions of the roads are pretty bad— make sure you check them before going.

As you move towards the Chisos Mountains, you’ll experience chilly feels. To truly get a feel of the mountainous scenery, you should opt for the 0.3-mile Window View Trail. If you have a few additional hours, consider hiking the trails as it will give you better insights to the rugged mountain landscapes at Big Bend. Located 8 miles north of the Panther Junction is another amazing park highlight; the Fossil Discovery Exhibit. This place is also a must-visit.


Three-Day Itinerary

Three days are long enough to explore the Big Bend Park more thoroughly and also have enough time for hiking. You can get well-acquainted with the park within this span of time by also stopping at the visitor centers and the Fossil Discovery Exhibit.

The Chisos Basin Area, being one of the greatest attractions, is great for hiking. With three days to spare, you can hike up the Window Trail or the Lost Mine Trail. These trails will help you experience the wilderness of the Big Bend as much as possible.

As established in the one-day itinerary, a visit to the Chisos Basin and the Ross Maxwell Scenic drive are a must. You can add a drive to the Rio Grande Village to your itinerary. You can additionally stop at the Dugout Wells along the way or opt for the short Chihuahuan Desert Natural Trail. If you’re interested in looking at exhibits about the river, make sure to visit the Rio Grande Village Visitor Center. Near the Rio Grande Village, you can also walk their Nature Trail that initiates near a camping ground. At the far end of the Nature Trail lies a beautiful spot from where you can view a breathtaking sunset.

Another must-visit spot during your three-day trip is the Boquillas Canyon. You can use the Boquillas Canyon Road to get there and at the end of the road, you’ll be able to spot the Boquillas Canyon Trail that leads you to the entrance of the magnificent canyon. If you want a more memorable experience, then you can pay a visit to a nearby Mexican village called Boquillas del Carmen. Keep in mind that this village can only be visited if you have a valid passport.


Week-Long Itinerary

If you have a week, you’ll have significant time to explore and discover different roads and hike. You can also drive on the dirt roads in case you have a four-wheel drive (don’t risk it with other cars). First, pay a visit to the Visitor Center to learn about the current road situations. Some of the highly popular backcountry roads are The River Road, Old Ore Road or The River Road. You should most definitely squeeze in a visit to the Ernst Tinaja located at the south end of the Old Ore Road.

Go for hiking on the Chimneys Trail, the Mule Ears Trail or The Grapevine Hills Trails for a deep look at the desert environment. You should also consider exploring the different trails to Boot Canyon, the Emory Peak and the South Rim as they offer spectacular views of the park. For backpackers interested in overnight stays, there are great opportunities for you along these trails.



The Top Attractions at the Big Bend National Park

You’re probably aware of the basic popular attractions at the Big Bend National Park, such as the Chisos Mountains or the Rio Grande River. However, Big Bend National Park entails a lot of raw and unexplored beauty. Its rugged landscape and various landforms, ranging from rivers to mountains and even canyons, make this place amazing!

This park is a classic place for adventurers to visit. This park has a multitude of activities for its visitors in addition to great lodging options. It’s preferable to pay a visit to the visitor center before initiating your tour of the park. This will aid you in being well-acquainted with the must-visit areas and landmarks. Hence, we’d recommend you to initiate your journey by visiting a visitor center.


Visitor Centers

The first place for you to visit should certainly be the visitor center at the Big Bend National Park. There are various visitor centers in the vicinity, the main one being the Panther Junction Visitor Centre. You can get backcountry and river road permits issued over here. You will also find various exhibits that offer an overall picture of the different aspects of the park.

Secondly, you can visit the Chisos Basin Visitor Centre. It is situated in the Basin developed area and has a variety of exhibits of the life such as plants and animals found in the Chisos Mountains.

Thirdly, you can also pay a visit to the Rio Grande Village Visitor Center that is situated at just a quarter-mile Nnorth to the Rio Grande developed area. Apart from various exhibits, you’ll find a small desert garden that offers an overall picture of the Chihuahuan Desert plants.


Chisos Basin Area

The Chisos Basin area is the Green Island of the desert. This is probably the most popular region in the park. The Chisos Basin area is cooler than the surrounding desert areas. One of the main activities in this park is hiking; hence, the popularity of various hiking trails. Two of the best hiking trails in the Big Bend Park lie in the Chisos Basin area. These hikes lead you deeper into the mesmerizing beauty of the mountains and the valley. The best time to hike these trails is right before sunset. The Chisos Basin trails also make the Emory Peak easily accessible. The Emory Peak is the highest peak in the Big Bend National Park and is at a height of 7,625 feet. A trail leading from a village at the Chisos Basin can take you up to the Emory Peak— it is a 4.5 mile hike.


Santa Elena Canyon

One of the most magnificent hikes, and definitely one of the most rewarding ones, is the Santa Elena Canyon Trail. The trail is 1.6 miles all around that goes along the edge of the Rio Grande River leading up to the Santa Elena Canyon. This hike is one of the most dramatic ones in the entire Big Bend National Park. Once you reach there, you’ll find yourself surrounded by walls as high as 1,500 feet on either side of the river. You can enter the canyon near the end of the trail if the water in the river is lying low. The hike goes takes you 80 feet high. It offers amazing sights overlooking the river. As the 1500-feet tall orange canyon walls reflect in the water, you will find yourself utterly captivated. The areas that lie low in the Big Bend National Park tend to be hotter than the rest – the Santa Elena Canyon Trail is just one such area. The trail can be pretty hot in the afternoon. However, if you choose to walk there in the third-half of the day, you’ll find the trail shadowed – providing protection from the bright sun. At the initiation of the trail, the water is pretty shallow. It’s a good area for you to take a dip in the water or set up a picnic mat near the parking area.


