November 17 - 24, 2018
Saturday, November 17
9:30 AM Guided Walk – “Uncovering the Past” Early human inhabitants of Big Bend National Park tend to leave traces of their presence behind. Join Ranger C. Sherbak for a walk and discuss how archaeologists interpret these artifacts and features to uncover a piece of the past. Meet at the Boquillas Canyon Trailhead, 4 miles east of Rio Grande Village, on the Boquillas Canyon Road. Bring water and sun protection. ¾ mile. 1 hour.
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Special Activity Touch Table – “Fossil Exploration” Stop by the Panther Junction Visitor Center front patio anytime during this time frame for a chance to explore a touch table full of interesting and curious Big Bend fossils and activities. This special program is presented in celebration of Big Bend’s selection as the featured park for the 2018 National Fossil Day.
3:00 PM Fossil Program – “Stories in Stone: Fossil Mysteries Revealed” Join Ranger M. Lavender for a special program to learn about fossils, the exhilarating finds in Big Bend National Park, and the importance of preserving the fossil story of Earth’s past. Stay and explore the exhibit on your own after the program. Meet at the Fossil Discovery Exhibit parking lot, 8 miles north of Panther Junction. 1 hour.
7:30 PM Evening Program – “Photographing the Night Sky” Have you ever looked up at an array of stars in the night sky and thought: “I wish I could photograph that and share it with friends”? Join VIP B. Riza to learn some “how to” tricks that make it possible to capture those amazing night sky scenes. Bring your camera – from the simplest point-and-shoot to the top-end brands; tripod; and, if you have them, telephoto lens, cable release, and red-light flashlight. Meet in the Panther Junction Community Room – follow the signs around the east end of the building. Dress to be outside. 1½ hours.
Monday, November 19
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.
Wednesday, November 21
9:30 AM Guided Walk – “This Place is for the Birds!” Big Bend National Park is one of the premier birding spots in the country due to its location and diversity of habitats. Join Ranger J. Duke for a walk around the Rio Grande Village area to identify local birds, get tips on where to find more in the park, and how to “bird” Big Bend. Meet in front of the Rio Grande Village store with binoculars/camera, water, and hat. 1 hour.
7:30 PM Full Moon Hike - “Dark Animal Superpowers” Join Ranger A. Epley as we explore the nocturnal adaptations of some of Big Bend’s night time residents. Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Meet at the Trail Head for the Window View Trail. 45 minutes
Thursday, November 22 HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Enjoy your holiday in the park! All visitor centers will be open during their regular posted hours.
2:00-4:00 PM Solar Viewing - “Sun Fun: Observing Our Nearest Star” Stop by to look at our own Sun through a highly specialized telescope. Join Volunteer B. Riza to view solar flares that explode hundreds of thousands of miles into space, solar prominences that mark the Sun’s surface, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a sunspot or two. Meet outside the Panther Junction Visitor Center.
7:30 PM Evening Program -- “The Wonders of the Night Sky” Big Bend National Park has amazingly dark night skies. Join Volunteer B. Riza for a laser tour of stars and constellations and view some of the most interesting objects in the night sky through telescopes. Meet at the Rio Grande Village Amphitheater. Wheelchair accessible. 1½ hours.
Friday, November 23
2:00-4:00 PM Solar Viewing - “Sun Fun: Observing Our Nearest Star” Stop by to look at our own Sun through a highly specialized telescope. Join Volunteer B. Riza to view solar flares that explode hundreds of thousands of miles into space, solar prominences that mark the Sun’s surface, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a sunspot or two. Meet outside the Chisos Basin Visitor Center.
7:30 PM Evening Program – “Some Endangered Evening” Is it dark where you live? Can you see as many stars as you once could? A dark night sky is an important factor in the lives of living creatures planet-wide, a way for humans to connect to days past, when artificial light was non-existent. Join Ranger B. Smith for an evening about evenings. After the program, Astronomy VIP Brad Riza will set up a telescope for night sky viewing. Meet at the Chisos Basin Amphitheater. Bring a flashlight. Wheelchair accessible. 1 hour.
Saturday, November 24
7:30 PM Evening Program – “Jet Fighters & Hang Gliders: The World of Big Bend’s Raptors” Big Bend is home to a rich diversity of birds, including raptors. Join Ranger M. Lavender for a visual program to learn more about this unique type of bird, how to identify them in the wild, and what makes them so inspirational. After the program, Astronomy VIP Brad Riza will set up a telescope for night sky viewing. Meet at the Chisos Basin Amphitheater. Bring a flashlight. Wheelchair accessible. 1 hour.