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Old 10-11-2011, 10:02 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
10,745 posts, read 23,804,636 times
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So, Big Bend National Park...have you been? If not, do you have a desire to go? It looks interesting, particularly the canyons and the desert vegatation that grows there after a good rain storm. Is it worth the drive to get there? It's a long drive from anywhere, even a long haul from El Paso. What's the best time of year to see it? I'd be glad to hear feedback on some people's experience in the park.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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I have not been in years, but it is well worth the trip, at least if you are planning to stay for a little while - too long a drive to consider it a 'weekend' trip.

But between hiking Chisos Basin and rafting or canoeing the Rio Grand through the canyons, it is a great trip. We always went in the spring - I think that is when the water is best due to snow melt. If you want to canoe instead of raft, I think there are more options.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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I went to Big Bend for a week of camping 20 years ago in the spring. It is a LOOOONG drive (from Houston) but worth it. We did lots of hiking plus a guided tour on horses and we took a little raft across the Rio Grande and spent the afternoon in Boquillas, Mexico. I don't know if you can still go into Mexico anymore as it was not an official border crossing, but that was fun. We camped in tents and it gets very cold at night but it's beautiful to wake up to the park. I plan to take my daughter there when she's a little older.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
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From late September to early April is the best time. Temps can already be hitting 100+F in April along the Rio Grande. And will still be in the 90s mid-day in September.

November 3-5, 2011 there is this annual event:

Please join us as we celebrate this 45th annual 2011 Original Terlingua International Frank X. Tolbert - Wick Fowler Championship Chili Cookoff!

While this event abuts the actual park boundary, it does bring a flock of people to the area at that time. Accommodations are virtually impossible to find and campouts are the answer if you have an RV or camping gear.

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Old 10-11-2011, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Where I live.
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The Big Bend area is my favorite, and I try to go back every so often. As Joqua said, late September (I'd go so far as to say mid-October) through early April is the best time to visit and plan your camping/hikes/whatever.
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Metromess
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It gets hot early in the year and stays hot until late in the year. I know this from personal experience! It isn't that way in Alpine/Marfa/Fort Davis. But it is spellbinding in Big Bend Nat'l Park.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
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Big Bend is a MUST DO in Texas!
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
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Something I learned this weekend...you can take the Amtrak Sunset limited train to Alpine from Houston, San Antonio or El Paso (you can also connect from DFW) and from there rent a car and drive a little over an hour from Alpine to Big Bend. We are going to do it in February....it would take us 10 hours driving from Houston...on the train we can just kick back and relax and only drive a little bit once we get to Alpine.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:17 AM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
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Best time is late October thru late February.. after all it is West Texas and a desert. I visited in 1980 or 81 and made the mistake of going in the summer. Oh boy was it hot... even at night.. The only solace was the Chisos basin camp area which is about 7000 ft and was actually cool. We also took an off road excursion (I had a 4x4 vehicle) and that was a lot of fun. Camped out in the middle of the desert probably 40 to 50 miles off the highway. We stayed one night at the Rio Grande Village in a tent. It was so hot at night (probably close to 100 degrees) that we took the cots out of tent. We were then invaded by bats that would fly so close to us it was frightening. That I will never forget.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Where I live.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gguerra View Post
Best time is late October thru late February.. after all it is West Texas and a desert. I visited in 1980 or 81 and made the mistake of going in the summer. Oh boy was it hot... even at night.. The only solace was the Chisos basin camp area which is about 7000 ft and was actually cool. We also took an off road excursion (I had a 4x4 vehicle) and that was a lot of fun. Camped out in the middle of the desert probably 40 to 50 miles off the highway. We stayed one night at the Rio Grande Village in a tent. It was so hot at night (probably close to 100 degrees) that we took the cots out of tent. We were then invaded by bats that would fly so close to us it was frightening. That I will never forget.
The elevation of Chisos Mts Basin is 5400 ft.....

Big Bend National Park - The Chisos Basin Area (U.S. National Park Service)

Yep, you only go down there in the summer once, LOL!! I have found March and April to be nice there, though.
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