Big Bend was established as a U.S. National Park in summer 1944 by President Franklin Roosevelt. The area derives its name from the bend of the Rio Grande in which it is nestled.
Big Bend National Park stretches across more than 800,000 acres of south Texas and offers 150-plus miles of hiking trails. The largest concentration of hiking trails is found in the Chisos Basin area.
Persimmon Gap is located in the north east of the park, and Chisos and Panther Junction are in the central section of the park. Castolon Village is located in the southwest of the park, and Rio Grande Village is located in the southeast section of the park.
Big Bend offers three ecosystems for exploration: the mountainous Chisos area, the riparian Rio Grande and the pervasive Chihuahuan desert climate of the area.
Year-round visitors' centers are located in Panther Junction and the Chisos area. Seasonal (October to April) visitors' centers are located at Rio Grande Village, Persimmon Gap and Castolon.
Big Bend offers three major developed camping areas: Rio Grande Village, Chisos Basin and Cottonwood campground. Rio Grande Village is the largest, offering 100 sites. Campgrounds are mostly first-come, first-serve.
Article Written By Caroline Schley
Based in New York City, Caroline Schley has been writing articles on fitness, social interaction and politics since 2008. Her articles have appeared in "The Tahoe Weekly," "Second Line News" and websites, including Eatthestate.org. Schley graduated from CU Boulder in 2005 with a degree in environmental science.