Hot Springs

From mountains to canyons and and now hot springs – this place just keeps getting more interestinghas so much to offer. After trekking all day long, you can go for aAnother activity you can engage in taking a swim in the 105-degree-faharenheitrenheit water of the gorgeous natural hot springs at the end of the Rio Grande River. If you feel too hot, a quick swim over here will cool you right down. In spring, you’ll find blooming flowers alongside the hills and trees lined along the river, reflecting in the clear river water – this is an absolute must-see. These amazing hot springs are located a quarter-mile away from the parking lot. The trail leading from the parking lot to the hot springs exhibits a bunch of pictographs and also the remnants of a historical resort dating back to the 1900s.

You will also come across an uber-dramatic wall covered in limestone. This is a must-do activity if you have enough time to spareIf you have time to spare, then you must stop there for a while. You can see some gorgeous views over the river and mountains. It’s safe to say that it’s worth taking almost a mile walking a mile to reach the hot springs area. This picturesque trail follows along a ridge situated right above the hot springs and provides majestic sights up and down the river. This ridge offers majestic sights in both directions aboveYou get to see beautiful views on both sides of the Rio Grande River. Once you reach there, you’ll spot a half-wall—, at the end of this wall, you’ll be able to see the hot springs directly from above.


Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

This is one of the first things you should do once you reach the Big Bend Park. The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive offers a ravishing drive through the Big Bend region. This road runs through magnificent desert views on the route to Castalon and the Santa Elena Canyon region. Mountain sights spread into the distance throughout the Chihuahuan Desert. On your way, you can make a stop at the Homer Wilson Ranch Overlook to visit the old homestead and also appreciate the beautiful sights. You can also access the Mule Ear Springs Trail from the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Even if you’re not in a mood to hike, you can stop at the overlook to view these twin peaks.


Fossil Discovery Exhibit

This area is all about its natural history and what better place to discover that than the Fossil Discovery ExhibitExhibit.? Lying northwards of the Panther Junction is the Fossil Discovery Exhibit. This exhibit is just a short drive away from Marathon. For those interested in learningThose who are interested in about the history and geology of the park , this exhibit should be your go-to place must stop here. Inaugurated in 2017, the Fossil Discovery Exhibit features outdoor areas with highly informative and enlightening displays. There are vVarious intriguing animal skulls and bones are hung as displays displayed here. One of the most noteworthy displays is the bronze skull, which belongs to a of a massive alligator which another skull is of a dinosaur recognized as the Bravoceratops. Here, you can even find the skeleton of a giant pterosaur – the biggest flying creature ever knownin history., hung from the ceiling in one of the outdoor rooms.


Nature Trail Near the Rio Grande Village

If you’re a fan of short and easy but picturesque trails, then you should definitely embark on the Natural Trail. Located near the Rio Grande Village, departing from the campground, the Natural trail leads you over to a pond. In the pond, you’ll find beautiful views of turtles relaxing under the sun and fish swimming under the bridge that stretches over the water. The area is lush as compared to the neighboring desert and rugged landscapes. It’s also a great location to site see birds. So, if you’re an animal lover, be sure to walk the beautiful nature trail.

The trail goes through the desert and offers sights over the pond and further off the Rio Grande River. You can also spot distant mountains from the route. The Nature Trail leads up to a viewing area. You can either choose to take a brief walk out till the bridge or opt for the a longer route.


Boquillas

Boquillas is a Mexican village located near the precious Big Bend National Park. If you have enough time at your disposable, make sure to make a pit stop at this village. Don’t forget to take your passport. Since this village is located right at the Mexican border, your passport will be scanned before you can head to the river. You can also get a rowboat from the shore which, will take you till the Mexican portion of the Rio Grande River. From this end, you can get a horse, vehicle or donkey ride easily. You can also walk, o have the option of walking but you should know that the journey is going to be uphill. However, you can choose to pay for the ride to the village and then walk back by yourself. You’ll come across a couple of restaurants and eateries where you can load up on some food and beverages. Visiting Boquillas and learning about their culture will be an experience you don’t want to miss. make a nice afternoon spent.


The Window View

If you’re a sunset lover, we have just the right spot for you. The Window is a massive V-shaped nick in the mountain range. It provides an amazing view of the magnificent sky at sunset and the desert lying far away in the distance.

If you’re at the Chisos Basin Visitors Center, the walk to the Window View is just a quarter-mile trail away. Not only is this trail super short, but it’s also accessible viafor wheelchairs. This will surely become your favorite place to watch the beautiful sunset. You can also access this area at any given time of the day. However, it’s best during the at and after sunset and after it as the rocks shape a gorgeous silhouette with the multi-colored sky in the background.


Hiking Trails

The Big Bend National Park is meant for those who love nature in its raw and true form. It is best for those looking for adventure that includes hikers. While some hikers in search of adventure can plan for multi-day hikes, some also decide on acan plan on a single-day epic hike. There are various hiking trails you can choose to follow. It all depends on what you intend on seeing!

Two main hiking trails in the Big Bend National Park have been mentioned above. While the Santa Elena Canyon Trail leads you to the majestically orange Santa Elena Canyon, the Hot Springs Trail leads you to the amazing hot springs near the Rio Grande River. There are also a bunch of just as beautifulYou can opt for other hiking trails, too, such as the Lost Mine Trail, South Rim Trail, Emory Peak, Balanced Rock, Chisos Basin Loop Trail, Mule Ears Spring Trail and the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail.



Best Accommodations

The Big Bend National Park is massive. It offers a number of picturesque views to its visitors. There are lodgings available within and right outside the vicinity for its visitors. The lodging options within the park are very limited. However, your best option is probably to lodge outside the boundaries of the park as you can find better-quality accommodations there. Your best options for lodging lie in the small town of Lajitas or Marathon. While Marathon is located 40-miles north of the east side of the park, Lajita lies at about 20-miles from the west of the park.

A few lodging areas iIf you’re visiting the Big Bend National Park, here a few lodgings you can stay at are listed below.:


Chisos Mountain Lodge

Located in the heart of the Park, this lodge is situated in the basin of the Chisos Mountains. The specialty of this lodge is that it’s one of the few lodges located within this National Park. This lodge provides modern comfortscontemporary comfort coupled with thealong with renowned Texas hospitality. The Chisos Mountain Llodge has a prime location. Not only is the scenery there beautiful, but you can also witness the undisturbed wilderness and ruggedness of the area. Most of the famous trails are located within a short walk from the lodge.


Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

Situated right between the Big Bend Ranch State and Big Bend National Park is the Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa. This resort offers an amazing escape from your daily routine. The entire property of this resort amounts up to acovers up a whopping 27,000 acres of land, surround by a rugged desert area and natural beauty. Apart from the comfortable lodging conditions, there are also a bunch of activities that you can engage in at this resort, such as golf, horseback riding and even clay shooting.


Chisos Mining Co. Motel

Locally owned for over 40 years, the Chisos Mining Co. Motel is located only a few minutes away from the Big Bend National Park. This is the oldest guest lodge in the vicinity of Terlingua. There are a variety of living options at this motel, including single and double rooms, small and large cabins, condos and even an entire house. This motel is not only budget-friendly, but it is also spectacularly clean and comfortable.


Gage Hotel at Marathon

The Gage Hotel dates back to the year 1927. It has offerIt offers tremendous and authentic luxuries to its visitors. It offers premium accommodations in addition to mouthwatering food and top-notch services. This hotel has only 45 guest rooms in totality. However, it has multitudes ofit offers many activities and amenities to offer toto its customers. It Nnot only does it havehas a 27-acre garden, but it also has a gym, a pool and even an amazing spa. When you get back from your adventurous hiking trips, you will definitely need a spa day. The hotel staff also arranges different activities for their guests near the Big Bend.


Big Bend Holiday Hotel

Conveniently tucked in the Ghost Town of Terlingua in the state of Texas, lies tThe Big Bend Holiday Hotel. Is conveniently tucked in the Ghost Town of Terlingua in the state of Texas. This hotel has a range of various lodging choices near the Terlingua Trading Company. The best part about this hotel is that they lodgings are designed with ranch-style décor. They’ve been additionally given a touch of Spanish influence. The available lodging options within the area are Here you can rent houses, suites and bedrooms in the old Perry Mansion ruins.


Safety TravellingTraveling Tips

One of the greatest concerns when you’re travellingtraveling is – safety. When visiting an area with a landscape as rugged as the Big Bend, it’s highly crucial to take some precautions. You’ll have to be prepared for any known or unforeseen circumstances or dangers. This is why we’d suggest you to you go along with a professional guide. The size of the park, coupled with its topography, has resulted in many accidents over the years.

If you’re looking for adventure on the hiking trails, be sure to remember that you might end up with a few bruises or scratches. This is only if you fail to carry along proper hiking gear with yourself. It’s suggested that you take certain precautions when travellingtraveling to the Big Bend, especially if you’re travellingtraveling with family and have toddlers with you.

  1. Beware of Venomous Animals

The most prominent feature of the Big Bend National Park is its rugged landscape. It’s a no-brainer that you’re bound to come across certain creatures or animals. You may find scorpions, spiders or even snakes in the area. Be careful not to pick stuff up from the ground without checking what’s underneath it. Snakes usually hide under rocks and may catch you off-guard. Cover yourself properly byuy wearing thick socks and practical footwear. Especially, if you’re going around the area at night, carry a flashlight with you since that’s when the desert animals are most active. Another precaution you can observe is to include a snake-bit kit in your first-aid kit. In case, you or anyone else isget stung by an unidentified creaturee, be sure to seek immediate medical attention.

  1. Be Prepared for Immigration Patrols

The Big Bend National Park, located in Texas,, also shares a border with Mexico. The Rio Grande River flows between the two places, action as aand acts as a border between Mexico and the USA. It is best to carry your passport with you at all times in case you step foot in the other territory. If you plan on visiting the Mexican village of Boquillas, then it’s mandatory that you carry your passport along with you as you will be stopped by the border patrol.

  1. Carry Clothing Accordingly

Since, this park is locatedion in Texas, it can get pretty hot at times. You’ll have to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays. It’s preferable that you avoid hiking mid-day during the hotter months. In case you do want to hike, carry a long sleeve layer along for sun -protection. Since the park covers a lot of ground and there are various land forms, the temperature differs from place to place. If you’re in a low-lying area, such as the Rio Grande River, it will be warm or hot there. However, when you move on towards the higher areas such as the Chisos Mountains, the temperature keeps dropping. So, make sure you carry extra clothing with you to remain bundled up if you’re heading towards the mountains. Also, if you want to enjoy the hot springs, carry a swimsuit.

  1. Hiking Tips

The Big Bend National Park is mainly famous for its hiking trails. If you’re heading there for hiking, there are few safety tips for you to follow. Make sure you’re dressed properly – wear hiking pants, long sleeves and adorn a hat too. If you’re going alone, be sure to inform someone where you’re going and when you’ll get back. Carry a map and compass with you at all times, in case you get lost. Always carry a flashlight, especially if you’re hiking after during or after sunset. It is also recommended that you avoid any narrow canyons as flash floods may occur. Don’t forget to carry a signaling device with you, as there aren’t any phone signals there.

  1. Driving Tips

The Big Bend National Park is also famous for its gorgeous, picturesque drives. It’s important to bear in mind that the roads over there can be pretty dangerous, especially because majority of them are not properly made. If you’re renting a car, make sure to opt for a 4-wheel drive. Also, make sure your vehicle has good tires, a spare tired and a tire jack. Pay attention to the speed limit within and outside the Big Bend Park. Don’t even think of taking pictures while driving - it’s too dangerous. Pull your vehicle off the road, if you want to take any pictures of the beautiful landscape.

The mountainous regions and stretches tend to be very twisty, so make sure you drive very cautiously over there. Additionally, it’s better for you to keep a check on the fuel gauge. The gas pumps are mostly located at Marathon or Panther Junction and there’s a wide distance between these areas.

  1. Additional Safety Tips

Here are some additional safety travellingtraveling tips for you to follow.

