Our First Family Visit to Big Bend National Park

In honor of the National Park Service’s 100th Birthday,

I’m sharing about our trip to Big Bend National Park!

¡Feliz Cumple, NPS! 
Big Bend National Park 2015 - Que Means What

In 2015, my husband and I chose to make exploring the outdoors a priority for our family. Last Spring, we made a change in our family vacation spot and chose to visit Big Bend National Park! The anticipation built up as I planned our days and envisioned where we would hike and the natural wonders we would see. This would be our first big outdoor adventure as a family!

Big Bend National Park Entrance

Big Bend is like Texas’ big secret of national parks. Since I heard of it, I had always imagined deserts as far as the eye could see. I, along with my family, was pleasantly surprised to see the enchanting Chisos Mountains centered in the park.

Hiking at Big Bend National Park

We spent most of our time exploring the park either by foot or by car. Since it would be our first mountain hiking experience, we chose to hike the easy-to-moderate trails like Window Trail and Burro Mesa Pouroff Trail. I wanted mis chiquitos to enjoy hiking so I didn’t want to tire them out too much. Being mindful of one’s ability level is key to making a hike enjoyable. If you are up for the challenge, there are strenuous hiking trails like Emory Peak and Lost Mine Trail. Or if backpacking through remote areas of the park if your preference, you can do that too.

Shadows at Big Bend National Park

Hiking at Big Bend National Park - Que Means What

Big Bend also has some amazing scenic drive trails like the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. It took us all the way down to Santa Elena Canyon at the Mexican border. Plus, the Castolon Visitor Center is a great stop to discover more about the human history of the park. (However, it is closed during the summer but we stopped anyway and it was worth the history lesson.)

Santa Elena Canyon at Big Bend National Park - Que Means What

Big Bend National Park - Que Means What

Big Bend National Park

One of the unexpected surprises on this adventure was that we fell in love with the diverse plant life in Big Bend National Park. There are over 1,000 species of plants are found within the park.

Plants at Big Bend National Park

Cactus at Big Bend National Park

Ocotillo in Big Bend National Park - Que Means What

Nothing was as amazing as the sunset through ‘the Window’. We stayed at the Chisos Mountian Lodge and this was our view each night. Breathtaking.

Window Peak at Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is one of the most beautiful places to create family memories. I had seen the pictures but I never could imagine the beauty that lies within my own home state of Texas. The prayer in my heart is that my boys will remember how beautiful this place is and will desire to return and take care of not just this park but all the national parks.

Where is your favorite national park to visit?

 


To plan your visit to Big Bend National Park, visit National Park Website. To follow along America’s favorite parks on social media, follow the hashtags #FindYourPark and #EncuentraTuParque.

Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Original content creator for ¿Qué Means What? Texas Latina mom blogger celebrating culture in education, entertainment and family life.

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2 Responses

  1. I absolutely fell in Love with Big Bend! Thank you for sharing and continue inspiring us all to head outdoors any chance we get!

  2. Lisa Pietsch says:

    We’ve started exploring National Parks as a family with annual RV trips. I’m so looking forward to going to Big Bend National Park!

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