Big Bend National Park is considered to be hiker’s paradise. The park has more than 150 miles of desert and mountains trails from easy to challenging trails. It is also on the best places for bird watching as the park has wide variety of bird life. The best time to visit the park is late summer and spring giving the perfect weather to explore the park. Here we have mentioned the top places to visit in Big Bend.
Rio Grande Nature trail
Rio Grande Village Nature Trail is a 1.6 kilometer loop trail that features beautiful wild flowers and amazing views. The trail is good for all skill levels. The trailhead starts from the Rio Grande Village campsite. The trail takes you over floating docks in the marsh area. The trail leads you to an overlook with views of Boquillas del Carmen, Tunnel area, the Rio Grande, and great framed views of the Dead Horse and Chisos Mountains.
Rio Grande Nature Trail is a must try in Big Bend, it offers you a peaceful hiking experience. This trail gives a view of all the environments of Big Bend, the mountains, canyons, desert, river, and its fertile valley.
Window View Trail
Window View Trail is a 0.4 mile loop trail short and easy hike. It is one of the most popular trails in the park. If you like bird watching, keep an eye on the Colima warbler. It is a small, brown or gray bird with a patch of orange near its tail. In summer this bird can only be found in the upper elevations of the canyons.
Window View is the best spot in the park to watch the sunset. The trail offers stunning views of mountain peaks surrounding the Chisos Basin. There are benches along the trail where you can take a break from your walk and enjoy views.
Santa Elena Canyon Trail
Santa Elena Canyon Trail is a 2.3 kilometer out and back trail that features a river. Santa Elena has the tallest cliffs forming the canyon wall which is up to 1,500 feet. It is the most popular overnight or three day trip, not only because the put-in and take-out are easily accessed by car, offering spectacular views.
The best way to see the canyon is by rafting or canoeing. The trips from one to three days are allowed depending on the water flow. There are many opportunities for wildlife viewing, and hiking in shady side canyons.
Chisos Basin Loop
The Chisos Mountains are the heart of Big Bend. The trail is about 22.1 mile which is the longest trail in the park. Chisos Mountains contain some of the most breathtaking views. During summer when it is hot to hike lower elevations in the park Chisos Mountains is the best option. You even get a chance to see a black bear, mountain lion, and gray fox along Chisos Mountains trails. The most common animals are Carmen white-tail deer, whiptail lizards, rock squirrels, spotted towhees, and tufted titmice.
Hot Springs are one of the most famous thermal features in Big Bend. The hot spring is a 0.5 mile round trip from the trailhead.The trail is not accessible by car. Hot spring water is heated by geothermal processes and the temperature emerges at 105° F. The water is considered to be fossil, ancient and irreplaceable.
The Hot Springs has dissolved mineral salts which have therapeutic value as a remedy for both body and soul. But some hot springs have effects of heat. These hot springs are only allowed to soak, you cannot swim. Use of soaps or oils is prohibited.