Around The Bend
There is more to the Big Bend than can be seen in ones lifetime. Big Bend National Park, together with neighboring Big Bend Ranch State Park, has over a million acres of spectacular vistas, shadowy canyons, and rugged desert mountains that visitors explore by road, river, and trail. From beautiful sightseeing explorations to exciting wilderness adventures, people have many reasons for visiting the Big Bend.
More than its mountains, desert, rivers and sunsets, the Big Bend includes a number of neighboring towns with characters that define the culture and offer some of America"s greatest treasures. Some of these places include the Terlingua Ghost Town, home to the World Famous International Chiii Cook-off and Marfa, Texas, home of the famous Marfa Lights. Many galleries, shops and restaurants line the streets of Marathon, and the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis is exceptional.
The Chisos Mountains are the "heart" of Big Bend National Park; extending 20 miles through the center of the park with skyscraping peaks. The most distinguished of all Chisos peaks is Emory Peak; reaching 2,835 feet above sea level. There are many hiking trails for all levels of hikers along the Chisos mountain range, in addition to lodging and eating facilities.
The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive includes many of the most incredible natural landforms in Big Bend National Park. A variety of landscapes, short hiking trails, and majestic overlooks are a part of the experience. The drive skirts the Chisos Mountains on their western edge, and slowly descends into the Santa Elena Canyon on the Rio Grande River.
Santa Elena Canyon is one of the most popular sites in Big Bend National Park. Formed by the mighty Rio Grande River, the canyon features 1,500 foot walls with winding nature trails at the rivers edge; providing visitors an awesome view of this majestic formation. Boquillas Canyon is the longest and deepest canyon in Big Bend National Park; reaching 7,000 feet from Pico del Carmen to the river below.