Site icon happyairtravel

10 Best Things to do in Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park

This national park is named after a huge crescent in the Rio Grande. It is a great place to go hiking in the middle of nowhere. There are many ways to enjoy this beautiful place. There are roaring rivers, high mountains, and desert landscapes.

There are many scenic drives there. They take you to places where you can see the Chihuahua Desert and the Chisos Mountains in a whole new way. As you hike through the desert, you’ll see how quickly things change as you get higher up.

A lot of fun things to do aren’t just on dry land. This isn’t the only thing you can do in Big Bend National Park. You can also go to Mexico or paddle down an ancient river that formed 3 million years ago.

1: Chisos Mountains

If you only have one day in Big Bend, then you should base yourself in the Chisos Mountains. This will help you get the much out of your time. In the United States, this national park is the only one that has an entire mountain range to itself. With so many things to do, you’re bound to have a full schedule.

There are fewer blooming ocotillos at higher altitudes. Instead, there are Ponderosa pines and fir trees, and the landscape quickly changes to show them off. It helps to have the Chisos Mountains and the rolling Chisos Basin next to each other, so there are many great hikes there. Also, read Crater Lake National Park.

2: Window Trail

If you want to see the sunset on your trip through Big Bend National Park, then add the Window Trail to your list. At the ending point of the trails, it shows how beautiful deserts are when the sun goes down.

The majority of the hike to the sunset spot is downhill on a 5.6-mile trail that isn’t very steep. Soon, the Window, which is a V-shaped cut in the Chisos Mountains, will be seen in all its glory. Into this crevasse, the sun comes down. It lights up everything above and below with bright, warm colors.

3: Santa Elena Canyon

The Santa Elena Canyon is a must-do if you want to see a lot of beautiful scenery. The 1.7-mile hike is rated as easy and gives you a chance to see the beautiful Rio Grande for yourself.

You’ll start the hike next to Terlingua Creek. But the bulk of the one to two-hour hike will be spent walking on the edge of a rushing river with huge 1500-foot walls on either side. This is what you’ll see. As you move on to a better view, the feeling of being dwarfed by an old landscape is enchanting.

4: Lost Mine Trail

People who want to go for a longer walk should choose the Lost Mine Trail, which is 4.8 miles long in the Chisos Basin area. Make sure to put this on your list at the start of your day and arrive before the parking lot is full.

There aren’t many views as you walk up a steep hill with little to look at. For a while, you’ll wonder why the Lost Mine Trail is so well-known. As soon as you get to the ridgeline, you’ll see a wide range of scenery that goes on for miles.

5: Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Big Bend is a big national park that has three main parts. One of them is the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, which is very beautiful. The road runs for 30 miles through some of the best scenery in the park. The drive is a wonderful way to see the park without leaving your seat.

When you get to Panther Junction Road, be ready for a great time. Visit the visitor center to get a map and find out where important places are along the way. Then, put on your car’s CD player and drive! The Homer Wilson Ranch Overlook and the Mule Ear Springs Trail overlook are two of the best places to stop. In Santa Elena Canyon, one of the best hikes in the park can be found. The road comes to an end at Santa Elena Canyon.

6: Canoe the Rio Grande

It starts from the top of the San Juan Range in the Colorado Rockies. All the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, the Rio Grande makes a long journey. It’s possible to go for a canoe ride on the famous river that runs through Big Bend.

Get on the Rio Grande to feel the excitement for yourself, rather than going to look at the water from afar. There are rising canyon walls on both sides of you. This will help you see the local geology in a new way. It’s possible to canoe down the Rio Grande on your own. Most tours leave from the nearby towns of Terlingua and Lajitas. If you need a permit, you don’t have to pay for it.

7: Hot Springs

People who go on hikes all the time will want to find a way to relax and get back to their best. Big Bend has a lot of beautiful natural scenery, but it also has a very old bathhouse that was built at the beginning of the 1900s. It is now in ruins, but you can still enjoy the hot springs and bathe in water that is 105 degrees.

Getting back to the trailhead takes about a half-mile walk. However, after you take a long soak in the sun, do a 1-mile loop around a bluff above the Rio Grande.  Also, read Great Sand Dunes National Park.

8: Boquillas Canyon

When you go on a boat trip in and around Big Bend National Park, you get to see one of the best places to see wildlife on the water. During the 33-mile river trip, there are fun but easy-to-handle Grade II rapids. You can camp along the Rio Grande and float by old candelilla wax mining camps on the Mexican side of the river.

Choose the Boquillas Canyon Trail instead if you don’t want to be on the ground. This trail is easy to moderate and goes for 1.6 miles next to the river’s edge. Boquillas Canyon also has a roadside lookout, so you can see the canyon from afar. The view isn’t bad, but it doesn’t compare to the views on the Boquillas Canyon Trail.

9: Boquillas del Carmen

Few people would think that going to a national park in the United States would give them the chance to go on a trip to another country. However, from Big Bend, you can go on a unique trip down the Rio Grande and into the Boquillas del Carmen’s Mexican town, which is on the other side.

There is a port of entry where you can get in a rowboat and go to the other side of the river. You can then leave the United States. The town is a mile away after you cross the river. You can walk, ride a donkey, or drive.

10: Panther Junction Visitor Center

Big Bend National Park is an amazing place to start your trip. The Panther Junction Visitor Center is the best place to start. To plan your trip through the Chihuahua Desert, you can get maps and talk to rangers at this site. If you want to camp overnight or paddle down the Rio Grande, you can get the permits you need at the center.

Among the many things to see at Panther Junction is a movie that shows you how the park looks, as well as a number of interesting displays. A lot of beautiful drives and hikes can be done from the center, like the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.

Exit mobile version