Big Bend Ranch State Park

Brave the Cold(ish) Waters at a New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge

December 28, 2023 | By Omar L. Gallaga

Sometime after 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Mayor Greg Bisso of Surfside Beach is going to be cold and wet—on purpose.

The Story of Christmas Comes to Life at Fort Leaton’s Posada

December 13, 2023 | By Melissa Gaskill

The Texas State Parks system marks its 100th anniversary this year. With 89 parks, natural areas, and historic sites to choose from, visitors can experience all kinds of outdoor activities.

2023 in Photos: A Year of Exploring Texas

November 21, 2023 | By

27 Hours Lost in Big Bend Ranch: How One Man Survived a Hike Gone Wrong

November 13, 2023 | By Emily Brindley

A First-Timers Guide to Big Bend National Park in West Texas

August 31, 2023 | By Pam LeBlanc

Texans love the prickly wilds of Big Bend National Park, where a sky island of mountains rises from a vast desert floor, and everything looks straight out of a John Wayne Western.

Big Bend for the Rest of Us

January 1, 2022 | By John Spaulding

Spring Into Action with Day Drives to the Davis Mountains, Rio Grande Valley, and Edwards Plateau

April 2, 2021 | By Joe Nick Patoski

Whether you’re a Texas history buff or a fan of cowboy culture or an explorer of high-mountain peaks, these spring road trips are just what you need to get away for a day and visit parts of the state you may not normally think of for one-day excursions.

Big Bend Ranch State Park to Celebrate its 10th Birthday with Fiesta

October 21, 2019 | By Karen Hoffman Blizzard

To see for yourself, head west on Nov. 3 for Fiesta! and events including a barbecue lunch, guided hikes, bike rides, horseback rides, and geology and archeology tours—all free of charge. Camping fees will also be waived.

Going Green in the Desert: Terlingua’s Sustainability Festival Highlights Green Living and Dark Skies

October 14, 2019 | By Karen Hoffman Blizzard

Held Oct. 26-27 at Terlingua Ghost Town, the 11th annual Terlingua Green Scene Sustainability Festival will feature a theme of “Save our Stars” and demonstrations on reducing light pollution

Photo: The Milky Way Rises Over Pedernales Falls State Park

July 24, 2019 | By

In a state where the stars at night are known for being big and bright, summer is the optimal time for viewing the Milky Way, when it is high in the southern sky and viewable through much of the night. State parks—such as Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, where the night sky reflects in the still waters of the Pedernales River—are often far enough from light pollution for decent observation. Some of the best state parks for nighttime viewing are Big Bend Ranch, Enchanted Rock, Copper Breaks, and South Llano River, which are all designated International Dark Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association.

Explore A Collapsed Volcanic Dome in Big Bend Ranch State Park

May 1, 2019 | By Karen Hoffman Blizzard

Thanks to recent trail work, Big Bend Ranch State Park’s signature geological landmark, El Solitario, is in good shape for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians who want to explore the 10-mile-wide collapsed volcanic dome.

A Big Bend Backup

January 15, 2019 | By Justine Harrington

A few weeks ago, my husband, Alex, and I were preparing to backpack the Outer Mountain Loop in Big Bend National Park—a rugged 30-mile trail that crosses the Chisos Mountains and dips into the Chihuahuan Desert—when, only three days before our departure to West Texas, the federal government shut down, meaning no backcountry permits were unavailable. We were forced to come up with a new plan for our Christmas break.

Chasing Quicksilver History in Beautiful Big Bend

October 15, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

The Big Bend’s desert mountains are like magnets for modern nomads seeking isolation and adventure. But the region’s wide-open wilderness hasn’t always been valued as a haven for escape and personal renewal.

Sightseer: Remote Retreat at Big Bend Ranch State Park

October 12, 2017 | By

What: Fresno Ranch
Where: Big Bend Ranch State Park
When: Year-round

Between 2006 and 2013, writer, photographer, and artist E.

Wildlife Watch at Big Bend Ranch State Park

September 20, 2017 | By Amanda Ogle

With cooler temps, crisp air and beautiful colors, autumn is a great time to visit Big Bend Ranch State Park. It’s also a great time to watch for wildlife. More than 48 mammal species and more than 300 bird species have been spotted in the park. While some species migrate to the park during the autumn season, others are there year-round. Here, Park Superintendent Nathanael Gold gives us some insider tips on what to watch for in the park, along with some safety tips in case you run into a slightly feistier species.

Bunking Down at Big Bend Ranch State Park

September 18, 2017 | By Karen Hoffman Blizzard

Backcountry aficionados flock to the largest state park in Texas, Big Bend Ranch State Park, to explore its rugged 315,000 acres on horse, bike, or foot—usually in splendid isolation.

Texas to-do’s

December 29, 2012 | By Helen Bryant

Sometimes you can spy a whooper or two in the marsh through a free telescope on the refuge’s observation tower.

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