Big Bend National Park

Texas, United States of America

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About Big Bend National Park

Founded in 1944 and larger than the US state of Rhode Island, Big Bend National Park is a vast area in Texas protected for its Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology. It covers around 3,242 km2 (1,252 sq mi).

The name ‘Big Bend’ refers to the defining boundary of the lower end of the park, where the Rio Grande switches course abruptly to the north east after flowing south and south east for nearly 1,600 km (1,000 mi). The river forms part of the border between the USA and Mexico and supplies much-needed water to the wildlife in the park, which clusters in this riparian habitat.


Remarkably, it is one of the least visited of the USA’s national parks, so with only around 350,000 visitors a year passing through this vast terrain, there’s no problem finding a quiet spot, even in its busiest periods.


 The park is along a recognised migration route: while species from the tropics migrate here to breed in the spring, northern birds come here for the warmer winter climate. Other birds live here most, if not all, of the year, including the greater roadrunner, the elf owl and the golden-fronted woodpecker. 

75 species of mammal make their homes here, 20 of which are types of bats, including the endangered Mexican long-nosed bat, which has not been found to live anywhere else in the US. While many are nocturnal, to avoid the extreme heat of the day, others will come out to forage at the extremes of day, early morning and late evening, when temperatures are cooler. Larger mammals include coyote, mountain lions, whitetail and mule deer.


Activities for visitors include bird and wildlife watching. There are also over 160 km (100 mi) of paved roads, 240 km (150 mi) of dirt roads and around 320 km (200 mi) of hiking trails, so there’s plenty of opportunity for cycling, mountain biking, hiking and backpacking – or touring by horse or vehicle.

Mountain Biking
Horse Riding
Wild Camping
Texas, United States of America
Latitude: 29.297178, Longitude: -103.233032