June 20, 1935
$15 per vehicle per week
1,715 feet at the Rio Grande River
7,832 feet on Emory Peak
Lowest Average Temp
35°F in January
Record Low Temp
10°F in 1989
Highest Average Temp
94°F in June
Record High Temp
114°F in 1982
Park Creation Timeline
The Texas Legislature recognizes the value of preserving the region and creates Texas Canyons State Park. Later the same year, it is renamed Big Bend State Park.
On June 20, 1935, Congress authorizes the acquisition of the land from Texas and therefore the park.
On July 1, 1944, the process is completed and Big Bend opens to the public as a national park.
International Biosphere Reserve status is given to the park by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
Animals and Plants
75 species of mammals have been observed in Big Bend. High temperatures and low rainfall force many to be nocturnal. Larger mammals include whitetail and mule deer, coyotes, mountain lions, and black bears. Smaller mammals include gray foxes and javelina. 20 different species of bat are in the park, including the endangered Mexican long-nosed bat.
31 species of snakes, 22 species of lizards, and 7 species of turtles have been found in Big Bend. Snakes include red racers, bullsnakes, patchnoses, and garter snakes, both black-necked and checkered. Collared and leopard lizards are the largest of these animals, some a foot long. Turtles are found mainly along the Rio Grande, and include Big Bend sliders, spiny softshells, and the yellow mud turtles.
More than 450 species of birds have been recorded, but Big Bend is best known for the types that occur only in this part of the United States, such as the Mexican duck, the Lucifer hummingbird, the Mexican jay, and the black-capped and gray vireos.
Over 1,000 species of plants are found within Big Bend. Common forms include mesquite, pinon pine, juniper, yuccas, prickly pear cactus, sotol, nine species of oak tree, and three types of agaves, including lechuguilla, which grows only in the Chihuahuan Desert.