Cradled in the warm, southwestern elbow of Texas, the 801,163 acres of Big Bend National Park hang suspended above the deserts of northern Mexico. From the craggy, forested Chisos Mountains rising up to almost 8,000 feet to the flat, stark plains of the Chihuahuan Desert, Big Bend is one of the nation's most geographically diverse parks, with the kind of dramatic backdrop that inspired Hollywood's first Western sets. Visitors can ride the rapids of the Rio Grande, trek through the classic, Old West landscape, and marvel at the moonscape that skirts Boquillas, Mexico.
- Varied terrain Visit thorny desert, a fabled river, bird-filled woods, and mountain spirals all in the same day.
- Wonderful wildlife Catch sight of the park's extremely diverse animals, including bands of swarthy javelinas, reclusive mountain lions, and lumbering black bears.
- Bird-watching Spy a pied-billed grebe or another member of the park's more than 400 bird species, including the Lucifer hummingbird and the unique-to-this-area pato mexicano (Mexican duck).
- Hot spots Dip into the natural hot springs (105°F) near Rio Grande Village.
- Mile-high mountains Lace up those hiking boots and climb the Chisos Mountains, reaching almost 8,000 feet skyward in some places and remaining cool even during the most scorching Southwest summer.