Big Bend National Park (BBNP) harbors over 800,000 acres of natural Chihuahuan Desert landscape. The park is for every adventurer, offering hiking, river trips, bird watching, biking, swimming, and more. In the park, there are five visitor centers with stores (some are closed during the summer), one restaurant, and one gas station. You can purchase your park ticket before your arrival or at the entrance. For a full list of activities and other information, please visit BBNP's website.
Tip #1: Rent our park essentials bundle for a seamless and unforgettable adventure to and from the park.
Tip #2: Review BBNP's safety guidelines and park alerts.
Tip #3: Stop by Alon Gas Station to fill up your tank and Cottonwood General Store to grab water, food, and other supplies.
+ Easy | Lower Burro Mesa Pouroff Trail | 1 mi - This less than 30 minute gravel-bed trail off of Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive offers views of various Big Bend terrains and a 100-ft tall vertical channel.
+ Moderate | Lost Mine Trail | 4.8 mi round trip - A half-day hike near the Chisos Lodge with some of the best aerial views of the park at 7,535ft. A majority of visitors say this is their favorite hike in the park.
+ Hard | Emory Peak via South Rim and Boot Springs Trail | 15.2 mi round trip - A full-day hike that includes views from the highest peak in the park (Emory at 7,835ft) and a bucket list trail (South Rim) with views into Mexico. Take Pinnacles>Emory Peak Spur>Boot Canyon>South Rim>Laguna Meadows.
+ Santa Elena Canyon - At the end of Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, a 1,500ft tall limestone cliffs are parted by the waters of the Rio. One of the most famous sites in the park, and where we get our name!
+ Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive - A paved road that connects the entrance road to Santa Elena Canyon. Offers beautiful views of mountainous terrain, especially during sunrise or sunset, and is the start of many trailheads heavy with history.
+ Chisos Mountains - The heart of the park! This mountain range can be seen from Camp Elena, and is the only one that is fully contained in a national park, even at 20 miles long. It's tallest peaks include Emory (7,835) and Lost Mine (7,535ft).
+ The Window - In the Chisos Basin, you can take a 5.6 mile trail down to the narrow rock opening to see the vast, framed views of Big Bend from above, or stop at the Window View trail and walk 0.3 miles to a viewpoint (wheelchair accessible).
+ Boquillas Hot Springs & Border Crossing - Stay in the US and enjoy the hot springs, or pass through the port of entry into Mexico to take a horse or walk to the nearby village (about 1/2 mile) for shopping and dining. Don't forget cash and your passport!
+ Fossil Discovery Exhibit - A beautiful architectural structure that houses information on 130 million years of animal and plant history in Big Bend. Near Panther Junction.
+ Equipment Rentals: Rent our park essentials bundle for a basic day trip to the park. You can rent canoes, kayaks, etc. from Big Bend Boating and Hiking Company. They also provide tours and shuttle services.
Day-Trip Packing List
+ at least 1 gallon of water/person/day
+ hearty snacks and meals
+ sunscreen and bug spray
+ a light cover up shirt & rain jacket
+ a hat & sunglasses
+ hiking shoes & socks
+ paper park map (grab at entrance)
+ downloaded offline trail map (ex. the Gaia GPS app)
+ charged phone, camera, data cards
+ binoculars & headlamp
+ any other adventure gear!
Check out a list of accessible trails, campgrounds, outfitters, and more here.
Check out a list of upcoming events here.