Big Bend National Park

With towering mountain mesas, dry Texas deserts and canyons blooming with life, Big Bend National Park has it all. The park, located near the southern border, pulls in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Some come to learn about the park’s deadly history, and to see remnants of the native people who walked the land before the arrival of pioneers. Others come to hike Big Bend, eager to explore the park’s most famous routes. Hikers often track the path of the once roaring Rio Grande, or wander through luscious Boot Canyon.

Backpacking in Big Bend is another popular option among southwestern adventurists. Big Bend has a sprawling backcountry that features unmarked trails and truly off-road terrain, as well as 42 permitted campsites. Much of the natural land is as it was long ago, and hiking in Big Bend can often feel like a step back in time. But within this beauty lies an ever-present danger: the park is notorious for its deadly backcountry heat. Never hike Big Bend without the proper equipment and preparation.

Alongside its trails Big Bend has plenty to see, especially at night. The park’s remote locale makes it an ideal spot for stargazing.

Hike the Grander Canyon

What's deeper than the Grand Canyon and has one-tenth as many visitors? Head to Texas to find out.