Spring and fall are the best times to visit Big Bend National Park. This is when the weather most allows you to revel in over 800,000 acres of natural geological and biological wonders.
Big Bend National Park is located 300 miles east of El Paso, TX, and is among the largest national parks in the United States. The park is home to hundreds of wildlife species and offers hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, and river rafting in addition to some of the best desert landscapes around.
In recent years, the park has become motorcycle-friendly but still does not allow any non-street legal vehicles in the park. Whether you travel by motorcycle, RV, or car you can expect an almost other-worldly outdoor experience.
The best times of year to travel to Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park makes good on its offer of “splendid isolation” and is a great outdoor getaway for camping enthusiasts. The park spans over 1250 square miles, with a variety of campgrounds and back-country exploration.
The park is open year-round, and camping in Big Bend is possible even in the winter. Though, you will need to wear layers—daytime highs are in the 60s but below temperatures are freezing at night.
If you are yearning to commune with nature, the park offers diverse landscapes and species, as evidenced by its sea fossils, dinosaur bones, and volcanic dikes. The desert has been described as alien, with nights perfect for stargazing.
The weather: Daytime temps in the high 80s and nights only cooling to the high 60s, with high humidity and increased chance of rain.
For the most part, Big Bend offers the same activities and amenities year round—you just may enjoy them less in the summer. The park will be even less crowded, though, and as long as you stay hydrated you can still have a great time.
Summer is also the best time for rafting in Big Bend—the water levels are a little higher, and the cool water is a great way to offset the heat. The park will cool down at night, making it a great time for after-hours activities like star-gazing and gathering around the campfire.
Plan to bring double the water you think you’ll need, sunglasses, and hot weather camping gear.
There are plenty of inexpensive places to stay in neighboring towns, so you might stay in an air-conditioned hotel and explore the park from the comfort of your car—getting out to check out sites like the
to hiking the canyon, fall is a great time to visit Big Bend National Park.
The summer heat is starting to abate, and the park is less crowded than it is in the spring. You will have a bit more cloud cover—which may be a good thing—but the park’s animal inhabitants may be less active.
The cheapest time to travel to Big Bend National Park
No matter the time of year, the major cost of a trip to Big Bend is the travel expense. Whether you drive or fly, getting there will be the biggest financial investment of the trip.
Entry to the park is $15 per individual, $25 per motorcycle, or $30 per vehicle (up to 15 passengers) for a 7-day pass. If you plan to camp, you will need to make a reservation, and get a
Front country camping spots will run you $16 per night, and backcountry spots are $10. All camping permits are limited to 14 days.
If you are planning to stay in hotel accommodations instead of camping, you will find the cheapest rates in January. But in general, Big Bend hotels range from $58 to $263 per night, while most vacation rentals will cost $190 to $400 per night for the entire home.
There are typically five days a year that the camp offers free admission, so if you are looking to save every penny, check the
Find the best month for your visit to Big Bend National park
Big Bend National Park offers the same amenities and activities year-round, so the best month to visit is a bit of a moving target. Because the park can be affordable all year, the main determiners are usually heat and which activities you are most excited about.
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In a word, yes. If you enjoy the outdoors, that is. Big Bend is called Texas’ gift to the nation for its wildlife, culture and history, and abundance of outdoor activity, from hiking and biking to soaking in the relaxing hot springs.
When is the worst time to visit Big Bend National Park?
If you want to feel like you have the place to yourself, spring is the worst time to visit, as that is when the park is the busiest. It may be difficult to reserve camping spots and other lodgings. If you want to enjoy the park at its most comfortable, avoid visiting in the summer.