Located in the nation’s second largest and most populous state, “a paradise on Earth” awaits. Tucked away, deep in the northern Chihuahuan Desert lies the extraordinary Big Bend Ranch State Park. Backcountry camping, nature viewing, and wildlife observation opportunities away visitors eager to set their sights on Texas lyre snakes, and mountain lions.
Nature Viewing and Birdwatching
Nature viewing and birdwatching are the primary attractions at Big Bend Ranch State Park. Visitors from around the world view this park as one that has it all: canyons, mountains, plateaus, rivers, and waterfalls – all in one state park. The park is regularly visited by geologists who observe and study its unique geologic processes which include rock formation, erosion, mountain building, and so much more.
Birdwatching visitors will have ample opportunities to observe and photograph multiple avian habitats. High-flying navigators of the sky often seen in the canyons of the park, as well as its grasslands and thickets.
The trails of Big Bend Ranch State Park offer challenging, rough terrain and beautiful natural scenery to mountain biking enthusiasts. On offer are the easy-to-moderate Horsetrap Trail Loop Ride (5 miles round trip) and the Sauceda-Chilicote Springs-Sauceda Loop Trail Ride (12 miles round trip). More advanced, strenuous rides include the Sauceda-Arroyo Primero-Fresno Canyon-Sauceda Loop (29.1 miles round trip) and the Sauceda-Rancherias-Sauceda Loop Ride (19 miles round trip). Bring plenty of water to remain well hydrated and cool in the heat.
The open frontiers of Big Bend Ranch State Park are experienced year-round by camping enthusiasts of every level. A group of six people are allowed to camp in the backcountry where plots of land are suitable for overnight camping, roughly 300-feet from water, and a quarter mile from another camp. A group of up to eight people are allowed to camp in vehicle-accessible primitive campsite areas along River Road and the Interior.
Traditional lodging is available to visitors that prefer sleeping underneath a roof to a blanket of midnight skies and stars. Single rooms, double rooms, and bunkhouse lodging are available at the Historic Sauceda Ranch House, also known as the “Big House”, which is located in the park.
Know Before You Go
Big Bend Ranch State Park is open year-round, 7 days a week. For camping permits and general information about the park, visit the Sauceda Headquarters from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The rec area, with open doors for the wild at heart, is a premier destination for campers of all ages, single families, and groups of up to 30 people.
There is a daily entrance rate during peak seasons for adults. Children, twelve years old and younger, are admitted free of charge. During non-peak seasons, daily entrance rates for adults may be less (check with park headquarters before you visit). Dogs are allowed in the park, with specific guidelines. Backcountry camping and vehicle-accessible primitive campsite fees vary.
For more information about Big Bend Ranch State Park, visit Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – Big Bend Ranch State Park today.