Things To Do In Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is a huge, 800,000 acre national treasure located along the Rio Grande river in western Texas. The closest airports are Midland – Odessa and El Paso. It is approximately five hours by car from Midland Texas.
Because of the remoteness of Big Bend National Park there are few city lights to drown out the stars. The area is a haven for stargazers. Nearby, north of the town of Alpine in historic Fort Davis there is a world renown observatory operated by the University of Texas.
What makes the park unique is that it contains several unique ecological zones. The Chisos Mountains rise to over 8000 feet in the middle of the park and are an oasis in the Sonoran desert. Black bear, mountain lions and many other species of wildlife including the Mexican wolf call the park home. Beavers can even be found along the Rio Grande in the lower, desert part of the park.
The river has carved an impressive canyon throughout the park. Santa Elena Canyon and Boquillas canyon are popular areas with well maintained foot trails. When water flow is high enough you can take rafting tours through the canyons. For rafting trips see Far Flung Adventures for in the village of Terlingua just outside the park on the western side.
There are hundreds of miles of trails throughout the park. There are well paved park roads, four wheel drive and mountain bike trails and many backcountry hiking trails that lead to magestic desert vistas and camping in complete solitude.
The temperatures in Big Bend National Park have been known to rise to over 120 degrees in the desert. Visitors should take proper precautions including carrying enough water for every camper. This means at least a gallon per person per day.
Wear clothes that protect from the sun, wear sunblock and a hat with a brim.
Vistors who plan on camping should check in at the Panther Creek park ranger’s station for a permit and maps.
One of the best times to visit Big Bend National Park is in April before the worst of the summer heat begins although any time will be memorable.