Big Bend National Park is located at the northern end of the Chihuahuan desert. Since most of the Chihuahuan desert is located in Mexico, Big Bend represents the largest protected portion of the Chihuahuan desert in the United States.
In Big Bend you will find the desert to be the largest ecosystem in the park. Typical animals found in the desert are javelinas, roadrunners, jackrabbits, millipedes, and mule deer. The most familiar desert plants in the Chihuahuan desert are lechuguilla, sotol, numerous species of cactus, mesquite, and yuccas.
The Chihuahuan desert is the wettest of the four North American deserts, though we rarely receive more than 10 inches of rainfall. The rainy season in the desert is usually from mid-July through late September. Though we call this the rainy season, there are places in this desert environment that may not receive a drop.
Did You Know?
From the 1930s until the mid-1960s, Santa Elena Canyon was formally known as "Santa Helena Canyon." The National Park Service dropped the H from the name to assist english-speaking visitors in pronouncing the Spanish language name of the canyon.