  • Always carry extra food along with you,; you never know when you’ll need it.
  • Since it’s very hot over there, you need to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Also, carry along extra water with you.
  • When opting for backcountry roads, carry sleeping bags.
  • Check in with park rangers to find out the current condition or situation in the surrounding areas.
  • Make sure you carry along a stocked-up first aid kit.


Final Words

The Big Bend National Park is nature’s blessing to the state of Texas. The various land formations, at the park ranging from low-lying rivers to mountain ranges and even canyons, reflect are truly mesmerizing for its visitors. This magnificent wonder caters to all its visitors. Whether from thoseyou are seeking for a fun-filled weekend to those looking for a week-long adventureor a week-long adventure, this is the place to visit. This park is a God-sent for hikers. There are multitudes of hiking trails that lead up to breathtaking spots. There are trails that lead to beautiful canyons to explore and also hot springs for a quick dip.

If you’re planning for a day or even a week-long trip, the first place you should be visiting is the Big Bend National Park! This park offers you breath-taking scenery and an experience of a lifetime. Visiting this parkOnce you visit this park, will make sure youyou will appreciate everything that nature has to offer.

From the must-visit places to the best hiking trails, this guide has all the information you need to create beautiful memories at the Big Bend National Park. Make the most of your trip by carrying this comprehensive guide along with you. It’s time to start packing your bags, and don’t forget to take your hiking gear!


Happy travels!

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Your Guide to the Big Bend National Park

Book AuthorGoglides
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LanguageEnglish
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Your Guide to the Big Bend National Park

Big Bend Ranch State Park: General Summary

Spread over 1,252 square miles, the Big Bend National Park is one of the largest parks in the USA. The beauty of this park is that its untamed wilderness presently is very similar to its original landscape. The most well-known feature of this park is the Rio Grande River that acts as a boundary between Mexico and the USA. Much of the Big Bend National Park entails Chihuahuan Desert topography. It is a major attraction for geologists and paleontologists due to its interesting historical background.


Date of Inauguration

In the 1930s, the Big Bend was recognized as a unique and gorgeous piece of land that was worth preserving for many years to come. In 1933, a legislature was passed by the state of Texas to develop a Texas Canyons State Park. Later that year, this park was revamped and renamed as the Big Bend State Park. In 1935, another legislation was passed that enabled the accession of the land to create a national park. Finally, on June 12, 1944, the Big Bend National Park was established, but it didn’t open up to its visitors until July 1,, 1944.


The Visitor’s Center

There are five main visitor centers spread through the Big Bend National Park. One visitor center is at almost every extreme end of the park. One visitor center is located at the Panther Junction; it is called the Panther Junction Visitor Center. This is probably the best place to start your tour of the Big Bend. Situated in the Basin developed area is the Chisos Basin Visitor Center. Another center iIs the Rio Grande Village Visitor Centre that is located at the distance of a quarter-mile from the Rio Grande Village. The Castolon Visitor Centre is situated inside the historic La Harmonia building. Lastly, the persimmon gap visitor center is situated at the north-most entrance of the Big Bend National Park.


Introduction

The Big Bend National Park, with over 1,252 miles of land, is classified as one of the largest state parks in Texas. This park is located in West Texas, where its shares the Rio Grande River with Mexico. The Rio Grande acts like a natural international border between the two countries.

Experiencing only about 8-10 inches of rainfall a year, the number of cottonwood trees lining the canyons and the fern-filled hanging gardens is astonishing. Much of this state park entails high desert uplands and peaks averaging over 4,000 feet – the tallest peak being the Emory Peak. Various archaeological fossils and dinosaur bones signify that there was significant activity here dating back to 10,000 years.

In the 1930s, the Big Bend Area was recognized as one with rich cultural history and amazing topography. It was then decided that this land was to be preserved for the future generations. After various legislations were passed, the park was finally developed in June 1944, but it didn’t open to the general public until July 1944.

The Big Bend National Park entails a gorgeously huge chunk of undeveloped wilderness. Its original landscape has been preserved even after it was turned into a park. This park bears witness to millions of years of human history that is evident in the mortar, middens and pictographs of the area’s native settlers. This area is famous for all the geological processes that took place there. The backcountry of the park is where many water features are present, which essentially serve as habitats for plants and wildlife. Most of these springs are situated in areas that are arduous to reach and have out-of-the-way tracks and paths. Many adventurers love this park due to its rugged terrain and untamed wilderness.

Now, almost a third of a million people visit the Big Bend annually for some enjoyment. There are a is a wide range of activities to do over there such as driving, sightseeing, birding, hiking, biking, and stargazing. These are just a few amongst a multitude of outdoor recreational activities.


A Brief History

While the Big Bend area is widely renowned and appreciated for its natural resources, the park also has a very rich cultural background and history. Natives have lived or passed through this area for centuries. Their existence over there is very evident through pictographs and also various archaeological sites. Cretaceous and tertiary fossil exists in the area,. I in addition to almost 9000-year old artifacts that were discovered by archaeologists.

Even though the Big Bend has been a home to people for centuries, however the Rio Grande wasn’t as well-known amongst the non-Indians at least for the past 150 years. Back in the 16th and 17th centuriesy, Spanish people arrived at the Rio Grande, looking for resources and fertile land. In the 19th century, Comanche Indians all crossed the Rio Grande and kept going and coming back and forth from Mexico. Anglo-Americans also participated in farming activities after 1920. Many food crops were also grown near the Castolon – this area is now known as the Rio Grande Village, even after the Big Bend National Park is fully functional.

So, remember this when you’re driving around the Big Bend, remember that this is the same route on which Spanish people, Comanche and even Anglo-Americans travelled around. Some of the archaeological sites here date back to almost 10,000 years. This makes the Big bend National Park an amazing place to discover history.


