It’s getting cold in New England – are you planning your next warm-weather adventure? If you’re headed south for the season, we recommend adding Big Bend National Park to your “to do” list.
With over 800,000 acres of unspoiled desert terrain, Big Bend National Park in Texas is one of the nation’s hidden treasures. Even its peak season is never overly crowded, and its temperate climate, diverse birdlife and dramatic landscapes make fall one of the best times to visit.
Located in a corner of the Chihuahuan Desert, Big Bend National Park features 150 miles of trails to roam. For day hikers, the popular Lost Mine Trail covers five miles of spectacular views and exotic bird watching. For those looking for more of a backcountry adventure, the Outer Loop Trail takes about 3-4 days to complete and provides a tour of both the woodlands of the Chisos Mountains and the exposed Chihuahuan terrain.
Since the park sits in the middle of a migration route, Big Bend’s peak season is also a great time for bird-watching. If you’re visiting off peak, don’t worry! Various species can be seen throughout the year, including the Lucifer hummingbird and Colima warbler – birds you won’t find elsewhere in the United States. Visit the Santa Elena Canyon, Dugout Wells, or Sam Nail Ranch for rare sightings and key birding habitats.
In addition to birding and hiking, the Rio Grande offers a variety of river activities. From whitewater rafting to gourmet river trips, the 120-mile stretch of water whets the appetite of every outdoor enthusiast. Check out the famed Santa Elena Canyon for seven miles of gorgeous coves and towering side canyons.
Did we miss any of your favorite Big Bend activities? Tell us in the comments below.