Big Bend National Park, southeast of Alpine on SR 118 and US 385 derives its name from a U-shaped bend of the Rio Grande
bordering the park. This last great wilderness area of Texas offers mountain and desert scenery and a variety of unusual geological structures within its 801,163 acres.
The park encompasses the entire range of the Chisos Mountains. Three river canyons, Santa Elena, Mariscal and Boquillas channel the Rio Grande as it forms the international border. Santa Elena Canyon's cliffs rise 1,513 feet above the river. Has volcanic rock formations, dry channels and deep-cut canyons. There is a soaring reptile fossil with a wingspan of 38 feet, dicovered in 1971.
Desert mule deer are plentiful throughout the area, small white-tailed deer inhabit the Chisos Mountains. Coyotes, foxes and collared pecary or javelia also can be seen. More than 400 species of birds have been identified in the park.