Geological Formation

The part of earth popularly recognized as the Big Bend is often explained as a paradise for geologists. The sparse vegetation in the area makes it easier to study and observe the various strata of the region. The complicated geologic history of the site has posed a tough challenge for students and researchers from the world. However, not all geologists find this place to be a paradise; for many of them, this area can be quite a nightmare. The majority of us can comprehend how normal time works— days, months, years, decades and even millenniums— but understanding geologic time presents quite a challenge. Most of the geology of this area was formed through the compression, volcanism and tension of the land. Higher lands in the Big Bend eroded to fill in the neighboring basins. This entire process is the most prominent prospect of Big Bend’s current geological state.

The big bend started gaining popularity in the 1800s due to its geological formations. Landscapes at the Big Bend range from desert basins to rugged crusts of isolated mountain uplifts. This entails the Sierra del Carmen on the eastern border of the Big Bend and the Mesa de Anguila, which lies on the far western boundary. The Big Bend is a 1252-square mile portion of the Chihuahuan Desert. This desert meets the huge south to northeast bend in the Rio Grande River – from where the park gets its name. The Big Bend is a stretched-out strip entailing riverine corridors, scenic canyons, arid plains and high and rugged terrain.

The land in the area is rugged. The Big Bend National Park is the only park with an entire mountain range— Chisos Mountains. The range runs for over a mile along the Rio Grande River. Its altitude ranges from 1800 feet to 7830 feet. Emory Peak is the highest peak.

The Rio Grande River extends in a long 118-mile arc along the southern area of the park. Vertical-walled canyons - Santa Elena, the Mariscal, and the Boquillas— are an eye-catching site near the southern border of the park. Big Bend comprises of a multitude of complex geological formations such as anticlines, faults and eroded rock formations that mesmerize the visitors.


Planning Your Itinerary

The gorgeous landscape, ranging from flowing rivers to rocky canyons and sheer mountains of the Big Bend National Park, has been discussed before. Therefore, it’s only obvious that this breathtaking park has hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. From picturesque views to several outdoor recreational activities – the Big Bend National Park has it all! A well-thought-out itinerary must be drawn up in order to explore the beauty of this area.


Visit during Popular Seasons

Timing your visit is extremely crucial. Before planning your trip to the Big Bend National Park, consider a few factors such as the kind of weather you can bear, how much ‘alone time’ you want, whether you want to stay at a developed campsite or not, recreational activities you’re interested in and the locations within the park you’re planning to visit.

Big Bend is commonly sunny and warm; however, the temperature can vary depending on the season and altitude. The weather can change unexpectedly at any point. In the fall and spring season, the weather is generally pleasant, while in winters, it remains mild. Summers tend to be really hot, considering it’s a subtropical desert. So, if 100-degree heat is too much, then it’s preferable not to visit the park in the hottest months (May and June). The rainy season stretching from mid-June to October can be a big turnoff for some as there are frequent thunderstorm occurrences. If you plan on visiting the Big Bend in winters, you’ll need to be on the lookout for flash floods and dangerous lightning.

Variations in altitude impact the weather conditions dramatically at Big Bend. Therefore, visitors going through the park need to be prepared for different weather conditions. After 1,000 feet, the temperature drops by 3.5 degrees. This means that while rafters might be enjoying a hot day on the Rio Grande, hikers are probably enjoying the cooler temperatures somewhere in the Chisos Mountains. One must ensure to check the conditions before visiting Big Bend.

For most of the year, Big Bend remains un-crowded. Very few people visit during August and September. March is the busiest month at the Big Bend. Since Spring Break commences during mid-March, flocks of college-going students visit this place for some fun-filled activities. Most of the lodgings are fully booked at this time as well as during a few famous holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas or even the week after Christmas. So, if you want to avoid large crowds and get inexpensive and convenient lodgings, you should avoid visiting the Big Bend from February to April.

When visiting the Big Bend National Park, make sure to carry along some essentials because there are a lot of places to discover that will require some time. Here’s how you can plan your itinerary.


One-Day Itinerary

The Big Bend National Park is too massive to be enjoyed in a single day. But if you do decide on a one-day trip to this geological wonder, make sure you include a trip down the Ross Maxwell Scenic Driver and the Chisos Basin. The main attraction at the Big Bend is the rugged Chihuahuan Desert landscape, which will guide you to the beautiful Rio Grande River as well. There are picturesque exhibits along the road. Taking short walks to Sam Nail and Homer Wilson Ranch and visiting the Castolon Historic District also gives you insight into Big Bend’s extensive historical background.

The highlight of your one-day trip will be your walk into the Santa Elena Canyon, which is one of the best spots at Big Bend. To further explore the beauty of this area, drive eight miles west from Castolon till the end of the road. You can get back on the main road by returning on the Ross Maxwell Driver or Old Maverick Road. The conditions of the roads are pretty bad— make sure you check them before going.

As you move towards the Chisos Mountains, you’ll experience chilly feels. To truly get a feel of the mountainous scenery, you should opt for the 0.3-mile Window View Trail. If you have a few additional hours, consider hiking the trails as it will give you better insights to the rugged mountain landscapes at Big Bend. Located 8 miles north of the Panther Junction is another amazing park highlight; the Fossil Discovery Exhibit. This place is also a must-visit.


Three-Day Itinerary

Three days are long enough to explore the Big Bend Park more thoroughly and also have enough time for hiking. You can get well-acquainted with the park within this span of time by also stopping at the visitor centers and the Fossil Discovery Exhibit.

The Chisos Basin Area, being one of the greatest attractions, is great for hiking. With three days to spare, you can hike up the Window Trail or the Lost Mine Trail. These trails will help you experience the wilderness of the Big Bend as much as possible.

As established in the one-day itinerary, a visit to the Chisos Basin and the Ross Maxwell Scenic drive are a must. You can add a drive to the Rio Grande Village to your itinerary. You can additionally stop at the Dugout Wells along the way or opt for the short Chihuahuan Desert Natural Trail. If you’re interested in looking at exhibits about the river, make sure to visit the Rio Grande Village Visitor Center. Near the Rio Grande Village, you can also walk their Nature Trail that initiates near a camping ground. At the far end of the Nature Trail lies a beautiful spot from where you can view a breathtaking sunset.

