The United States is home to a wonderful array of national parks, but one that will surely inspire awe is Big Bend National Park. Located in the state of Texas, this park is named for a large bend in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo, which provides a natural borderline between Mexico and the United States. It is the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert, covering roughly 1,252 square miles, and is home to over 1,200 species of plants, 450 species of birds, 75 species of mammals, and 56 species of reptiles, offering abundant opportunities to observe wildlife within the large expanse of Big Bend.
Being a desert, the climate here is typically hot and arid, but vast differences in altitude create a variety of ecosystems that directly contribute to the biodiversity of this region. Stunning landscapes that include tall mountains, deep canyons, and open desert areas are all on the bill here, and recreational activities of all kinds are permitted, with plenty of guides to inform you of the geological history if you’re curious. The nearby towns have become havens for tourists from all over the world, welcoming newcomers with Texas-sized southern charm. Should you ever find yourself heading for the border, be sure to make a day or two of Big Bend National Park.
Image via R Hensley