Big Bend: Texas's last frontier

The Big Bend region of Far West Texas is home to some of the most scenic and undisturbed places in the United States

By Big Bend
Published 3 Dec 2016, 12:00 GMT

Named for a deep curve in the Rio Grande that connects the United States and Mexico, the Big Bend region of West Texas is a land of striking beauty, including vast desert expanses, precipitous canyons and craggy mountains — all topped off with some of the bluest skies and crystal clear nights in all of the United States.

Far from any major city, the Big Bend is a last frontier, an untouched corner of the American West; it's an ideal spot to discover the simple pleasures of silence, solitude and open space. Big Bend National Park preserves more than 1,100sq miles of rugged desert, three massive canyons of the Rio Grande and the entire Chisos Mountain range. Nearby state parks and preserves guarantee access to over 1,000,000 acres of public lands.

The region invites exploration from many angles: raft or canoe down the Rio Grande, hike over 200 miles of wilderness trail, ride a horse into the sunset, take a jeep tour on the park's extensive back-road system or simply drive the roads to amazing scenic viewpoints with short interpretive walks or historic points of interest. Big Bend National Park is among the largest national parks in the continental United States, but it sees just a fraction of the visitors that parks such as Grand Canyon, Yosemite or Yellowstone see.

But scenery is not all you'll find in Big Bend; there's also a vibrant local culture. Big Bend has become a haven for artists, musicians and practitioners of sustainable living. Visitors find an eclectic collection of shops and galleries, along with a selection of restaurants, bars and hopping night spots. People visit Big Bend for the first time for the amazing scenery — but they come back time after time for the warm Western Hospitality.

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