|Interactive Map Points|
There is more to Big Bend than can be seen in a lifetime. Big Bend National Park is the main destination, and together with neighboring Big Bend Ranch State Park, there are a million acres of spectacular vistas, shadowy canyons, and rugged desert mountains that visitors explore by road, river, and trail. We have listed only a few of the many fascinating scenic wonders and attractions in the area.
The Big Bend region of Texas offers visitors more than a million acres of public lands, including the largest state park in Texas. The area boasts amazing sights, activities and destinations. Let's take a look at some of the most popular visitor spots in Big Bend.
Big Bend National Park is the highlight attraction of the entire region. It is at the same time an 1100 square mile playground and classroom. The 800,000-acre national park contains three basic habitats: river, desert, and mountains.
Big Bend Ranch State Park, although just west of Big Bend National Park, offers a completely different experience with rugged volcanic landscapes and many opportunities for backcountry solitude
The Chisos Mountains are the heart of Big Bend National Park. They extend twenty miles from Punta de la Sierra in the southwest to Panther Junction in the northeast. It is the only mountain range totally contained within a single national park.
Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is the most interesting of the paved sightseeing routes in Big Bend National Park, giving the greatest variety of habitats, geology and a variety of interesting short walks and interpretive pull overs.
Santa Elena Canyon is one of the best-known natural features in Big Bend National Park. A short nature trail enters its shady depths, 8 miles west of Castolon, accessible by either Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive or the Old Maverick Road.
Mariscal is the most remote of the Park River Canyons, and the only way to see it is by river. Getting to the put-in point at Talley requires over 30 miles of driving on rough dirt road. It is important to check road and weather conditions before entering this remote desert backcountry. Difficult as it may be to get there, the trip is worth well worth the effort.
Boquillas Canyon is the longest and deepest canyon in Big Bend National Park. The vertical relief from nearby Pico del Carmen, to river level is over 7,000 feet, somewhat deeper than the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.
Below Boquillas Canyon and the boundary of Big Bend National Park, lies the third longest wilderness river section in the continental US. River enthusiasts putting in at Heath Canyon Ranch, across the river from La Linda, Coahuila, must travel over 85 river miles before the next public access at Dryden Crossing.
There are some views you just can't take in all at once. Like a dazzling sunset or breathtaking field of wildflowers—you just can't appreciate such beauty in the moment, a moment that is often over before you realize it, the forms and colors of that marvelous vista already fading in your memory. Perhaps it was with the goal of preserving such scenes that the first camera was invented, a goal that you may still share when you visit a place as beautiful as Big Bend and the surrounding area. Why not take a look through our new and improved photo galleries to see what amazing sights have been preserved by astounded visitors and appreciative locals? When you see the mountains, plains, flora, and fauna displayed in those images, you'll be glad the gallery contributors took their camera along.
Among the many activities available in Big Bend National Park that highlight the region's diversity of wildlife, birding can be enjoyable and promising. Big Bend engulfs a vast area, bounded by the the rushing Rio Grande valley to the south, containing high peaks in the Chisos Mountains, and boasting both desert and forest climates between the two. It embodies the very diversity that makes America great, providing countless opportunities to spot more than 450 birds in one area.
What are your new year's resolutions for 2012? Did you keep your resolutions for 2011? While the top resolutions each year include losing weight, learning something new, traveling, or getting out of debt, here's a new challenge you can take on this year: spot all the bird species in Big Bend National Park.
Big Bend has some of the most spectacular scenery in Texas, if not the entire US. Our big sky country rivals any other state and our night skies are as dark as anywhere for excellent star gazing. The beautiful light and great scenery make for a photographer’s paradise.
There are many things you may love to do in Big Bend National Park in the heat of summer, but running or jogging is probably not one of them. With 90+ degree temperatures, there simply is no such thing as a nice July run in West Texas. With the dry weather we've had this year, you have truly hostile workout conditions. That all changes this time of year, though, as temperatures drop and the sun gives us a break for a few months. What a great time to get out on some trails in Big Bend!