Winters in Big Bend are generally mild, with the occasional short cold snap. Usually, the skies are clear, and day time highs can run into the 70’s or higher. Under clear skies, however, it gets colder at night, often near freezing. Counterintuitively, it is colder along the Rio Grande at night than in the mountains. On such clear days, there can be a 40-50 degree difference in air temperature between dawn and early afternoon. Smart travelers, especially those participating in outdoor activities, will use the layer system to keep warm. Start off with insulating layers, then long sleeve shirt, then sweater or like jacket, then a shell on top. As the day warms, peel successive layers to find personal comfort level. Conversely, as the shadows lengthen in the evening, replace the layers. This makes for happy campers. Many visitors perfer the winter time for strenuous outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking. River trips can also be fun, but it is recommended to plan a river trip on the first day of the visit. In case the weather is cold, the trip can be put off a day or two while waiting on the inevitable warmer temperatures after athe brief cold snaps. Check out the Big Bend Weather feed.