Big Bend Natural History Association

***Self-Guided Trip Planning

It's Fall in Big Bend!. Temperatures are variable but rarely exceed 90 in the low desert in November. Recent rains have leafed out the ocotillos and sparked a moderately impressive fall wildflower season. Visitation is matching or exceeding previous records, so the most important skill for a Big Bend trip around Thanksgiving is flexibility. Be prepared with a plan for each section of the park, so if it's crowded, you're ready to go see something fabulous where the crowds aren't!

Planning ahead is crucial to a safe trip. In addition to one or more of the following guidebooks, we highly recommend consulting the park's main website frequently for important safety updates. Remember that there is no longer any first-come, first-served camping; see the park website for information on how to reserve a campsite before you arrive.

The restaurant at the Chisos Mountains Lodge is open normal hours most days, including breakfast service, although there may be closures on short notice due to building repair needs. Call or stop by the Chisos Mountains Lodge offices to find out plans for the days of your visit.

The Chisos Basin Campground has reopened, but bear activity continues to be a little higher than normal. Please ask a Ranger how to "be bear-aware." While most bear activity is currently concentrated in the mountains, in this unusually dry year they have been seen seeking food throughout the park. Be extremely careful with food storage and trash disposal to avoid teaching bears to associate humans with food rewards.

Chisos Mountains Trails Map 2020

Chisos Mountains Trails Map 2020

Revised in 2019 and in full color, this handy map includes a new inset map of the Chisos Basin Trailhead and developed area as well as descriptions...
$1.39
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Hiker's Guide 2021

Hiker's Guide 2021

Significantly revised, the 2021 edition is filled with full-color photographs and is a large format 8.5" x 11" for readability. The...
$4.95
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2019 Trails Illustrated Map: Big Bend National Park

2019 Trails Illustrated Map: Big Bend National Park

• Waterproof • Tear-Resistant • Topographic Map The largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert, Big Bend National Park is a...
$14.95
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Backcountry Road Guide

Backcountry Road Guide

Thoroughly revised mile by mile, this new edition of the Road Guide to Backcountry Roads of Big Bend National Park now includes GPS coordinates as...
$4.95
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Desert Hiking Tips: Expert Advice on Hiking and Driving

Desert Hiking Tips: Expert Advice on Hiking and Driving

  This pocket-size book might be a life-saver—or at least a time- and embarrassment-saver! Veteran outdoorsman Bruce Grubbs provides the...
$10.95
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River Guide to the Rio Grande: Colorado and Santa Elena Canyons

River Guide to the Rio Grande: Colorado and Santa Elena Canyons

This guide covers from Tapado Canyon to the Santa Elena Canyon takeout and includes Colorado Canyon and Santa Elena Canyon. A newly revised version...
$14.95
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River Guide to the Rio Grande: Mariscal and Boquillas Canyons

River Guide to the Rio Grande: Mariscal and Boquillas Canyons

Newly revised version of the classic guide, with updated text and new full color maps and photos. Includes the “Great Unknown.” 20...
$15.95
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Hiking Big Bend National Park 4th Edition

Hiking Big Bend National Park 4th Edition

By Laurence Parent. Hiking Big Bend National Park features 52 of the finest trails in Texas - from short day hikes to backcountry treks. With this...
$22.95
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Big Bend Vistas: A Geological Exploration of the Big Bend

Big Bend Vistas: A Geological Exploration of the Big Bend

Big Bend Vistas: A Geological Exploration of the Big Bend by William MacLeod takes you along the highways and park roads in Big Bend National Park...
$24.95
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Great Walks of Big Bend

Great Walks of Big Bend

Note: The Chisos Mountains walks in this guide are NOT affected by the spring-summer 2021 wildfire closures. All of them remain open as of May 2021....
$8.95
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