Big Bend's habitats range from the Chihuahuan Desert to the Rio Grande to the Chisos Mountains, and all are rich with plants, animals, and stories of human history, giving children plenty of opportunity to explore.
Kids visiting the park enjoy visiting the exhibits and touchable map of the park at the Panther Junction Visitor Center, the Fossil Bone Exhibit area, the Hot Springs, the sand dune in Boquillas Canyon and the mountain lion exhibit at the Chisos Basin Visitor Center.
There are several easy hikes that kids of all ages can go on, including the Window View Trail and the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail. For older children, the Lost Mine Trail provides a good challenge and is an excellent day hike.
Get kids involved in ranger-led programs. These include guided hikes, slide programs, bird walks, and guided explorations of various park features. Check the schedule at any visitor center to make sure you take advantage of all the available programs. Stop by any of the park’s visitor centers for directions or further suggestions.
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.