Big Bend National Park - Texas

Big Bend National Park – Texas

North America

Cattle and mining danger averted

According to liuxers, Big Bend National Park is located in the southwest of the US state of Texas. Its area is approximately 3,240 km². More than 300,000 visitors come to the Texan national park every year. Big Bend National Park was established on June 12, 1944. Many cattle breeders in particular had settled in what is now the protected area in the decades before. As a result, the area was completely overgrazed and large parts of the valuable nature were destroyed. Mining was done. Construction work damaged the flora and fauna in the region of today’s national park. So one felt compelled to put the area of ​​today’s Big Bend National Park under absolute protection.

Rio Grande in Hot Springs Canyon – Big Bend National Park Texas

Rio Grande – border river with Mexico

In Big Bend National Park, the Rio Grande River forms the natural border with the state of Mexico over a length of more than 400 km. This natural border between the USA and Mexico harbors the risk that illegal border crossings could take place there. Therefore, special rules and regulations apply in this part of Big Bend National Park. The border with Mexico runs in the middle of the riverbed. In Mexico, the river is called the Rio Bravo del Norte. South of the river are the Mexican states of Coahuila and Chihuahua. There are protected areas that continue the protection of the landscape on the Mexican side following Big Bend National Park. The national park is of great importance for the conservation of the United States because it protects the uniqueness of the ecology and topography of the Chihuahuan Desert as a large protected area.

Rio Grande formed spectacular gorges

The impressive Boquillas, Santa Elena and Mariscal Gorges are located on the Rio Grande near the southern border of Big Bend National Park. The Rio Grande has formed the three deep limestone gorges there over the course of thousands of years. The walls through canyon are almost vertical. Located in the Chihuahuan Desert, a rich flora and fauna has survived along the banks of the Rio Grande.

Rich and diverse nature

Over 1,200 different plant species have been identified in Big Bend National Park in Texas. The rivers in the national park are home to numerous species of fish, and the lakes and ponds in the protected area are rich in amphibians. In addition, around 450 species of birds, over 50 species of reptiles and almost 100 different species of mammals were found in the national park area. Big Bend National Park is located in southern Brewster County, now a very sparsely populated part of the state of Texas. Cities near the national park are Alpine and Marathon to the north, Terlingua and Lajitas to the west. The best way to explore the reserve is on foot. This is the only way to fully enjoy the original nature.

View over the mountains in Big Bend National Park


There are three campgrounds (Chisos-Basin, Cottonwood, Rio Grande Village) and one RV area (Rio Grande Village) in Big Bend National Park in Texas. The camping possibilities are all at an altitude of about 600 meters. All campsites in the national park are open all year round.

Native Americans and white settlers

Native Americans lived in the area of ​​Big Bend National Park in Texas for about 10,000 years. It was home to the Chisos, Mescalero-Apache and Comanche tribes. Researchers have discovered the traces and remains of these settlements. These Native Americans lived in harmony with nature and did not cause any lasting damage to it for thousands of years. There are also traces of settlements from more recent times. One can find old, well-preserved buildings in the National Park, showing life in the times of the “white” settlement. Spanish and Mexican settlers, and later American settlers, left their mark on this part of Texas.

Rock formations in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend National Park

Climate and nature

The climate in parts of the national park can be described as very extreme. Already in spring, but especially in summer, it is very dry and hot in the lowlands of Big Bend National Park. The winters, on the other hand, can be described as relatively mild. The protected area has different climatic zones. The differences in altitude within the national park range from 550 meters to over 2,300 meters. Due to the different habitats, the animal and plant world of the national park is very diverse and rich. There are jackrabbits, mule deer, roadrunners and many collared peccaries. Also the pumafeels at home in large numbers in Big Bend National Park. All the rivers that flow through the Chihuahuan Desert form a green belt along their banks in the middle of this desert.

Historic Sites in Big Bend

There are also plenty of historical and archaeological testimonies of the past in the national park. Big Bend National Park is known for its archaeological finds. Archaeologists have discovered artifacts up to 10,000 years old in the sanctuary.

Big Bend National Park - Texas