Rio Grande
National Wild & Scenic River
Texas
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For 196 miles, this free-flowing stretch of the Rio winds its way through desert expanses and stunning canyons of stratified rock. For the well prepared, an extended float trip provides opportunities to explore the most remote corner of Texas and experience the ultimate in solitude, self-reliance, and immersion in natural soundscapes.

Prehistoric and historic sites are abundant along the river corridor, mostly on private property in the United States or Mexico. Preserving these sites is important in understanding human use and development of the Rio Grande and the Big Bend.

park map
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Boquillas Canyon Trail

The Boquillas Canyon Trail is a great way to enjoy one of the three major canyons located in Big Bend National Park. This trail is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) round trip and parallels the Rio Grande for a short distance where it first enters Boquillas Canyon.

Mariscal Canyon Rim Trail

The 6.5 mile Mariscal Rim Trail is as rewarding as it is remote. Located in the very southern part of the park along River Road, it takes 2 hours to reach the trailhead from the paved park road near Rio Grande Village. A high-clearance, 4x4 vehicle is necessary to reach the trailhead.

Boquillas Port of Entry

The Boquillas Port of Entry was opened on April 10, 2013. There are passport and visa requirements that you need to possess in order to take advantage of this opportunity, as well as a passenger ferry boat to ease access.

Langford Hot Springs

The Langford Hot Springs have an impressive history of use from Native Americans to J.O. Langford's healing resort.

Rio Grande Village Nature Trail

The 0.75 mile Rio Grande Village Nature trail crosses a wetland area on a boardwalk and climbs a small hill to a viewpoint. This is a great hike for birdwatchers and photographers.

Hot Springs Canyon Trailhead-Daniels Ranch

The 6-mile roundtrip Hot Springs Canyon trail follows the Rio Grande from Daniels Ranch to the hot spring and the Hot Springs Historic District.

Hot Springs Canyon Trailhead-Hot Springs

This 1 mile roundtrip walk passes the remains of a resort, homestead, and pictographs, eventually ending at the hot springs. One can continue hiking above the river to Daniels Ranch, a roundtrip distance of 6 miles.

Daniels Ranch

In the early part of the 20th century, hardy homesteaders constructed dwellings and an elaborate network of irrigation ditches for farming near this location beside the Rio Grande.

Panther Junction Service Station

The Panther Junction Service Station is open daily. Operated by the park's concessioner Forever Resorts, the facility offers fuel, snacks, convenience items, restrooms, and souvenirs. Gas pumps open 24 hrs.

Hot Springs

The Hot Springs Historic District preserves a rich history of human occupation from thousands of years ago to the not-so-distant past. Visitors can study rock art left behind on the limestone cliffs, or imagine what it would have been like to meet at the Hot Springs Post Office in the early 1900s to collect your mail. Langford's impressive bathhouse is long gone; today the spring is contained by the foundation remains of the bathhouse, on the north bank of the Rio Grande.

River Road - East

The River Road is a 51-mile long primitive backcountry road between the Rio Grande Village and Castolon areas. This is one of the most remote areas of Big Bend, and rough conditions requires a high-clearance 4x4 vehicle and slow and careful driving. Due to its length and usually rough road conditions, allow a full day to drive from end to end.

Stillwell Store and RV Park

Privately owned campground and general store near the northern entrance to Big Bend National Park.

Source: NPS Website (2020)


Establishment

Rio Grande National Wild & Scenic River — November 10, 1978


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Brochures ◆ Site Bulletins ◆ Trading Cards expand section

Documents

Acoustic Monitoring 2010: Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River NPS Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NRSS/NRTR-2013/770 (June 2013)

An Administrative History of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River with Focus on Major Concerns and Public Comment (HTML edition) (Raymond Skiles, ed., June 11, 1988)

Comprehensive Interpretive Plan — Section One: Long-Range Interpretive Plan, Big Bend National Park and Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River (October 26, 2004)

Draft General Management Plan / Environmental Impact Statement, Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River (May 2003)

Final General Management Plan / Environmental Impact Statement, Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River (August 2004)

Foundation Document, Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, Texas (May 2016)

Foundation Document Overview, Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, Texas (January 2016)

Gradsect and Field Sampling Plan for Big Bend National Park/Rio Grande National Wild and Scenic River NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/CHDN/NRR-2011/300 (Dan Cogan and James Von Loh, February 2011)

Legacy Data Evaluation Report for Big Bend National Park and Rio Grande National Wild and Scenic River NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/CHDN/NRR-2011/301 (James Von Loh and Dan Cogan, February 2011)

Mammals of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River Downstream of Big Bend National Park: 2008 Final Report NPS Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/CHDN/NRTR-2011/490 (James M. Mueller, September 2011)

Man on the Rio Grande: Introduction and Overview New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 35th Field Conference (John A. Ware, 1984)

Protecting the National Parks in Texas Through Enforcement of Water Quality Standards: an Exploratory Analysis NPS Technical Report NPS/NRWRD/NRTR-94/18 (Ronald A. Kaiser, Steven E. Alexander and J. Porter Hammitt, November 1994)

Recreational River Use Management Plan, Big Bend National Park (March 1997)

Resource Brief: Mammals of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River (March 2013)

Resumen del documento fundacional, El Salvaje y Panorámico Río Bravo del Norte (January 2016)

Rio Grande Prehistory: Prelude to Contact New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 35th Field Conference (Linda S. Cordell, 1984)

Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River Study (1976)

The Anasazi Culture of the Northern Rio Grande Rift New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 35th Field Conference (Stewart Peckham, 1984)

The Tewa Indians of the Rio Grande and Their Neighbors—A.D. 1450-1680 New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 35th Field Conference (Albert H. Schroeder, 1984)

Vegetation Classification List Update for Big Bend National Park and Rio Grande National Wild and Scenic River NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/CHDN/NRR-2011/299 (James Von Loh and Dan Cogan, February 2011)

Wax, Men, and Money: A Historical and Archeological Study of Candelila Wax Camps along the Rio Grande Border of Texas Office of the State Archeologist Report 32 (Curtis Tunnell, 1981, ©Texas Historical Commission)



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Last Updated: 01-May-2021