A huge diversity of bird species and wildflowers in a remote corner of desert-bound western Texas? Yep. Welcome to Big Bend National Park, a bird-watcher and nature lover's perfect retreat (so long as you mind the summer heat).
Prepare to be wowed by Big Bend National Park in the Chisos Mountains, so long as you plan your trip carefully.
Big Bend is a great example of ecotone, a transition area between biomes, making it a fantastic place to spot wildlife. And according to the National Park Service, it's the most diverse bird population among U.S. national parks. But due to its popularity, make sure to reserve your campsites in advance if you're planning a visit.
Looking for a fantastic, short hike to explore the area? Check out the trails up to Casa Grande and The Window. Looking for something more challenging? You'll love the 11 mile loop around Emory Peak.
For those really looking to explore the Chisos mountains on foot, make sure to read up on backcountry camping within the park.
When to Go
April is the best time to visit to catch the ocotillo cactus bloom and wildflowers, though late summer or early fall is your next best bet. Avoid Spring Break if you can help it due to the crowds, and the summer because of the brutal heat.
Like most national parks, Big Bend requires an entrance fee. Check out this page for a breakdown of costs. If you're camping in the backcountry, pick up your backcountry use permit for between $6-$12 from the Panther Junction or Chisos Basin visitor centers.
Except for service animals, pets are only allowed on leash within the park's developed areas. If your car can't get there, neither can your pup.