One of the last frontiers in Texas is the Big Bend Country. It is a high country desert with unique flora and fauna. The land is made up of big ranches and a history that begs to be uncovered and explored. This is cowboy country with beautiful vistas of canyons and mountains. The wildlife found here is worth the visit alone. Access to this country is hard to come by except for a few parks. My favorite of these is the Big Bend Ranch State Park. I have only been there three times in my life and each was an adventure and made lifetime memories. The land is covered with signs of the struggles of settlers, Indians, ranchers and others. The park is so vast that each trip can put you in places that no one else has been and discoveries are commonplace. The landscape demands that you take pictures and carve the views into your memory. I have seen wildlife that takes my breath away such as a mature Golden Eagle hunting Rock Squirrels within yards of my perch on a canyon wall. I have seen herds of Javelina going to water and massive Mule Deer bucks browsing in the brush. I have had my heart skip a beat as a covey of quail flushed at my feet. It is not unusual to see Fox, Coyote, Bobcat and if you are really lucky you might catch a glimpse of a Mountain Lion or Black Bear. One can drive the gravel roads, hike the trails or take a horseback trail ride to explore this country. I can only recommend that you go and take in this fantastic place called Big Bend Ranch.
Take the trip out west and make some memories,
The public is invited to learn first-hand about the many wonders of the more than 310,000-acre state park tucked into the far southwestern corner of the state during a free, daylong Fiesta at the park’s Sauceda Ranger Station. Two previous attempts to hold the outdoor celebration had to be cancelled when the Rio Grande uncharacteristically flooded the Presidio area in fall of 2008 and again in May of this year when nearby Mexico suffered an outbreak of the swine flu.
Saturday’s "open house" will feature a free barbecue lunch at noon, followed by a performance by cowboy singer-songwriter Dennis Jay. Activities being offered include park tours, hikes, guided mountain bike and horseback rides, desert survival and camping demonstrations, a student art show, Buffalo Soldiers encampment and informational displays on everything from bats to river recreation. One guided tour will go into part of the recently acquired Fresno Ranch, a significant and strategic 7,000-acre addition to the park featuring wild canyons, stunning vistas, historical roads, rich riparian habitat and Rio Grande frontage.
Park rangers, as well as natural and cultural resource specialists, will be on hand to share information about this true wilderness park in the Big Bend Country’s scenic Chihuahuan Desert highlands.
The purpose of the Fiesta is to increase awareness of the state park’s greatly expanded public use opportunities and to provide Texans, especially local citizens, a chance to visit and experience one of the great parks of the West.
Thanks to the labors of park staff and friends during the past two years, today’s adventurers now have more opportunities to hike, bike and ride horses along many miles of newly accessible trails and jeep roads, and much greater access to more than 50 new campsites, many of them in the more rugged, remote and scenic areas of Big Bend Ranch’s backcountry.
Information booths will be open and special Fiesta programs running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Special pre- and post-Fiesta tours, as well as "early bird" tours beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, will be offered by advanced reservation. The regular $3 park entry fee for persons 13 and older will be waived Thursday, Nov. 12 through Sunday, Nov. 15.
Visitors attending Fiesta weekend can make arrangements to stay overnight, but should be aware that there are limited tent camping options. Camping is free during the Nov. 12-15 time frame, but reservations are required. No lodging will be available at Sauceda.
To reserve a campsite during Fiesta weekend, call Big Bend Ranch State Park at (432) 358-4444. To reserve a spot on one of the Fiesta event tours, call TPWD’s Customer Service Center in Austin at (512) 389-8908 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. To learn more about the state park and Fiesta activities online, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Web site.
More on Big Bend Ranch State Park/ Be sure and take the time to watch the video. Wild Ed
Big Bend Ranch State Park - Visitor Information
Things To Do
Campsites & Backcountry Use
Maps & Directions
El Solitario Newsletter
Watch video of Big Bend Ranch State Park.
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