• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas


Historic Remnant at Castolon
Historic Boiler on Display at Castolon
NPS Photo/Cookie Ballou
1938 postmark from the Castolon post office

1938 postmark from the Castolon post office.

NPS/Big Bend National Park

For most people, the Castolon area is a place to stop on the way to the spectacular Santa Elena Canyon. But for those who take the time, it can be a great place to explore the human history of Big Bend. Castolon is certainly not the only area in the park that is historically significant, but it is perhaps the most intact. A trip to Castolon is, in many ways, a journey back in time, albeit to a time not too long ago. Castolon’s history is really not that “old”—farming and ranching continued in the area until 1961. The Castolon Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Did You Know?

Longhorn in repose

As planning progressed for the new Big Bend National Park in the early 1940s, one prominent proposal called for the development of a dude ranch in the new park. Occupying as much as 200,000 acres, the ranch would have featured longhorn cattle. Objections by biologists helped eliminate the idea. More...