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“Spring in Big Bend”

Big Bend National Park
Ranked #1 of 22 things to do in Alpine
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 11 April 2014

We went in April hoping to see a profusion of wildflowers. It has been so dry that there was not a profusion, but still there were many lovely flowers in bloom. Big Bend also offers a wide range of interesting and scenic hiking trails. The mountain vistas are spectacular, although apparently they are frequently obscured by pollution from distant cities & industries.
Still worth a visit.

Thank kschwerin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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668 - 672 of 792 reviews

Reviewed 9 April 2014

We have been to Big Bend many times. You definitely need to plan ahead. It is really better if you stay in the Chisos Basin which we have done several times. This time we stayed in Alpine. If you stay in the basin, you can plan your days to include different drives each day. Both lodging and camping sites are limited so you must plan early if you wish to stay in the park. This year we were to see the ocotillos in bloom -- that was a first for us!! We recommend this trip to our friends. It is just wonderful.

Thank RoseSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

It is a long way from anywhere, but well worth the visit. Rugged desert scenery, with several cacti and other plants in flower in March and April. Check out the canyons and the Chisos mountains

Thank philhhh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2014

Big Bend is remote, but worth the trip. There are some beautiful hiking and driving routes. We went across the border in Bouqillas (not sure of the spelling, but that's close) Mexico which was fun. There are not a lot of services in the area, so you need to plan ahead in the high season which we were told is January through March/April.

1  Thank Dale L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 March 2014

Big Bend National Park

When we decided to visit this park, I was a bit nervous....three young kids and the border of Mexico, I had my reservations. With all you hear in the news, I wasn't sure this would be safe. In hindsight, my worries were completely unfounded. The park is perfectly safe and breathtaking. It was so worth the trip.
To put all this information in perspective, we are a family of five (3 boys: 12, 9 & 7), we are active but not rugged outdoorsman. I am a chicken about bears, mountain lions, snakes and danger in general....really. My kids and husband are not at all, so we are a mix of brave disregard and paranoia, making our tolerance for risky behavior about a 5 on a scale of 10. Here are the highlights of what my 12 year old says was "the best spring break ever" (he isn't a hermit crab, we have been lots of places):
The Window- a great hike in the Chisos mountains (3.8 miles round trip from the campground) with a view worth the hike. There are some rugged parts toward the end but nothing my 7 year old couldn't manage.
Santa Elena Canyon- a very short hike with some steep drop offs but not really scary. This is the "bend" in Big Bend, it's where the Rio Grande takes a drastic turn amidst amazing canyon walls....the combination of steep rugged cliffs, the Rio Grande and the awareness that you are standing between two countries is breathtaking and makes you realize how small we each are in this great big world of geographic wonders! If you choose to forgo the short hike (although you really should hike in if you are able), you can walk down to the beach and see a portion of the bend.
Rio Grande Village & the hot springs- this is another short hike on the opposite end of the park from Santa Elena. The terrain is hot with the cliffs right beside you making the sun feel less forgiving even though it is more green than other areas. A short walk leads you to a hot spring that looks like a resort destination. The springs keep the small pool at about 105 degrees. We decided to walk a bit past the hot springs to swim in the river. Ok, the national park books warn not to swim in the river due to currents and disease but despite my fears, my husband and kids jumped in with the other visitors. Many visitors have been coming to the park for years and swimming in the river. The best part, according to my kids, was the short swim to the Mexico side. Crazy, I know. If you would have asked me a week ago, I would have said there is no way we would have done that. Easing my mind was the park ranger talking to swimmers and kayakers with no concern over our swim in the river. A soak in the hot tub is supposedly healing and while we were initially alone in the hot tub, we were quickly joined by more visitors. This was the boys favorite stop of the trip and we spent a good deal of time here.
The park is remote but not at all isolated, we had hikers on every trail. The park has apex 300,000 visitors a year so no matter where you go, you see someone but we also were on popular trails. You do see a few Mexican residents by the river and they do leave products for you to buy, if you choose (you are not supposed to).
Overall, this park was a wonderful adventure and our favorite national park so far!

4  Thank Lisa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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