Big Bend News

Roosevelt signed legislation establishing Big Bend National Park in June of 1935.

Big Bend National Park opened for business on July 1, 1944. There were 1,409 visitors that first year. (440,091 in 2018!)

The distance between Houston and Big Bend National Park is 477 miles. The road distance is 634.6 miles.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, valuable mineral deposits were discovered and brought settlers who worked in the mines or supported the mines by farming or by cutting timber for the mines and smelters. Communities sprang up around the mines. Boquillas and Terlingua both resulted from mining operations. During this period, the Rio Grande flood plain was settled by farmers. Settlements developed with names like Terlingua Abajo, San Vicente, La Coyota, and Castolon. Often, no more than clusters of families were living and farming in the same area, and they were successful only to the degree that the land was able to support them.

B ig Bend National Park is experiencing an increase in visitation and with it a greater demand for both frontcountry and backcountry camping within the park. The park is busiest on extended weekends related to Federal holidays, during the weeks of the Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Years holidays, and during spring break in mid to late March.

At these times visitors can generally expect the Chisos Mountains Lodge and all of the park's three developed campgrounds to fill each day, with increased demand for backcountry campsites that often fill to capacity as well. If you plan on visiting Big Bend it is best to come prepared with alternative plans for camping or lodging outside of the park.