Big Bend National Park is located in the southwestern part of Texas along the Texas-Mexico border. Big Bend was established as a national park in June of 1935, preserving the largest tracts of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States.
The park is comprised of 1,252 square miles of land, making it larger than the state of Rhode Island. Within Big Bend National Park are numerous geographical contrasts. These include the vegetation belts along the Rio Grande, the sparseness of the Chihuahuan Desert, the peaks of the Chisos Mountains, and the limestone outcrops of Persimmon Gap and Boquillas Canyon.
Big Bend National Park offers plenty of activities for visitors of all ages. The park boasts 150 miles of hiking trails through mountainous desert terrain and along rivers. Visitors will be drawn to geological structures that date back millions of years, as well as 1,200 species of plants and 450 species of birds. Additional park activities include scenic drives, programs led by Big Bend park rangers, and stargazing.
Big Bend Weather
Due to a variety of geographical regions, Big Bend National Park weather can vary widely. Winters are mild throughout most of the area, but snow and sub-freezing temperatures can be found at higher elevations, such as Emory Peak, which stands at 7,832 feet. Summers feature hot and dry weather with low humidity. However, occasional afternoon thunderstorms are not out of the question during this time. Spring and fall are the best times to visit Big Bend, with mild days and cool nights.
Big Bend Tours and Camping
Big Bend Park is open 24 hours a day, year round. Admission is $20 per vehicle or $10 per individual on motorcycle or bike and is valid for seven days. Annual passes are also available. Entrance fees are waived for educational groups. The Chisos Basin Visitor Center is a great resource for park information or a Big Bend National Park map.
Visitors wishing to spend more than a night in Big Bend have a few options. Big Bend National Park camping sites stretch across three developed frontcountry areas that require reservations and a per night fee. Reservations aren't needed for backcountry camping, but a fee does apply. Guests not interested in roughing it are welcome to stay at the Chisos Mountains Lodge. With rooms, cottages, and a dining room, the lodge sits at the 5,400 feet elevation level of the Chisos Basin.