Another must-visit spot during your three-day trip is the Boquillas Canyon. You can use the Boquillas Canyon Road to get there and at the end of the road, you’ll be able to spot the Boquillas Canyon Trail that leads you to the entrance of the magnificent canyon. If you want a more memorable experience, then you can pay a visit to a nearby Mexican village called Boquillas del Carmen. Keep in mind that this village can only be visited if you have a valid passport.


Week-Long Itinerary

If you have a week, you’ll have significant time to explore and discover different roads and hike. You can also drive on the dirt roads in case you have a four-wheel drive (don’t risk it with other cars). First, pay a visit to the Visitor Center to learn about the current road situations. Some of the highly popular backcountry roads are The River Road, Old Ore Road or The River Road. You should most definitely squeeze in a visit to the Ernst Tinaja located at the south end of the Old Ore Road.

Go for hiking on the Chimneys Trail, the Mule Ears Trail or The Grapevine Hills Trails for a deep look at the desert environment. You should also consider exploring the different trails to Boot Canyon, the Emory Peak and the South Rim as they offer spectacular views of the park. For backpackers interested in overnight stays, there are great opportunities for you along these trails.



The Top Attractions at the Big Bend National Park

You’re probably aware of the basic popular attractions at the Big Bend National Park, such as the Chisos Mountains or the Rio Grande River. However, Big Bend National Park entails a lot of raw and unexplored beauty. Its rugged landscape and various landforms, ranging from rivers to mountains and even canyons, make this place amazing!

This park is a classic place for adventurers to visit. This park has a multitude of activities for its visitors in addition to great lodging options. It’s preferable to pay a visit to the visitor center before initiating your tour of the park. This will aid you in being well-acquainted with the must-visit areas and landmarks. Hence, we’d recommend you to initiate your journey by visiting a visitor center.


Visitor Centers

The first place for you to visit should certainly be the visitor center at the Big Bend National Park. There are various visitor centers in the vicinity, the main one being the Panther Junction Visitor Centre. You can get backcountry and river road permits issued over here. You will also find various exhibits that offer an overall picture of the different aspects of the park.

Secondly, you can visit the Chisos Basin Visitor Centre. It is situated in the Basin developed area and has a variety of exhibits of the life such as plants and animals found in the Chisos Mountains.

Thirdly, you can also pay a visit to the Rio Grande Village Visitor Center that is situated at just a quarter-mile Nnorth to the Rio Grande developed area. Apart from various exhibits, you’ll find a small desert garden that offers an overall picture of the Chihuahuan Desert plants.


Chisos Basin Area

The Chisos Basin area is the Green Island of the desert. This is probably the most popular region in the park. The Chisos Basin area is cooler than the surrounding desert areas. One of the main activities in this park is hiking; hence, the popularity of various hiking trails. Two of the best hiking trails in the Big Bend Park lie in the Chisos Basin area. These hikes lead you deeper into the mesmerizing beauty of the mountains and the valley. The best time to hike these trails is right before sunset. The Chisos Basin trails also make the Emory Peak easily accessible. The Emory Peak is the highest peak in the Big Bend National Park and is at a height of 7,625 feet. A trail leading from a village at the Chisos Basin can take you up to the Emory Peak— it is a 4.5 mile hike.


Santa Elena Canyon

One of the most magnificent hikes, and definitely one of the most rewarding ones, is the Santa Elena Canyon Trail. The trail is 1.6 miles all around that goes along the edge of the Rio Grande River leading up to the Santa Elena Canyon. This hike is one of the most dramatic ones in the entire Big Bend National Park. Once you reach there, you’ll find yourself surrounded by walls as high as 1,500 feet on either side of the river. You can enter the canyon near the end of the trail if the water in the river is lying low. The hike goes takes you 80 feet high. It offers amazing sights overlooking the river. As the 1500-feet tall orange canyon walls reflect in the water, you will find yourself utterly captivated. The areas that lie low in the Big Bend National Park tend to be hotter than the rest – the Santa Elena Canyon Trail is just one such area. The trail can be pretty hot in the afternoon. However, if you choose to walk there in the third-half of the day, you’ll find the trail shadowed – providing protection from the bright sun. At the initiation of the trail, the water is pretty shallow. It’s a good area for you to take a dip in the water or set up a picnic mat near the parking area.


Hot Springs

From mountains to canyons and and now hot springs – this place just keeps getting more interestinghas so much to offer. After trekking all day long, you can go for aAnother activity you can engage in taking a swim in the 105-degree-faharenheitrenheit water of the gorgeous natural hot springs at the end of the Rio Grande River. If you feel too hot, a quick swim over here will cool you right down. In spring, you’ll find blooming flowers alongside the hills and trees lined along the river, reflecting in the clear river water – this is an absolute must-see. These amazing hot springs are located a quarter-mile away from the parking lot. The trail leading from the parking lot to the hot springs exhibits a bunch of pictographs and also the remnants of a historical resort dating back to the 1900s.

You will also come across an uber-dramatic wall covered in limestone. This is a must-do activity if you have enough time to spareIf you have time to spare, then you must stop there for a while. You can see some gorgeous views over the river and mountains. It’s safe to say that it’s worth taking almost a mile walking a mile to reach the hot springs area. This picturesque trail follows along a ridge situated right above the hot springs and provides majestic sights up and down the river. This ridge offers majestic sights in both directions aboveYou get to see beautiful views on both sides of the Rio Grande River. Once you reach there, you’ll spot a half-wall—, at the end of this wall, you’ll be able to see the hot springs directly from above.


Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

This is one of the first things you should do once you reach the Big Bend Park. The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive offers a ravishing drive through the Big Bend region. This road runs through magnificent desert views on the route to Castalon and the Santa Elena Canyon region. Mountain sights spread into the distance throughout the Chihuahuan Desert. On your way, you can make a stop at the Homer Wilson Ranch Overlook to visit the old homestead and also appreciate the beautiful sights. You can also access the Mule Ear Springs Trail from the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Even if you’re not in a mood to hike, you can stop at the overlook to view these twin peaks.


