Big Bend is home to several distinctive small communities, each with a different flavor.
Marathon was established with the coming of the railroad in 1882. However, the establishment of Big Bend National Park made Marathon the closest gateway town to the Park, and a jumping off point for Park visitors.
At the junction of TX 118 and FM 170, Study Butte is just two miles west of Big Bend National Park. There are several outdoor activity outfitters, various lodging options, gift shops and galleries, convenience stores, restaurants, auto service, a gas station, churches, a post office, a bank (ATM), and a liquor store
Perhaps the best-kept secret about the Big Bend is the view from the porch in Terlingua Ghost Town. Visitors will also find a trading company/gift shop, art galleries, unique lodging options, restaurants, and bars.
Lajitas means “small flat rocks” in Spanish, so named for the layered limestone formed by ancient seas. Today,Lajitas is home to a beautiful resort on the legendary Rio Grande, which is nestled in between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Big Bend National Park has a small community nestled in a beautiful valley over a mile high in the Chisos Mountains. The Chisos Mountains Lodge is located here, along with ranger and information station, restaurant, and convenience store.
Alpine is the Hub of the Big Bend and a major service center. There are 400 hotel rooms, along with restaurants, shopping, and groceries. It is the home of Sul Ross State University, and annual events like Gallery Night and the Cowboy Poetry Gathering.