Hiking and Camping
Big Bend National Park, Davis Mountains State Park. Big Bend
Ranch State Park, Davis Mountains Preserve oﬀer hiking, camping
and backpacking. The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botan-
ical Gardens near Fort Davis has four miles of hiking trails, a botanical
garden, and a cactus and succulent greenhouse containing one of
the largest Chihuahuan Desert cactus collections in the world.
The region oﬀers some of the most scenic bicycle touring routes
and challenging oﬀ road biking trails in Texas. Plan your own adven-
ture or consult with a local guide, outfitter or ranger.
The Big Bend region includes two of the most scenic motorcycle
touring routes in Texas: the 75-mile Davis Mountains scenic loop,
which follows TX 118 and TX 166; and FM 170, which parallels the
Rio Grande as it weaves between Terlingua and Presidio.
Over 500 bird species have been recorded in the Big Bend region
of the Chihuahuan Desert. Popular birding sites are Davis Mountains
State Park, Chisos Basin and Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National
Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and the Post Park, south of
Several area outfitters can provide an unforgettable experience of
breathtaking scenery, adventurous touring, wildlife viewing, and his-
The region is famous for its beautiful agate and jasper. Collecting
at road cuts is legal; collecting on parkland is prohibited. Collecting
on private land requires the owner’s permission.
River Rafting and Canoeing
The Rio Grande is popular for rafting and canoeing. River guides
are available through outfitters in Terlingua and Study Butte.
The night skies of the Big Bend region are among the darkest in
the nation. Attend a Star Party at McDonald Observatory, or step out-
side anywhere and witness a spectacular heavenly display.
Balmorhea State Park
56 miles north on TX 118 & TX 17
Swim, scuba dive or just relax at this oasis in the high desert. Enjoy
the cool, crystal-clear spring-fed waters of this large outdoor pool.
Camping, picnic facilities, cabins and restored desert wetlands. Cur-
rently closed for renovations - check website for details.
Big Bend National Park
108 miles south on TX 118 to
Park Headquarters at Panther Junction.
At over 800,000 acres, Big Bend National Park
is the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan
Desert in the U.S. The Park is known as “Three
Parks in One”, with towering mountain, vast
desert and thriving riparian environments, all sit-
uated along the “big bend” of the Rio Grande.
Big Bend Ranch State Park
102 miles south and west on
TX 118 and FM 170
This is the largest state park in Texas with 300,000
acres of rugged and remote Chihuahuan Desert
along the Rio Grande. The Barton Warnock Center
on FM 170 just east of Lajitas serves as the park’s
eastern visitor center; stop there for information.