Big Bend lives up to both words which make up its famous name. It is bigger than big and features grand vistas and wide valleys. There are stunning rock formations, an infamous river and adventures on land and in the water. If you want a more extreme adventure, I recommend driving a four-wheel drive/high center vehicle on some of the dirt roads or take a kayak down the Rio Grande River.
This is not a barren desert. The landscape has many different species of plants and cactus. It is a thriving ecosystem in a place that doesn’t get a ton of precipitation. In fact, this area averages about 14 inches of precipitation per year. Obviously the Rio Grande river basin helps but some of these areas like Panther Junction and Chisos Basin produce vibrant foliage.
Sunset watchers have some choices at Big Bend. The patio at Chisos Mountain Lodge is pretty wonderful. If you enjoy a more 360 degree view, Gano Springs Road or the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive give you ample opportunity to see shades of light and shadows against mountains, mesas and rolling hills.
On a clear day, you can see mountains for miles and miles. Main Park Road which takes you from Panther Junction to the Persimmon Gap visitor center is a long drive so be prepared. The road features the Fossil Exhibit which I featured in another article and I highly recommend. Big Bend is a big park, measuring over 800,000 acres, and this drive covers a huge chunk of land.
Have you visited Big Bend National Park? What was your experience like? For more information on Big Bend, click the link below.