• Flying artillery crew in action.

    Palo Alto Battlefield

    National Historical Park Texas

Things To Do

Palo Alto's Visitor Center

A view of Palo Alto's Visitor Center.

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (Public Domain)

Visitor center & exhibits

The visitor center offers a 15-minute video entitled "War on the Rio Grande." This historical overview is available in English and Spanish. The exhibit area features interactive exhibits, artifact displays, and examples of Mexican War era military uniforms.

The visitor center also features a Western National Parks Association sales outlet offering over 100 book titles and specialty items. The titles and items cover array of interests including the Mexican War, local and regional nature and points of interest, and children's items.

Battlefield trail

Battlefield trail

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (Public Domain)

Trails

From the visitor center, a half mile trail leads you to an overlook of the battlefield. Along the way, you will find interpretive wayside panels and replica cannon.

Two additional trails lead out to the U.S. and Mexican battle lines. The battlefield and overlook can also be accessed via an auxiliary road and parking area. All trails and parking lots are handicap accessible.

The park is also the starting point for the Brownsville Historic Battlefield Hike and Bike Trail. The trail is over 8 miles long and passes just west of the Resaca de la Palma Battlefield. It ends at Linear Park in the heart of the Mitte Cultural District, close to downtown Brownsville.

 
Living history program

Living historians in action

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (public domain)

Special events & programs

Living History

The park's special event and program season kicks off in September with Living History programs. These programs are held once a month from September through May, usually on the first Saturday of the month. Living History programs are dependent upon weather so check with the park for the most up to date information.

For more about the program, check out our Living History page.

 
Memorial Illumination

Annual Memorial Illumination at Resaca de la Palma Battlefield

Erick R. Tripp

Memorial Illumination

This event is held annually in November at the Resaca de la Palma Battlefield. Visitors can experience and participate in the lighting of 8,000 candles to honor U.S. and Mexican veterans of 1846 battles near the Rio Grande. Candle lighting begins at sunset.

The date of the event varies from year to year so check our calendar for the most up to date information.

Archeology Fair
This event is held annually in October. It is a day filled with hands-on learning about the archeology and history of the Rio Grande delta. The date of the event varies from year to year so check our calendar for the most up to date information. Or download a copy of program schedule. (PDF 0.98 MB)
 
Volunteer giving a talk before a tour

Volunteer giving a talk before a tour

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (Public Domain)

Activities
Guided tours
Palo Alto schedules numerous guided tours of the park from December 1st to April 1st. Walk U.S.-Mexican War sites with a Ranger or park volunteer and learn extra details about the causes of the war, why a battles occurred here, and how the clashes developed. Visit our special events and programs page for more info. Or download a copy of our program schedule (PDF 0.98 MB)

At any time of the year non-scheduled tours can be arranged for groups of 8 or greater. Call at least 10 days ahead of time to inquire about a non-scheduled tour. For more information about guided tours call the front desk at 956-541-2785 x333

Self-guided tour
A self-guided tour is a great way to explore the park. Don't forget to pick up a trail map at the Visitor Center desk.

Cell phone tour
Retrace the path General Zachary Taylor's Army followed in 1846 from the convenience of your cell phone. Call (956) 847-3002 to begin the tour or visit the tour's mobile web.
 
Birding at Palo Alto

Birding at Palo Alto

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (public domain)

Nature watching

Palo Alto is not just an important historical site; it's also a popular spot for nature watching. Every year flocks of visitors come to the park to catch a glimpse of Monarch butterflies or Aplomado Falcons.

So as you tour the site, keep your binoculars handy and take in the sights and sounds of Palo Alto Battlefield.

Did You Know?