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Big Bend National Park Hillside above Panther Junction covered in ceniza blooms
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"A land of strong beauty—
often savage and always imposing
." -Lon Garrison

Sometimes considered "three parks in one," Big Bend includes mountain, desert, and river environments. An hour’s drive can take you from the banks of the Rio Grande to a mountain basin nearly a mile high. Here, you can explore one of the last remaining wild corners of the United States, and experience unmatched sights, sounds, and solitude.

Conditions & Closures in the Park

Updated: December 24, 2011

  • All Trails are currently open.
  • Current smoking ban is still in effect.


A Birder's Paradise

Big Bend National Park is known for its bird specialties found only in the Chisos Mountains or just within the border country of Texas to Arizona. Unique birds such as the Mexican mallard, Lucifer hummingbird, Mexican jay, black-capped and gray vireos, Colima warbler, and varied bunting occur here at different times of the year.

Big Bend and the Border: Is it safe?

In addition to defining the curve that forms the Big Bend, the Rio Grande also serves as the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. Throughout much of its history the border along the Rio Grande has often been fluid, allowing people of both countries to come and go as needed. However, the border is an artificial boundary imposed on the natural environment, and as such is subject to political and social pressures. Visitors often ask if the border is safe; the following page has information for visiting a border area.

How NOT to die in the Desert

With over 800,000 acres of remote desert and mountains, visitors to Big Bend can wander and explore to their hearts’ content. But with this freedom comes risk. Every year, park staff must rescue hikers who either underestimate the terrain and/or temperatures or overestimate their own abilities. This environment is not forgiving; hikers have died here after going just a few hours without water.

Write to

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834


Visitor Information
(432) 477-2251

Weather Information Hotline
(432) 477-1183


(432) 477-1175


Fall and spring are usually warm and pleasant. Summers are hot, although temperatures vary greatly between the desert floor and the Chisos Mountains; May and June are the hottest months. Afternoon and evening rains often cool the desert from July to October. Winters are generally mild, although periods of cold weather (including light snow or ice) are possible. Winter visitors must prepare for a variety of conditions.
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Cactus blooms can be commonly seen from the early spring into the summer

Did You Know?
More species of cactus (70+) can be found in Big Bend than in any other National Park.

Last Updated: January 01, 2012 at 16:00 MST


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