The Rio Grande flows from its headwaters in the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado for 1,865 miles to the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville, Texas. For 1,250 miles, the Rio Grande is the boundary between the United States and Mexico. In a remote stretch in west Texas, the river makes a curve to the northeast to form the ìbig bend.î It is here that the wild character of the river lives on.
The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, or El Rio Bravo del Norte, provides for the preservation and protection of the pristine character of the Rio Grande from the Coahuila/Chihuahua, Mexico, state border upstream from Mariscal Canyon to the Terrell/Val Verde County line in Texas downstream. The Wild and Scenic River designation extends for 196 miles along the river's course.