Big Bend National Park Travel Information & Travel Guide

Big Bend National Park Travel Information & Travel Guide
At the bottom of the smaller of the two distinctive dog-legs on the Texas map lies the Big Bend region, an area in which the Rio Grande, desert, mountains, canyons and hills coexist. Outdoors-minded people place it high on their list of places to go, and they often come back again. There are nearly a million acres of parks and a number of fascinating communities.

In the National Park

Some visitors see Big Bend National Park from rafts, canoes or kayaks along 118 miles of the Rio Grande (literally, Great River). Others see it from car or jeep windows while driving 175 miles of roads or on foot on the 200-mile network of trails. Others try mountain and road biking. Rock climbing is also popular.

Informative lectures and activities about the geology, archeology, botany, zoology and history of the region are available.

Big Bend National Park
PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
(432) 477-2251

Far Flung Outdoor Center.
PO Box 377
Terlingua, TX 79852
(800) 839-7238

The Park Next Door

Big Bend Ranch State Park occupies 300,000 largely wilderness acres abutting the Rio Grande River just west of the national park. It was a working ranch from the 1870s until 1988, when the State of Texas bought the land and created the park. The hub of this park is the Saucedo Complex, where some services are available. In the main, though, it's the canyons, volcanoes, mountain ranges, desert and cultural remains from prehistoric and more recent cultures that interest visitors. Campgrounds--developed, primitive and dispersed--are situated throughout the park. Lodging is available at the Big House or Sauceda Lodge Bunkhouse.

Big Bend Ranch State Park
PO Box 2319
Presidio TX 79845
(432) 358-4444

Around the Area, Part 1

There's more to West Texas than two enormous parks. Barton Warnock Environmental Education Center sits at the west entrance to Big Bend Ranch State Park. Its interpretive center gives information about 570 million years and five biological landscapes of the Chihuahan Desert, the Big Bend area. Fort Leaton State Historic Site preserves and displays a trading post from western settler years.

Barton Warnock Environmental Education Center
HC 70, Box 375
Terlingua TX 79852
(432) 424-3327

Fort Leaton State Historic Site
PO Box 2319
Presidio TX 79845
(432) 229-3613

Around the Area, Part 2

Onetime mining town Terlingua now is a thriving artists' community. Study Butte, before its demise, mined mercury. Lajitas Spa and Resort offers a palette of luxurious services and vacation packages.

A ferry named "Enchilada" crosses between Boquillas, Texas, USA and Boquillas del Carmen, Coahuila, Mexico. A cantina, a hot springs and a winsome dog provide color.

Because the actual town of Paris, Texas is not in desert country, the 1984 movie was filmed in picturesque Marathon, Texas. Those bored in Big Bend, might try soaring in Marfa, which may have been named for a Dostoevsky character in The Brothers Karamazov.

Terlingua, Study Butte, Lajitas
Big Bend Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 607
Terlingua, Texas 79852


Lajitas Spa
HC 70, Box 400
Lajitas, Texas 79852
(432) 424-5000

Article Written By Lani Johnson

Lani Johnson is a hiking, writing musician. Recent published work includes journalism, poetry and research. See her online writing at or at

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