Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is a land of borders. Situated on the boundary with Mexico along the Rio Grande, it is a place where countries and cultures meet. It is also a place that merges natural environments, from desert to mountains. It is a place where south meets north and east meets west, creating a great diversity of plants and animals.

The park covers over 801,000 acres of west Texas in the place where the Rio Grande makes a sharp turn - the Big Bend. Authorized June 20, 1935; established on June 12, 1944. Designated a United States Biosphere Reserve, 1976.

Hiking is the best way to experience, enjoy, and appreciate Big Bend National Park. A permit is required for all overnight trips, and can be obtained up to 24 hours in advance of the trip in person only. It is virtually impossible to plan an extended backpacking trip prior to your arrival in the park. Bear in mind how much distance you want to cover and how much time you have. Based on that information and current conditions, personnel at park visitor centers can assist you with trip planning. There are also many trailheads in the basin area for day hikes. Just ask a front desk receptionist in the lodge for a map and information.

There are many different wonderful species of wildlife in the park. Mountain Lions, Deer, Mexican Black Bear, Javelina and over 450 species of birds (some rare) are just a few. So while you're hiking down that trail or rafting down the river maybe you'll get lucky and see one of these fantastic creatures. Hopefully not too close!

  • Hiking & Backpacking
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • River Rafting
  • Family Vacations
  • Wildlife & Bird Watching

As in other National Parks, Big Bend has a Junior Ranger Program for youth ages six through eleven. The Junior Ranger Program really helps the youth get the most out of their visit to a National Park and to become involved as an official Junior Ranger and earn their patch. Pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Booklet at any park visitor center. They cost $1.00. Complete the appropriate activities for your age group (listed inside) and return the booklet to any visitor center.

Click here to view current Park weather from the NPS Web Camera.


Directions & Map to Big Bend National Park

Print PDF Map   |  Google Map Route Planning  |  National Park Alerts

From Alpine, TX: Take 118 south to Big Bend National Park. Follow directions to Basin.

From Marathon: Take 385 south to Big Bend National Park. Follow directions to Basin.

Big Bend National Park, Basin Rural Station, Big Bend National Park, TX 79834


Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top