The Big Bend National Park is an 800,000 acre area of rock, desert and mountain scenery, located in the most Western tip of Texas, hugged by the Rio Grande River and bordering Mexico. The park was established in 1944, is one of the largest national parks in the United States and now welcomes over 440,000 visitors a year[i].
Although the park is the most remote of all US National Parks, the 200-mile journey from the nearest airport (Midland Odessa) is most definitely worth it, with a multitude of adventures to be had, spectacular scenery to explore, fascinating geological and paleontological discoveries to marvel over and some of the best star gazing opportunities to be had.
Hiking is the most popular activity within the park. With over 150 miles of hiking trails, there is everything from short walks to rugged multi-day excursions. Hikers can travel off-trail and day hikes require no permit. https://visitbigbend.com/hiking/
There are several local horse-riding stables that offer everything from short one-hour rides, to multi day camping trips. https://visitbigbend.com/horseback-riding/
River trips. There are five river canyons in Big Bend, and a number of operators offering kayaking, canoeing or rafting trips along the Rio Grande. https://visitbigbend.com/river-trips/
The extensive back road system in the Big Bend National Park offers great mountain bike access and there are local companies offering guided mountain bike trips as well as bike rental and repair. https://visitbigbend.com/bicycles/
The Big Bend National Park is one of the top bird watching regions in Texas and is the most bio-diverse park in the entire system. Within the park you can find species of butterflies, bats, reptiles, plants, ants and birds. Over 450 avian species either live in Big Bend National Park or migrate through at some point in the year. https://visitbigbend.com/birding/
Big Bend is known as one of the most outstanding places in the United States for Star Gazing. The fact that there is sparse human occupation in the region means there is no light pollution and visitors can enjoy marveling at clear views of the Milky Way as well as over 2000 stars. https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/stargazing.htm
At the Fossil Discovery Exhibit visitors can experience the changes to Big Bend’s plants and animals, and the world they lived in, through 130 million years of geological time. Specimens from Big Bend’s remarkable fossil record and vivid artwork illustrate the fascinating story of Big Bend’s ancient life.
For suggested itineraries: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/suggested-itineraries.htm
Big Bend Fact Sheet https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/management/statistics.htm
For more information on the history of the Big Bend National Park
For information on Texas go to www.TravelTexas.com