Big Bend is part of the vast Chihuahuan Desert that extends from Central Mexico into Southern New Mexico. In the Big Bend, 3 basic life zones are found: Desert, River, and Mountain. The Chisos Mountains have been compared to a green island in a desert sea, hiding a remnant Alpine forest that developed in wetter cooler times tens of thousands of years ago in the Pleistocene. The low desert only appears barren; it is home to a many species of small mammal, reptile and bird. Some of naturals most recent evolutionary experiments are found among the adaptable desert flora. The Rio Grande is a ribbon oasis, harboring a menagerie of riparian and aquatic species, as well as providing an important stop over for migratory fowl every spring and fall.
Big Bend is a complete geology textbook. The story of oceans rising and falling, continents colliding, and millions of years of volcanic turbulence are written large over the land. Cretaceous seas teamed with strange creatures, from tiny mollusks to a dozen specie of Mosasaurs, some measuring to 40 feet. As the seas receded, some of the largest terrestrial creatures so far know to man roamed here. Remains of the 2nd largest flying creature known to have existed, the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropii, were discovered in Big Bend.
Human history began with some of the earliest human activity recorded on the continent, 9000 years ago and. Since then there is a long and fascinating human history associated with the region. Though the region is remote from the rest of humanity, local events and circumstances have played important roles on the world stage of history.
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The Big Bend is a remote region of West Texas that includes over one million acres of public land, Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and offers many activities, from camping and river rafting to horseback riding and off-road vehicle tours. But because of the inherent remoteness, planning your trip before you leave the house will help make your Big Bend vacation more enjoyable.
Follow these tips for your next Big Bend Adventure.
Big Bend , because of it's geographical location, and the variety of the landscape, offers excellent habitat for birds. 425 species are found within the boundaries of Big Bend National Park, more than any other national park and more than all but a few states.
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!