A popular saying for decades has been “Everything is Bigger in Texas” and that certainly holds true for Texas’ gift to the nation, Big Bend National Park. In 2019 this remarkable wonder of nature celebrates its 75th birthday and in true Texas fashion the celebration will be extraordinary.
Although not the largest National Park in the country, at over 800,000 acres Big Bend is definitely that – BIG! Along with its neighboring Big Bend Ranch State Park, the Big Bend region contains the largest contiguous protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the continental United States. This amazing Park also contains the three massive canyons of the Rio Grande and the entire Chisos Mountain range. Big Bend National Park has more species of birds, plants, cactus, butterflies, bats and reptiles than any other US National Park. Even with these grand distinctions, Big Bend remains one of the least visited National Parks in the country, so crowds and long lines are not a problem.
A wide range of events and activities will take place all year long to celebrate Big Bend’s Birthday not only in the Park and the surrounding communities of Marathon, Terlingua, Study Butte and Lajitas but across the entire Lone Star State. On March 23rd, Revolution Spirits in Austin will hold a “Big Bend On The Rocks” birthday bash from 3p-6p that will include imagery from the Big Bend along with plenty of refreshments. The Bullock Texas State History Museum, also in Austin, will have a free Sunday event on April 7th in honor of the Big Bend Anniversary. Closer to the actual Big Bend Region, Sul Ross State University in Alpine will have an official 75th Anniversary Birthday Party for the Park on October 11th that is certain to be an event to remember.
Named for a deep curve in the Rio Grande River that connects the United States and Mexico, the Big Bend region of West Texas is a land of striking beauty. On June 12, 1944, Big Bend National Park was signed into existence with the very first visitors arriving on July 1. A bit of historical trivia is that delegates from Texas travelled to Washington to meet with President Roosevelt with the documents for the establishment of Big Bend at the same time that allied forces invaded Normandy in WWII (D-Day). Not even a world war could stop this amazing Park from becoming a reality!
People come to the Big Bend region to participate in a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, river trips, horseback riding, mountain biking, birding, golfing, photography and even ziplining. Big Bend is also one of the most popular destinations for motorcycles anywhere in Texas with miles and miles of open roads and little traffic.
Whether it is the crystal-clear night skies, the silhouette of distant mountains rising over vast plains, the sound of a hawk poised to take prey, the smell of the desert after a summer shower or the “Old West” appeal of small Texas communities, a visit to Big Bend is a land for all senses and seasons.
For more information on the 75th Anniversary of Big Bend, related activities or to plan your next great adventure, go to: visitbigbend.com.