Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Over 300,000 people visit Big Bend National Park in Texas every year. This sandy desert park with the Rio Grande River running through it also has beautiful canyons and towering mountains.

Start at the Visitor Center

Begin your trip to Big Bend at one of the five visitor centers for permits and entrance fees. Panther Junction Visitor Center is open all year and has a bookstore and U.S. Post Office. Two hundred yards away, Panther Junction Service Station sells gas and groceries.

Birdwatching at Big Bend

Bird lovers will especially enjoy this park. Big Bend is a wonderful spot for birdwatching. Northern birds migrate there for the winter. Tropical birds fly north in the spring. A bird checklist, available for purchase at any visitor center, shows the type of birds in the area and where to typically find them.

big-bend-national-park-347401_960_720Hiking

Day hikes and backpacking trips are a wonderful way to see the park on over 150 miles of trails.

Park visitors may choose a few desert hikes that are short and easy. Others require several days for experienced hikers.

Enjoy forests filled with Arizona cypress, oaks, pines, and juniper trees on mountain hikes.

Several short river hikes along the Rio Grande River provide an excellent environment for some wildlife such as beavers, turtles, great blue herons, and green kingfishers.

Rio Grande Overlook

A drive to the Rio Grande Overlook shows the river and part of a Mexican village.

rio-grande-river-1581918_960_720River Trips

Big Bend National Park borders Mexico. The deepest channel at the middle of the Rio Grande River is the international boundary. While on river trips, guest may cross the boundary several times. It’s illegal to land on the Mexican bank except for limited exceptions.

 

-Sandra Merville Hart

 

Sources:

 

“Big Bend,” National Park Service, 2016/01/07 http://www.nps.gov/bibe/index.htm.

 

Flynn, Sarah Wassner. National Geographic Kids: National Parks Guide U.S.A., National Geographic Society, 2012.

 

 

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