Big Bend National Park was authorized by Congress in 1935 to preserve and protect a representative area of the Chihuahuan Desert along the Rio Grande for the beneﬁt and enjoyment of present and future generations. The park includes rich biological and geological diversity, cultural history, recreational resources, and outstanding opportunities for bi-national protection of our shared natural and cultural heritage.
Park Establishment and DesignationsIn 1933, Texas established Texas Canyons State Park using 15 school sections owned by the state. Lands forfeited for non payment of taxes were quickly added and the name was changed to Big Bend State Park, and by October 1933 included about 160,000 acres. On June 20, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill that authorized the establishment of Big Bend National Park. On June 6, 1944 a deed for about 700,000 acres was formally presented to President Roosevelt. On June 12, 1944, Big Bend was established as a national park by Congressional Act signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976.
Once a relatively unknown National Park, Big Bend has been discovered, and visitation has increased significantly in recent years:
Big Bend NP Annual Visitation:
Last updated: January 12, 2022