Fossil Discovery Exhibit

This area is all about its natural history and what better place to discover that than the Fossil Discovery ExhibitExhibit.? Lying northwards of the Panther Junction is the Fossil Discovery Exhibit. This exhibit is just a short drive away from Marathon. For those interested in learningThose who are interested in about the history and geology of the park , this exhibit should be your go-to place must stop here. Inaugurated in 2017, the Fossil Discovery Exhibit features outdoor areas with highly informative and enlightening displays. There are vVarious intriguing animal skulls and bones are hung as displays displayed here. One of the most noteworthy displays is the bronze skull, which belongs to a of a massive alligator which another skull is of a dinosaur recognized as the Bravoceratops. Here, you can even find the skeleton of a giant pterosaur – the biggest flying creature ever knownin history., hung from the ceiling in one of the outdoor rooms.


Nature Trail Near the Rio Grande Village

If you’re a fan of short and easy but picturesque trails, then you should definitely embark on the Natural Trail. Located near the Rio Grande Village, departing from the campground, the Natural trail leads you over to a pond. In the pond, you’ll find beautiful views of turtles relaxing under the sun and fish swimming under the bridge that stretches over the water. The area is lush as compared to the neighboring desert and rugged landscapes. It’s also a great location to site see birds. So, if you’re an animal lover, be sure to walk the beautiful nature trail.

The trail goes through the desert and offers sights over the pond and further off the Rio Grande River. You can also spot distant mountains from the route. The Nature Trail leads up to a viewing area. You can either choose to take a brief walk out till the bridge or opt for the a longer route.


Boquillas

Boquillas is a Mexican village located near the precious Big Bend National Park. If you have enough time at your disposable, make sure to make a pit stop at this village. Don’t forget to take your passport. Since this village is located right at the Mexican border, your passport will be scanned before you can head to the river. You can also get a rowboat from the shore which, will take you till the Mexican portion of the Rio Grande River. From this end, you can get a horse, vehicle or donkey ride easily. You can also walk, o have the option of walking but you should know that the journey is going to be uphill. However, you can choose to pay for the ride to the village and then walk back by yourself. You’ll come across a couple of restaurants and eateries where you can load up on some food and beverages. Visiting Boquillas and learning about their culture will be an experience you don’t want to miss. make a nice afternoon spent.


The Window View

If you’re a sunset lover, we have just the right spot for you. The Window is a massive V-shaped nick in the mountain range. It provides an amazing view of the magnificent sky at sunset and the desert lying far away in the distance.

If you’re at the Chisos Basin Visitors Center, the walk to the Window View is just a quarter-mile trail away. Not only is this trail super short, but it’s also accessible viafor wheelchairs. This will surely become your favorite place to watch the beautiful sunset. You can also access this area at any given time of the day. However, it’s best during the at and after sunset and after it as the rocks shape a gorgeous silhouette with the multi-colored sky in the background.


Hiking Trails

The Big Bend National Park is meant for those who love nature in its raw and true form. It is best for those looking for adventure that includes hikers. While some hikers in search of adventure can plan for multi-day hikes, some also decide on acan plan on a single-day epic hike. There are various hiking trails you can choose to follow. It all depends on what you intend on seeing!

Two main hiking trails in the Big Bend National Park have been mentioned above. While the Santa Elena Canyon Trail leads you to the majestically orange Santa Elena Canyon, the Hot Springs Trail leads you to the amazing hot springs near the Rio Grande River. There are also a bunch of just as beautifulYou can opt for other hiking trails, too, such as the Lost Mine Trail, South Rim Trail, Emory Peak, Balanced Rock, Chisos Basin Loop Trail, Mule Ears Spring Trail and the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail.



Best Accommodations

The Big Bend National Park is massive. It offers a number of picturesque views to its visitors. There are lodgings available within and right outside the vicinity for its visitors. The lodging options within the park are very limited. However, your best option is probably to lodge outside the boundaries of the park as you can find better-quality accommodations there. Your best options for lodging lie in the small town of Lajitas or Marathon. While Marathon is located 40-miles north of the east side of the park, Lajita lies at about 20-miles from the west of the park.

A few lodging areas iIf you’re visiting the Big Bend National Park, here a few lodgings you can stay at are listed below.:


Chisos Mountain Lodge

Located in the heart of the Park, this lodge is situated in the basin of the Chisos Mountains. The specialty of this lodge is that it’s one of the few lodges located within this National Park. This lodge provides modern comfortscontemporary comfort coupled with thealong with renowned Texas hospitality. The Chisos Mountain Llodge has a prime location. Not only is the scenery there beautiful, but you can also witness the undisturbed wilderness and ruggedness of the area. Most of the famous trails are located within a short walk from the lodge.


Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

Situated right between the Big Bend Ranch State and Big Bend National Park is the Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa. This resort offers an amazing escape from your daily routine. The entire property of this resort amounts up to acovers up a whopping 27,000 acres of land, surround by a rugged desert area and natural beauty. Apart from the comfortable lodging conditions, there are also a bunch of activities that you can engage in at this resort, such as golf, horseback riding and even clay shooting.


Chisos Mining Co. Motel

Locally owned for over 40 years, the Chisos Mining Co. Motel is located only a few minutes away from the Big Bend National Park. This is the oldest guest lodge in the vicinity of Terlingua. There are a variety of living options at this motel, including single and double rooms, small and large cabins, condos and even an entire house. This motel is not only budget-friendly, but it is also spectacularly clean and comfortable.


Gage Hotel at Marathon

The Gage Hotel dates back to the year 1927. It has offerIt offers tremendous and authentic luxuries to its visitors. It offers premium accommodations in addition to mouthwatering food and top-notch services. This hotel has only 45 guest rooms in totality. However, it has multitudes ofit offers many activities and amenities to offer toto its customers. It Nnot only does it havehas a 27-acre garden, but it also has a gym, a pool and even an amazing spa. When you get back from your adventurous hiking trips, you will definitely need a spa day. The hotel staff also arranges different activities for their guests near the Big Bend.


