"Big Bend National Park, Texas U.S.A." Top 5 Page for this destination Big Bend National Park by KimberlyAnn
Big Bend National Park Travel Guide: 174 reviews and 387 photos
Of American's National Parks, Big Bend is one of the largest and least visited. The park has a wide range of ecosystems, starting at a little less than 2,000 feet along the Rio Grand; it rises to almost 8,000 feet in the Chisos Mountains. Within the park you will experience the river habitat, large canyons, deserts, and the entire Chisos Mountain range, with over 201 miles of hiking trails. Big Bend sits along the Rio Grand River, which marks the boundary between the United States and Mexico. Because of this, many of the beautiful views belong to Mexico as well as the United States.
We were told that all roads in Big Bend end at the Rio Grande River. Unfortunately, since 9/11 when the Twin Towers fell in New York City, the United States has tightened up its borders, and the two small towns, Boquillas Del Carmen and Santa Elena, which lie across the river can no longer be visited, as there is no official boarder crossing in this area of Texas. It has been a loss for these two Mexican villages, as much of their economy depended on tourists from Big Bend. The people also shopped in the small park grocery store. For this reason, three quarters of the Mexican residents in Boquillas, and two thirds of the citizens of Santa Elena have had to abandon their homes. Santa Elena fared a little better as this was a farming community. I find this a very sad, and unfortunate situation. It is very difficult for those who are trying to stay and make a living in these small border towns. When you visit, you should check on the boarder situation, as hopefully sometime in the future the boarder between Big Bend and the small Mexican villages will once again be opened so that people may travel back and fourth across the boarder freely.
For additional information you can contact Big Bend by writing
Big Bend National Park
P.O. Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
Headquarters telephone number is 432-477-2251
Good News for the town of Boquilla. On January 6, 2011, it was announced that the U.S. federal government plans to reopen the boarder crossing between Big Bend National Park and the little village of Boquilla del Carmen. The boarder patrol will built and operate a small, hi-tech port of entry, where U.S. passports will be scanned, and Mexican Nationals will have their identities biometrically confirmed. A park concessionaire will operate a ferry boat between the park and the Mexican side of the Rio Grand River. A combination park visitor center and passport control building will be built, and hopefully the first visitors can make the crossing by April, 1012. So in the future, tourists may again cross the Rio Grand and visit the small town of Boquillas, where you may have a beer and a plate of tacos or other Mexican food, and maybe purchase a Mexican souvenir.
If you love hiking you will find a variety of hiking trails to choose from including self-guiding trails, developed trails, and primitive routes. These vary in difficulty from easy walking to strenuous hiking trails. Here is a photo my husband took of a friend and myself while out hiking near our campground.
There are many birds to see in Big Bend. The first day we were there we saw cardinals, road runners, pyrrhuloxia, a golden fronted male woodpeck, and doves all near our camper. For quite a few nights a roadrunner arrived sometime between 5:00 and 5:30, where he settled down in this tree for a night's sleep.
- Pros:A wonderful park for the hiker, river floater, and bird watcher.
- Cons:If you are not an outdoor person you may not enjoy this park. This park can have haze that will obscure your views.
Chisos Basin Visitor Center and Persimmon Gap Visitor Center are open all year. Chisos Basin Visitor Center is located... more travel advice
This visitor center is open November through April, 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., except it is closed for a lunch break. The... more travel advice
- Stores Within the Park
- Illegal Mexican Venders in Big Bend
- Where to Purchase Gas and Propane
- Hey, I’m Not Really a Pig!
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