"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: 187 reviews and 425 photos

View Along the Popular Window View Trail

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 and Cons
  • 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.
  • Last visit to Big Bend National Park: Jan 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (37)

Comments (11)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    We were disappointed not to meet any roadrunners in NM (I grew up on the cartoons!) so it's good to see them here ;-)
    I really enjoyed reading this page and seeing your photos of the wonderful scenery - we love the US National Parks and this looks like a very good one. Another idea for the wish list!

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    Thanks for the great tips on Big Bend; it's difficult to find a lot of info online. Your page gave me much more of an idea of what to expect.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2008 at 6:38 AM

    Great page! I 'd love to visit here but its so far from anything else

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2008 at 10:44 AM

    Excellent views and trails of this beautiful National Park, including the visitor centers. Did not know about javalinas...oink oink.

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    May 18, 2008 at 8:29 AM

    Now all I have to do is get on a plane - very thorough tips!

  • Tugboatguy's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2008 at 6:08 PM

    Anne, What a comprehensive and fact-filled set of tips accompanied by gr8 photos of a really out-of-the-way National Park that isn't near anything. You have to be dedicated to visit it and I commend you both for presenting it to VT. Doug

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    Wonderful stuff about Big Bend National Park. So many trails and appreciate your detail about distances and difficulty. The javalena looks fascinating. Big Bend is beautiful. Too bad about the haze. Breakfast in a box sounds really great. Superior photos.

  • WinInZion's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2006 at 10:30 AM

    I was there in 1970, it is among the best places I've ever been. Thanks.

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2006 at 10:25 AM

    Beautiful photos. Wild and rugged. Would love to go there, but would be a problem as I dont drive.

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2006 at 5:11 PM

    A fantastic page on Big Bend N.P., very interesting. They never used to check you when you walked across into Mexico. Maybe they do now. So sad for these people.


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