Big Bend National Park is the highlight attraction of the entire region. It is at the same time an 1100 square mile playground and classroom. The 800,000-acre national park contains three basic habitats: river, desert, and mountains. Big Bend National Park encompasses the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the United States.

National Park Info

National Park Info

Big Bend National Park encompasses the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the United States. The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River forms its southern boundary, and it’s the only park in the United States that contains a complete mountain range – the Chisos.

GETTING HERE

Getting here can be half the fun, but not if you don’t plan well. Big Bend is one of the most remote areas of the lower 48 states.

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Visitor Center

Visitor Center

On May 1, 2008, a group of excited supporters attended the formal opening of the new Visitor Center for Big Bend National Park.

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is the most interesting of the paved  sightseeing routes in Big Bend National Park, giving the greatest variety of habitats, geology and a variety of interesting short walks and interpretive pull overs.

Chisos Mountains

Chisos Mountains

The Chisos Mountains are the heart of Big Bend National Park. They extend twenty miles from Punta de la Sierra in the southwest to Panther Junction in the northeast. It is the only mountain range totally contained within a single national park.

Santa Elena

Santa Elena

nature trail enters its shady depths, 8 miles west of Castolon, accessible by either Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive or the Old Maverick Road.

Rio Grande Canyons

Rio Grande Canyons

The Rio Grande is a continental river which forms the border between Mexico and the US and gives the Big Bend and the state of Texas their distinct shapes. The Rio Grande begins in the high snowfields of the continental divide, in the San Juan range of central Colorado. After a sparkling plunge towards the east, the young Rio Grande bends south to water the fields of the San Luis Valley

Boquillas Canyon

Boquillas Canyon

Boquillas Canyon is the longest and deepest canyon in Big Bend National Park. The vertical relief from nearby Pico del Carmen, to river level is over 7,000 feet, somewhat deeper than the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.

Lower Canyons

Lower Canyons

Below Boquillas Canyon and the boundary of Big Bend National Park, lies the third longest wilderness river section in the continental US. River enthusiasts putting in at Heath Canyon Ranch, across the river from La Linda, Coahuila, must travel over 85 river miles before the next public access at Dryden Crossing.

Mariscal

Mariscal

Mariscal is the most remote of the Park River Canyons, and the only way to see it is by river. Getting to the put-in point at Talley requires over 30 miles of driving on rough dirt road. It is important to check road and weather conditions before entering this remote desert backcountry. Difficult as it may be to get there, the trip is worth well worth the effort.

Colorado Canyon

Colorado Canyon

Colorado Canyon, in Big Bend Ranch State Park, is the most accessible of the area’s major river canyons, and offers vehicle accessible views of the river as well as a choice of short float trips.