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Big Bend National Park

Texas

Big Bend National Park, in southwestern Texas, borders Mexico, divided by the Rio Grande River. It is the largest protected Chihuahuan Desert in the United States and features a vast range of ecosystems and biodiversity. The Park is a renowned area for birders, amateur and professional, because of its geographical location and its variety of landscapes and altitudes. (425 species are found within the boundaries--more than any other national park and all but a few states.) Visitors may see roadrunners, coyotes, Golden Eagles, mountain lions and black bears. The desert flora is alive with color after spring rains, making it the busiest season of the year.

With over 800,000 remote acres of pristine wilderness to explore, Big Bend is said to be "a long way from Texas." Located in Brewster County, one of the nation's largest, Big Bend shares a history with famous cities like Terlingua (with its annual Chili Cookoff), Marathon and Marfa, where extraterrestrial sightings are legendary. Most tourists drive to Big Bend, however there is a small landing strip in neighboring Lajitas. In a 2007 Ride Texas Magazine poll, 4 of the top 5 favorite motorcyclist roads in Texas run through the Park.

Big Bend National Park and neighboring Big Bend Ranch State Park, are open year round. Outdoor adventures and tours include hiking, backpacking, back country drives, mountain biking, camping, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, and horseback riding. Lodging and dining are available in and around the Park but limited--so plan your stay accordingly. Three campgrounds and RV sites in Park boundaries facilitate extended stays.

Two visitor centers in the Park are open year round; three others are open seasonally. Ranger-led activities include educational talks and workshops, interpretive guided hikes, and evening programs featuring varied aspects of natural and cultural history.

Panther Junction Visitor Center
(432) 477-2251

www.nps.gov/bibe/index.htm

 

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