Big Bend National Park - Texas
Climate - Map - Geography
Big Bend National Park is located in southern Brewster County of far west Texas along the international border with Mexico. It covers over 801,000 acres -- 1,252 square miles -- of west Texas at the place where the Rio Grande River makes a sharp turn -- the Big Bend.
The park includes the Chisos Mountains, Mariscal Mountains, Santiago Mountains and Carmen Mountains encompassing elevations of the Chihuahuan Desert from 1,800 to 4,500 feet. Big Bend National Park is very large and remote. Remember that you will be at least 100 miles from a bank, hospital, pharmacy, or supermarket.
Fall and spring are usually warm and pleasant. Summers are hot, although temperatures vary greatly between the desert floor and the Chisos Mountains; May and June are the hottest months. Afternoon and evening rains often cool the desert from July to October. Winters are generally mild, although periods of cold weather (including light snow) are possible. Winter visitors must prepare for a variety of conditions. Rainfall averages less than 10 inches per year.
A hat, comfortable clothing, and sturdy walking shoes or boots are necessary for anyone planning to hike. Sunscreen is a must. Hikers must always carry plenty of water. One gallon per person per day is recommended.
Three paved roads lead to the park:
- U.S. 385 from Marathon, TX to the north entrance,
- State Route 118 from Alpine, TX to the west entrance,
- Ranch Road 170 from Presidio to Study Butte, and then State Route 118 to the west entrance. Big Bend National Park headquarters is located 70 miles south of Marathon, TX and 108 miles from Alpine, TX via Hwy. 118.
To Park: there is no public transportation to or from the park. Amtrak serves Alpine, TX, 108 miles to the north. Bus service is available to Alpine and Marathon. The nearest airports are in Midland, TX (230 miles to the northeast), and El Paso, TX (325 miles to the northwest).
Maps of the Park Online Map about 260 K
Big Bend National Park - PDF 581 K
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