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Big Bend National Park

This is unlike any other place in Texas. You have mountains, desert, wild critters. You don’t have lakes or rivers (until you get to the Rio Grande), spotty cell phone service, and even spottier WiFi.  You are pretty much off the grid.

The Chisos Mountain Lodge is the place to stay if you want a roof over your head and air conditioning. It also has the only restaurant in the park. There is an RV park at the Rio Grande Village. The tent campground at Chisos Mountain has toilets and water, but no electric, no hot showers. There are many other primitive back country campsites around the park. Get a map and info at the visitor’s center at Panther Junction.

Rather than try to describe the beauty of this place, here are some pictures. See for yourself.

Big Bend National ParkThe blue haze over the mountains is caused by sulfate particle pollution, and is most common and worse during the hotter months, which is most of the time.

Big Bend National ParkCritters: Mary got pictures of a deer family calmly visiting the parking area of the Chisos Lodge. The day before we got there a momma bear and two cubs strolled through the same parking lot. Rattlesnakes are common, especially in the back country. The rarest wild critters are mountain lions. There are only two dozen in the park, and we got to see one. He was standing on the main park road, and darted away as we approached in our car before we could get a picture.

Santa Elena Canyon was carved by the Rio Grande river, separating the U.S. and Mexico. Here in the narrows it’s only 30 feet wide at the bottom, and over a thousand feet high.

Big Bend National ParkThe western side of the park is all high desert. This picture was taken on the road out of the park, heading for Terlingua.

Big Bend National ParkPerhaps the park’s signature view is “The Window” in Chisos Mountains, seen here as a storm passes in the valley below. Seen below is the same location for a spectacular sunset.

Big Bend National Park


Big Bend NP official site

Chisos Mountain Lodge

Posted 5/30/18

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North Texas Active Life is your guide to resources in North Texas that will help you and your family lead active and healthy lives. We are focused on the Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen areas and surrounding communities. Our topics cover events, recreation, activities, fitness resources, and healthy living . Articles cover hiking, biking, trails, fitness, parks, kayaking, bicycling, rock climbing, walking, and more.