National Parks in Texas you can add to your bucket list

Big Bend National Park Sunset

Do you know Texas has two national parks? Yes, Texas has two of those and who does not love national park adventure, right? Though there are 16 national park service units in Texas, still the number of national parks is two: Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe National Park. Generally, whenever I visit to any place, I try to include national parks in my plan if possible. As a result, I had the opportunity to visit these two national parks in Texas.

Big Bend National Park

Being the largest national park in Texas, Big Bend National Park is located near to the USA-Mexico border on the large bend in the Rio Grande River. The entire Chisos mountain range and a large portion of the Chihauhuan desert are included in this national park. From dry desert land to deeply carved river canyons to mountains towering over with a window, everything about this national park is spectacular. This area is perfect for the hikers, campers, and nature lovers. You can explore as much as you want. Go for a hike, or bike along the rough terrain, or simply drive in the park. This park has more than 150 miles of trails and hike in the desert. Lost mine trail (4.8 mile out and back), Emory peak trail (10 mile out and back), south rim loop trail (12.6) are the few well known trail for day hike. There are few other small hikes such as window trail, Santa Elena canyon, balanced rock, tuff canyon, hot springs trail, etc. in the park. You can even go for a dip in the hot spring or a quick dip in the river. But be cautious about the flow of the river. There are a few dirt roads and scenic drive which will let you see the beautiful vast landscape of Big Bend while staying inside the car. There are plenty of things to do, plenty of places to enjoy. The vast ecosystem in this park is really amazing. This park is home for more than 450 species of birds, 75 species of mammals, 56 species of retiles and 11 species of amphibians. Wildlife such as deer, mountain lions, javelinas, coyotes and black bear can be seen here. if you are a night sky lover like me, this is your place. Big Bend is famous for its night sky which is light pollution free. You will be amazed to see how many stars are visible here in naked eyes. To me, it’s really a special experience and the milky way is much more amazing, much clearer here in the park. Imagine camping under the sky full of starts, its magical, right There are several campgrounds with full service and lodging inside the park. You can choose whichever is suitable for you. Also, you can go for a boat ride to the Rio Grande wild and scenic river. Rio Grande river provides the opportunity to raft, kayak, canoeing for the visitors. You may include a little detour to Mexico in your trip. In that case, please bring all the legal documents necessary.
Amazing view at Big Bend National Park
  • Activity: hiking, biking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, boat tours.
  • Best time to explore: spring, winter
  • Entry fee: required. Free if you have national park pass.

Guadalupe National Park

The main feature of this national park is the highest point of Texas (at 8751 ft). The easily accessible developed trail has made quite easy to reach the summit and ‘conquer’ the high point of Texas. Not only one, but also this park has four highest peaks of Texas. That’s why this national park is quite famous among the hikers and mountaineers. This national park protects the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef that reveals that this year had been underwater for five million years.
Guadalupe National Park

As because of the location of the park, you will be able to enjoy a quiet hike with a view. The stunning vistas throughout the park has made it an ideal place for the hikers. There are over 80 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate to strenuous in intensity withing the park. Some of those, are easily accessible. Horseback riding is allowed in half of those trails. Like Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is also famous for its night sky and milky way sightings. Specially if you are camping in the backcountry, you have a whole night to stargaze and enjoy the magical view. This national park is also well known for the fall colors which can be seen from mid-October through mid-November. You can check out the Park’s fall color updates to plan your visit. Though this national park has a beautiful ecosystem, but the park does not have any road throughout. This may be one of the reasons why very less people visit this park every year. Which means you can enjoy the wilderness all by yourselves for most part if you are hiking.

  • Activity: hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping
  • Best time to explore: fall, winter
  • Entry fee: required. Free if you have national park pass.


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I am a Civil Engineer by profession, a photographer by passion. Though currently I am residing in Louisiana, but the definition of home to me is quite different. I am originally from Bangladesh, a very small beautiful Asian country where I finished my bachelor’s degree and came to USA for higher studies. During my PhD year whenever I can, I used to travel. But one thing that changed my whole travel experience and how I see the world is taking pictures. Photography is a more powerful tool than one can imagine. hen you become a photographer, you see things that are not seen by others, you long to see places that may require a very long walk. Hiking, Camping became a part of travel plan since then and I appreciate more about life and nature now. I would like to share my experience and my vision with everyone in the form of a blog. I love what I do and really love to think that my work will bring joy and smile for others too. I think every picture tells a story. We just need to explore to find out the real story behind any picture. I will post the travel blogs where me, along with my wife will be sharing our travel stories, how we manage to travel cheap and how to cope with different things while traveling. We want to keep it simple because I know a thousand of people want to do the same thing but don’t know how. The main idea is to keep an open mind while traveling and accept whatever comes on the way.

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