Big Bend Holiday Hotel

Conveniently tucked in the Ghost Town of Terlingua in the state of Texas, lies tThe Big Bend Holiday Hotel. Is conveniently tucked in the Ghost Town of Terlingua in the state of Texas. This hotel has a range of various lodging choices near the Terlingua Trading Company. The best part about this hotel is that they lodgings are designed with ranch-style décor. They’ve been additionally given a touch of Spanish influence. The available lodging options within the area are Here you can rent houses, suites and bedrooms in the old Perry Mansion ruins.


Safety TravellingTraveling Tips

One of the greatest concerns when you’re travellingtraveling is – safety. When visiting an area with a landscape as rugged as the Big Bend, it’s highly crucial to take some precautions. You’ll have to be prepared for any known or unforeseen circumstances or dangers. This is why we’d suggest you to you go along with a professional guide. The size of the park, coupled with its topography, has resulted in many accidents over the years.

If you’re looking for adventure on the hiking trails, be sure to remember that you might end up with a few bruises or scratches. This is only if you fail to carry along proper hiking gear with yourself. It’s suggested that you take certain precautions when travellingtraveling to the Big Bend, especially if you’re travellingtraveling with family and have toddlers with you.

  1. Beware of Venomous Animals

The most prominent feature of the Big Bend National Park is its rugged landscape. It’s a no-brainer that you’re bound to come across certain creatures or animals. You may find scorpions, spiders or even snakes in the area. Be careful not to pick stuff up from the ground without checking what’s underneath it. Snakes usually hide under rocks and may catch you off-guard. Cover yourself properly byuy wearing thick socks and practical footwear. Especially, if you’re going around the area at night, carry a flashlight with you since that’s when the desert animals are most active. Another precaution you can observe is to include a snake-bit kit in your first-aid kit. In case, you or anyone else isget stung by an unidentified creaturee, be sure to seek immediate medical attention.

  1. Be Prepared for Immigration Patrols

The Big Bend National Park, located in Texas,, also shares a border with Mexico. The Rio Grande River flows between the two places, action as aand acts as a border between Mexico and the USA. It is best to carry your passport with you at all times in case you step foot in the other territory. If you plan on visiting the Mexican village of Boquillas, then it’s mandatory that you carry your passport along with you as you will be stopped by the border patrol.

  1. Carry Clothing Accordingly

Since, this park is locatedion in Texas, it can get pretty hot at times. You’ll have to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays. It’s preferable that you avoid hiking mid-day during the hotter months. In case you do want to hike, carry a long sleeve layer along for sun -protection. Since the park covers a lot of ground and there are various land forms, the temperature differs from place to place. If you’re in a low-lying area, such as the Rio Grande River, it will be warm or hot there. However, when you move on towards the higher areas such as the Chisos Mountains, the temperature keeps dropping. So, make sure you carry extra clothing with you to remain bundled up if you’re heading towards the mountains. Also, if you want to enjoy the hot springs, carry a swimsuit.

  1. Hiking Tips

The Big Bend National Park is mainly famous for its hiking trails. If you’re heading there for hiking, there are few safety tips for you to follow. Make sure you’re dressed properly – wear hiking pants, long sleeves and adorn a hat too. If you’re going alone, be sure to inform someone where you’re going and when you’ll get back. Carry a map and compass with you at all times, in case you get lost. Always carry a flashlight, especially if you’re hiking after during or after sunset. It is also recommended that you avoid any narrow canyons as flash floods may occur. Don’t forget to carry a signaling device with you, as there aren’t any phone signals there.

  1. Driving Tips

The Big Bend National Park is also famous for its gorgeous, picturesque drives. It’s important to bear in mind that the roads over there can be pretty dangerous, especially because majority of them are not properly made. If you’re renting a car, make sure to opt for a 4-wheel drive. Also, make sure your vehicle has good tires, a spare tired and a tire jack. Pay attention to the speed limit within and outside the Big Bend Park. Don’t even think of taking pictures while driving - it’s too dangerous. Pull your vehicle off the road, if you want to take any pictures of the beautiful landscape.

The mountainous regions and stretches tend to be very twisty, so make sure you drive very cautiously over there. Additionally, it’s better for you to keep a check on the fuel gauge. The gas pumps are mostly located at Marathon or Panther Junction and there’s a wide distance between these areas.

  1. Additional Safety Tips

Here are some additional safety travellingtraveling tips for you to follow.

  • Always carry extra food along with you,; you never know when you’ll need it.
  • Since it’s very hot over there, you need to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Also, carry along extra water with you.
  • When opting for backcountry roads, carry sleeping bags.
  • Check in with park rangers to find out the current condition or situation in the surrounding areas.
  • Make sure you carry along a stocked-up first aid kit.


Final Words

The Big Bend National Park is nature’s blessing to the state of Texas. The various land formations, at the park ranging from low-lying rivers to mountain ranges and even canyons, reflect are truly mesmerizing for its visitors. This magnificent wonder caters to all its visitors. Whether from thoseyou are seeking for a fun-filled weekend to those looking for a week-long adventureor a week-long adventure, this is the place to visit. This park is a God-sent for hikers. There are multitudes of hiking trails that lead up to breathtaking spots. There are trails that lead to beautiful canyons to explore and also hot springs for a quick dip.

If you’re planning for a day or even a week-long trip, the first place you should be visiting is the Big Bend National Park! This park offers you breath-taking scenery and an experience of a lifetime. Visiting this parkOnce you visit this park, will make sure youyou will appreciate everything that nature has to offer.

From the must-visit places to the best hiking trails, this guide has all the information you need to create beautiful memories at the Big Bend National Park. Make the most of your trip by carrying this comprehensive guide along with you. It’s time to start packing your bags, and don’t forget to take your hiking gear!


Happy travels!