Nestled along the border of Texas and Mexico, Big Bend National Park beckons families to discover its rugged beauty and diverse landscapes. With its vast desert expanses, winding river canyons, and towering mountains, Big Bend offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Here are eight reasons why Big Bend is the perfect destination for families:

Santa Elena Canyon: Marvel at the majestic Santa Elena Canyon, where the Rio Grande carves a deep chasm through towering limestone cliffs. Take a leisurely hike along the canyon rim or venture down to the river’s edge for a closer look at this natural wonder.

Chisos Basin: Escape the desert heat and retreat to the cool oasis of Chisos Basin, nestled among the towering peaks of the Chisos Mountains. Explore family-friendly trails that wind through lush forests and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Boquillas Canyon: Embark on a scenic drive along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive and make a stop at Boquillas Canyon. Take a short hike to the canyon overlook and watch as the river winds its way through the rugged terrain, creating a serene oasis in the desert.

Lost Mine Trail: Lace up your hiking boots and tackle the Lost Mine Trail, a moderate trek that offers panoramic views of the Chisos Mountains and the surrounding desert. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way, from colorful birds to elusive mountain lions.

Rio Grande Village: Set up camp at Rio Grande Village and spend your days exploring the nearby hot springs or paddling along the peaceful waters of the Rio Grande. Kids will love splashing in the river and spotting wildlife along the banks.

Window View Trail: Experience the magic of sunset at Window View Trail, where a short hike leads to a breathtaking overlook framed by the iconic “window” rock formation. Watch as the sky explodes with color and the desert landscape transforms before your eyes.

Fossil Discovery Exhibit: Journey back in time at the Fossil Discovery Exhibit, where interactive displays and fossil replicas offer insight into the park’s ancient past. Kids can dig for fossils in the sandbox and learn about the creatures that once roamed the land.

Junior Ranger Program: Engage the whole family in the park’s Junior Ranger Program, where kids can learn about desert ecology, geology, and conservation through fun and educational activities. Upon completion, they’ll receive a badge and a sense of pride in their newfound knowledge.

With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and abundant wildlife, Big Bend National Park offers families a chance to reconnect with nature and create lifelong memories together. Pack your bags, hit the trails, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in this remote wilderness.


We spend our winter vacation driving our 2008 Honda Accord to New Mexico and back to North Carolina. Our objective was to cancel four more parks. Our first achievement was Big Bend in southwest Texas. This is where the road ends at the Rio Grande, the boundary between the United States and Mexico….

Canceled December 26, 2011