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a ranger leading a program
Join a ranger and learn the stories of Big Bend!

Guided Ranger Programs

Big Bend interpretive rangers provide a variety of fun, informative, and free ranger-guided activities. Join us for a guided hike, patio talk, or engaging evening program and discover the many "stories behind the scenery" of YOUR national park.

September 15 - 29, 2018
Saturday, September 15
9:30 AM Guided Walk – “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” Work got you stressed? Have elevated blood pressure? Looking to shed that extra pound? Join Ranger J. Jurado for a look at why some doctors are prescribing parks to patients, and how a visit to Big Bend can make you physically and emotionally healthier. Meet at the Chisos Basin Trailhead. Bring water and wear hiking shoes. 1 mile walk. 1 hour.

Sunday, September 16
9:30 AM Guided Walk – “Nature All Around Us” Many of us see our vacations as an escape to nature without realizing how we use the natural world every day. Plants play a vital role not just in national parks, but in our everyday dealings too. Join Ranger T. Coe to learn about some of the ways Big Bend’s plants have been used by ancient park inhabitants, and how we still use them today. Meet at the Panther Junction Visitor Center patio. Easy walk on the Panther Path. 45 minutes.

Friday, September 21
9:30 AM Guided Walk – “Treasure of the Chisos” The Chisos Mountains provide sanctuary to many plants and animals found nowhere else. Join Ranger T. VandenBerg to discover what makes these mountains special. Meet at the Lost Mine Trailhead. Bring water, a hat, and good walking shoes. 1.5 miles. 1½ hours.

Saturday, September 22 – National Public Lands Day
8:00 AM Volunteer Service Project – “Panther Path Trail Work” Interested in helping your national park with a project? You can help Big Bend National Park staff remove rocks and plant debris along Panther Path. Tools, work shirts, and gloves will be provided. Meet in front of the Panther Junction Visitor Center. Volunteers should wear work clothing and closed-toed shoes, be prepared for outdoor conditions, and bring a refillable water bottle and snacks. A pizza lunch will be provided for participants at 12 pm.

Sunday, September 23
9:30 AM Patio Program - “Who Built the Big Bend?” In 1934, a company of young men took up residence in the remote Chisos Mountains. With only a pick axe, a shovel, and a dump truck they began to build a park that now receives 400,00 guests a year. Who were these young men and what brought them here? Join Ranger T. Coe to learn about the Civilian Conservation Corps and how they helped make Big Bend a national park. Meet at the patio outside the Chisos Mountains Lodge. Wheelchair accessible. 30 minutes.

Tuesday, September 25
9:30 AM Guided Walk – “Fire: Friend or Foe?” For years fire suppression was park policy, but now the National Parks start their own fires. Join Ranger J. Jurado for a look at wildfire in Big Bend. Meet at the Chisos Basin trailhead. 1/3 mile. 45 minutes.

Thursday, September 27 – Special Program
3 PM Talk – “Water Restoration Efforts at Dugout Wells” Dugout Wells has been a water oasis in the desert for plants, animals, and humans. Join David Larson, Chief of Science and Resource Management, park staff, and board members of the Big Bend Conservancy to learn about strategies to restore these important desert springs. Meet at Dugout Wells. Bring water, a hat, and good walking shoes. 1 hour.

Friday, September 28 – Special Programs and Activities
Join park staff and board members of the Big Bend Conservancy to celebrate two important anniversaries: 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and 40th Anniversary of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River. The celebration will include free cookies, cake and punch provided by Forever Resorts, LLC. The following programs and activities will take place at the Rio Grande Village Visitor Center:
3 PM Talk – “Saving the River” Join faculty and students from Sul Ross University to learn about efforts to protect the health of the Rio Grande. Watch a demonstration of equipment used to document invasive species that threaten the river.
4:30 PM – “The World of Birds” Learn about the park’s efforts to improve Common Black-hawk nesting habitat, the planned improvements to visitor center exhibits, and take a short birding walk with park staff.

8:30 PM – “The Night Skies of Big Bend” Join Ranger T. Coe and a team of local astronomers to view the wonders of Big Bend’s dark night skies. Enjoy a constellation tour followed by telescope viewing. Meet in the Panther Junction Visitor Center parking lot. Bring a flashlight, lawn chair, and jacket. An indoor program will be conducted in the event of inclement weather. 1½ hours.

Last updated: September 24, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129


(432) 477-2251

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