Big Bend National Park, TX, USA

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Big Bend National Park, TX, USA

Big Bend National Park vacation rentals

Going round the Bend in southern Texas

Cutting through the Chihuahuan Desert on the border with Mexico, Big Bend National Park is the jewel of Southwest. Sprawling across some 1,200 square miles, it's an outdoor enthusiast's dream destination. Book a Big Bend vacation rental and have over 150 miles of cactus-strewn hiking trails on your doorstep, along with the rocky peaks of the Chisos Mountains and the waters of Rio Grande. See the historic Sam Nail Ranch, the ruins of an old adobe house. After dark, don't miss a chance to gaze at meteors and stars from the McDonald Observatory, it's simply magical.

Go big or go home - Big Bend's booming hiking and biking scene

Roughly the size of Rhode Island, the Southwest's Big Bend National Park is a popular destination for the active set. Book a Big Bend National Park vacation rental and have dozens of rugged hiking trails and biking tracks for every level of expertise right on your dusty doorstep. If you prefer a damper experience, rent a kayak or join a whitewater rafting excursion down the Rio Grande, the river between Mexico and the US. After an active day, head back to the ranch and kick back with a cool beer and watch the sun set over Big Bend National Park.

Big Bend nails it when it comes to ranching history

Just off the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive are the ruins of the Sam Nail Ranch. Dating back to the early 1900s, this old adobe house has a haunted appeal, although there is little left of the rancher's home bar walls and an old windmill. Another big draw to Big Bend National Park is the Castolon Historic District. This former small desert community is on the way to Santa Elena Canyon. It has a visitor center with some curious exhibits depicting life on the frontier. Or you could just grab some ice cream or a drink at La Harmonia General Store.

Bending the rules in Southwest Texas

Big Bend National Park is a year-round destination. The busiest time to visit is during spring and fall, when milder temperatures draw the crowds and Big Bend vacation rentals can get booked up in advance. It's not afraid to rain, however, so pack an umbrella. The quietest time is during the summer months, when blazing temperatures regularly smash the 100 degree mark. Winter is another great time to visit, but pack well, because when the mercury drops in the desert there's a chance of frost and even snow.

Big Bend is heaven for hikers, bikers, and hairy javelinas

Big Bend National Park sprawls between the southwest plains of Texas and the border of Mexico. The nearest big town is Presidio, on its western flanks. Although big (it's over 1,200 square miles) you can manage to see a lot in 2 or 3 days. One of the more popular trails is the Chisos Mountains hike, a 5-mile trek which climbs to 1,000 ft and has incredible views over the Sierra del Carmen. Another big draw is its natural wildlife. It's home to black bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes, as well as the hairy pig-like javelinas.