Extreme Water Shortage
Extreme water shortage throughout park. Visitors are limited to 5 gallons per day, and are encouraged to conserve further when possible. Please consider bringing your own water to the park.
Through the Year
Relative humidity is usually low. The rainy season extends from mid-June to October with locally heavy thunderstorms and some flash flooding. However, the water recedes rapidly and the rainy season can be a delightful time to visit the desert. Fall and spring are usually warm and pleasant. Summers are hot, although temperatures vary greatly between the desert floor and the Chisos Mountains; May and June are the hottest months. Afternoon and evening rains often cool the desert from July to October. Winters are generally mild, although periods of cold weather (including light snow) are possible. Winter visitors must prepare for a variety of conditions.
Elevation is Everything
Air temperature changes by five degrees for every 1,000 feet of elevation you gain or lose; temperatures in the high Chisos Mountains can be 20+ degrees cooler than temperatures along the Rio Grande. Prepare for this kind of variation during your trip.
Dress for the WeatherA wide-brimmed hat, comfortable clothing, and sturdy walking shoes or boots are necessary for anyone planning to hike. Sunscreen is a must. Hikers must always carry plenty of water. One gallon per person per day is recommended.
The table below is based on average temperatures at the Panther Junction park headquarters. Temperatures in the higher mountain areas vary about 5–10 degrees below those shown, while temperatures along the Rio Grande can be 5–10 degrees higher. Sunshine is abundant most of the year. Infrequent and brief periods of cloudy weather may occur during the winter months. While snow is rare and generally light, occasional cold fronts can bring temperatures well below freezing.
Did You Know?
Extirpated by hunting in the 1930s, the black bear returned naturally to Big Bend National Park in the late 1980s. Today the Chisos Mountains are home to a population of 12-15 black bear. More...