So, planning a trip to Big Bend National Park - but have you thought about what could be the best time to visit big bend national park? Don’t worry because we are here to help! The weather here is dry, cool winters and relatively less dry, hot summers. From the Chihuahuan Desert and Rio Grande to the Chisos, you will find hot summers, mild winters, and a pleasant spring or even fall.
This is precisely why you need to plan this trip carefully - so keep reading to find out about the best time to visit Big Bend National Park.
Why You Should Visit Big Bend National Park?
The Big Bend National Park covers more than 800,000 acres in the whole of southern Texas, right beside the Mexican border. You can see the desert terrain, lush river, wilderness, and mountains here. Although it's not a well-known vacation spot yet, there are days when the solitary vibes of this place can make you feel so well.
There are about three beautiful canyons inside the boundaries of the Big Bend National Park. These are as follows,
- Santa Elena Canyon,
- Boquillas Canyon, and
- Mariscal Canyon.
Plus, the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive features a major part of this park from a nice, well-traveled road. You can easily park your car here and explore specific areas. Inside one park, you will come across cliffs, expanses of desert terrains, stunning greenery, the Rio Grande, and mountains.
It is also easy to spot wildlife here, including mountain lions, reptiles, bats, birds, deer, bobcats, and bears. Moreover, the Rio Grande is home to so many amphibians and fishes.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Big Bend National Park? Weather Overview!
You are looking for the best time of year to visit Big bend national park! We get it - this is exactly why a weather overview is vital before you can plan any trip. But before that, check out the small table mentioned below.
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The Ideal Time To Visit Big Bend:
The best time to visit Big bend national park is between October to April. During this time, you will be able to experience really pleasant weather here. The weather during winter is pretty variable, and that is precisely why you should plan your trip between October and April. Spring, in fact, brings about optimal weather relevant for both wildflowers and the park.
It’s best to avoid the park during Texas Spring Break during mid-March in order to escape crowds. You can also try visiting during Fall since the leaves in Chisos mountains change colors playing with hues of yellow, red, and orange.
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So now you have a fair idea of the best time to visit big bend national park Texas, let’s go through a brief seasonal overview of the region - check out what stands out the best in which areas.
- Fall: The colors of Fall all over Chisos Mountains.
- Winter: Although winters are mostly sunny and mild, you can experience cold fronts sometimes in the park. At night, temperatures can easily drop, and it can be quite freezing. Moreover, snow is rarely seen, and you can, at the most witness, a slight snow dusting in the park.
- Spring: The largest number of crowds visit the area during Spring to celebrate Texas Spring Break. The days are pleasant and warm. In fact, during early April, the beautiful Bluebonnets are in full bloom, and everything looks very visually appealing.
- Summer: During Summers, the temperatures of the desert are frequently over 100 F - mountains are relatively cooler as compared to other areas but still stay hot. At night the temperatures go down to 70 F, but if you need some respite from all that heat, then Rio Grande is your location.
The Best Time To Visit Big Bend National Park: Travel Notes
Are you googling ‘big bend national park best time to visit’ then stop - first check out the things you must remember while planning a trip to Big Bend before you can decide what time of the year works best for you!
Here we go!
- The Chisos Mountain Lodge and the accompanying campgrounds are open throughout the year.
- Always keep track of park information to find out about all relevant trail or road closures.
- During winter (April to November), the Boquillas Border Crossing stays open from Wednesdays to Sundays. On the other hand, during Summer (May to October), the crossing will be open from Fridays to Mondays.
- The US Customer & Border Protection is in charge of maintaining all the checkpoints located on both the north and south highways, all leading to the Big Bend. All vehicles are stopped here - at these very checkpoints routinely for both questioning and inspection.
- Chisos Basin and Panther Junction Visitor Centers stay open throughout the year. There are other visitor centers, around three, and all of them stay closed between May and October. Before visiting, check the visiting hours online.
Things You Can't-Miss Out On Your First Trip To The Big Bend!
Visiting the Big Bend National Park can prove to be a magical journey. So you have an idea about the best time to visit Big Bend National Park mentioned below. The thing that you do need to know is the places you can’t miss out on your trip to the national park.
- Go for a hike on the Santa Elena Canyon trail.
- Take a dip in the natural hot springs located in the village of Rio Grande.
- Go on a scenic drive to the Ross Maxwell.
- Learn all about the geological history of the park at the Fossil Discovery Exhibit.
- Take the Nature Trail at the beautiful Rio Grande village.
- Visit Boquillas, a Mexican village.
- Watch the sunset at The Window.
- Go on epic day hikes to the South Rim or Emory Peak.
- Spend a night camping under beautiful dark skies.
- Don’t forget to get souvenirs from the Chisos Basin neighborhood.
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Worst Time To Visit Big Bend National Park:
Perhaps, the worst time to visit the Big Bend National Park is during the Summer months. Yes, it might sound very confusing to you since Summer is the easiest time to disappear on trips considering everyone is LITERALLY on holiday.
However, the areas in and around Texas get extremely hot during these months. In fact, you will feel like you are just cooking anytime you are actually walking around the Big Bend National Park.
But if you do take your car, then you can definitely explore specific areas by simply driving through the park and enjoying the views from inside your car. Just ensure that when you do, step outside to check out any spot, stay hydrated, and don’t forget to wear sunscreen. Typically, it gets so hot you won’t feel like venturing out for long.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Check out the most frequently asked questions about the best time to visit Big Bend National Park mentioned below.
Ans: You will need three days just to explore the Big Bend National Park. But if you want to be thorough and still keep time for hiking, then we would suggest keeping another day at hand - one day to chill and soak in the nature around you.
Ans: Winter is a magical time for visiting the Big Bend National Park. The weather feels relatively cooler during this part of the year, but it will not be challenging for anyone who is visiting from areas of cold temperatures.
Ans: The Big Bend National Park, located in Texas, is stunning and is definitely worth going to. But that is a short answer. In fact, the national park happens to be the 15th largest among America’s national parks. The park boasts a solid 801,163 acres of land - it’s the largest land under protection in the Chihuahuan desert.
Ans: If you are part of any tour group, you can drive your vehicle since there is literally no other transportation that is available for traveling within or even to Big Bend. There are multiple highways that lead to the national park. Such options include Highway 170, Highway 118, Highway 385, and Highway 90.
And It’s A Wrap!
So now you know the best time to visit Big bend national park. What next? Are you planning a trip to Big Ben now, and if you are planning, then which season is attracting you more? We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on exploring the Big Bend National Park. And if you have already visited the park before, we would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below..