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.

Get Informed

There are many online resources for visiting the region. Read up on the area before you embark on your adventure. There is a lot of area to cover, and it is unreasonable to try and see everything in one trip. Online resources can give you advice on what to see and try and do on your trip.

Plan Ahead and Provide Backups

Big Bend is known for being remote and rugged. Because of this, your trip may not go as planned. Unforeseen things can happen and leave you stranded or worse. Plan your trip around activities and lodging, and prepare alternative activities, routes, lodging locations just in case something should go wrong.

Weather Changes

The weather in Big Bend is hard to predict. Weather can change rapidly in most seasons, changing from hot and sunny to cold and rainy. Be sure to bring clothes for different climates. Temperatures can reach more than 110 degrees in the summer, but if a thunderstorm blows through, the temperature can drop rapidly to the 70’s or 60’s in a matter of minutes. These rapid changes in weather can put a damper on an otherwise fun trip if not anticipated.

Bring Appropriate Supplies

It is important to be prepared, but bringing a truckload of gadgets is inadvisable. Besides adding weight to hiking or boating trips, gadgets distract from the natural beauty and scenery that surrounds the visitor in this remote region. So, bring only what you need, cell phone, plenty of water, camping and survival gear, and leave the rest up to the local outfitters.

Plan Around Activities

There are numerous activities available to every visitor to the area. Unfortunately, not all activities are available year round. River rafting is a very popular activity, but at times, the Rio Grande water level is low, making rafting difficult. Most of the time you can still go canoeing, at water levels ideal for beginners. But canoeing is not for everyone, and by planning a backup like horseback riding, Jeep tours, or hiking, your trip can be just as enjoyable.

Enjoy Yourself

Things go wrong, and your attitude will determine whether it will ruin the family vacation or create opportunities for unanticipated fun. Perspective is everything, and the key to a good vacation attitude is not take things so seriously. If the trip doesn’t follow the plan exactly, that’s ok, enjoy yourself anyway.

Planning your adventure is not difficult. Being prepared for the unanticipated can make the difference between disaster and memorable.

Would you like more resources for visiting the Big Bend?