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At more than 800,000 acres, Big Bend National Park qualifies as a big place. So big, in fact, that it contains the entire range of the Chisos Mountains, three river canyons, 118 miles of the Rio Grande (which forms the southern border of the park as well as the US–Mexico border in that region), the largest protected portion of Chihuahuan Desert in the country, plus a wealth of wilderness and gobs of amazing scenery.

Hiking trails and scenic drives are plentiful, with information and itineraries available at five visitor centers. Camping is available within the park, depending on the season. In the area outside the park, you’ll find independent outfitters offering horseback riding, river tours and even flights over the park.


Popular sights in the park include the Fossil Discovery Exhibit, where you can follow the park’s fossil record spanning 130 million years; historic adobe buildings at the Castolon Historic District; and the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, which provides access to numerous hikes, scenic overlooks and Santa Elena Canyon.