Rio Grande Village Nature Trail

A view looking out over a wetland pond, the Rio Grande, and the Chisos Mountains in the distance.
View over the boardwalk and Rio Grande


Quick Facts
By campsite #18 in the Rio Grande Village Campground

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trailhead, Wheelchair Accessible

Trail Information 

Roundtrip Distance: 0.75 mile (1.2 km) loop
Elevation Change: 200 feet (61 m)
Average hiking time: 30 minutes

Dogs and other pets are not allowed on any trails in the park.

This trail is a fantastic place for birdwatchers and photographers. The first part of the trail is a boardwalk over a small pond that showcases riparian plants and animals. The trail proceeds up and around a small ridge that has a 360-degree view of the Rio Grande, the Sierra del Carmens in Mexico, and the Chisos Mountains in the park.

This trail is great for first time as well as seasoned visitors. The mornings are alive with birdsong and animal life, and the late evenings showcase the colors of a typical Big Bend sunset. 


This trail begins from the back end of the campground. A level path leads to a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk that crosses a wetland area. The trail then becomes dirt and gravel and climbs to the top of, and back down, a small hill with the aid of wooden logs for steps. 
There are two small pullouts at the back end of the campground which provide parking for about four cars. 

Hike Smart

Bring plenty of water!
Carry 1 liter of water per person per hour that you plan to hike. The importance of carrying enough water in this hot, dry climate cannot be overstated!

Your body needs food for energy and salts and electrolytes to replace what it's losing from perspiration. The dry climate at Big Bend means that sweat often evaporates almost instantly; your body is likely losing lots of moisture and salts without you even realizing it. Eat plenty of salty snacks to keep your body's salt-to-water ratio in balance.

Sun protection
Carry sunscreen and use it liberally. Hats are also strongly recommended. It may seem strange to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants in hot weather, but many hikers choose lightweight, breathable clothing which covers their arms and legs to protect themselves from the sun. 

Don't leave people behind
If you're hiking in a group, make sure the person in the back always has someone to help.

Be aware of wildlife
Keep an eye out for snakes, and remember to maintain a safe distance between yourself and all wildlife. Animals in the park are wild and should never be approached, harassed or fed.

Don't stack rocks
Cairns are stacks of rocks which are sometimes used to mark trails in areas where they are hard to follow. Randomly stacked rocks can lure hikers off the correct trail. 

Big Bend National Park, Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River

Last updated: April 5, 2021