Texas is not always the first state that comes to mind when thinking about national parks. But in the far Southwestern corner, tucked away in the Chisos mountain range and at the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert, you will find the beautiful, spectacular, and majestic Big Bend National Park. It is the quintessential destination for outdoor enthusiasts and home to the iconic Rio Grande river, tall limestone canyons, sand, forests, hot springs, and more. And beyond its stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystem, you will find a blending of cultures, a warm and passionate community, a slower pace, and an absolute oasis of beauty, peace, and solitude.
Visiting Big Bend National Park is a unique and meaningful experience. And there has never been a better time to travel there. Learn about the top 5 reasons why you should visit and begin planning your trip now!
1. It is one of the most beautiful yet untouched areas of the country.
This national park features awe-inspiring views that will leave you breathless. It’s also one of the most remote places of the lower 48 states, with the closest major city, El Paso, being 300 miles away. This remoteness is the main reason why Big Bend’s sky is notoriously dark and why it’s one of the best places for stargazing. It also means that it receives fewer visitors than other national parks.
2. It is larger than the entire state of Rhode Island!
You heard that right! With 1,252 square miles of land and 18 miles of the Rio Grande, there is always something new to discover. It’s the perfect place to social distance and still has tons of space.
3. It truly offers something for everyone.
Whether you are interested in hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, camping, plant and wildlife spotting, stargazing, touring Mexican villages (don’t forget your passport!), golfing, horseback riding, learning about its rich history, eating Texas’ best BBQ, and more, the options for activities are endless. And whether you’re looking to camp or stay in a lodge, to plan everything and bring equipment yourself or leave it all to the professionals – or somewhere in between – this place is for you.
4. It is crazy rich in biological diversity, including more recorded bird species than any other national park.
Its 450 species of rare and unique birds in Big Bend National Park, 75 species of mammals, 56 species of reptiles, and over 1200 species of plants make it a great place for wildlife sighting.
5. It is open every single day of the year, meaning that you can visit just about any time you’d like.
Weather plays a huge factor in your experience at Big Bend. Spring and fall are the most recommended times to visit due to the mild days and nights. Winters can be a great choice as well with relatively mild days, however, note that snow and cold temperatures dropping to 30 degrees are possible at night. And while the summers can be too hot, there are many other activities in the area that you can to do to beat the heat.
Big Bend’s remoteness, sheer size, and diversity in landscapes make it critical to carefully plan your trip. My comprehensive guide to the area is informed by personal experience, deep relationships w/ locals, and thorough research that has everything you need for your unforgettable adventure. I am so excited for you to Leave your Mark at Big Bend National Park!