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Join a ranger and learn the stories of Big Bend!
 

Guided Ranger Programs

Big Bend interpretive rangers provide a variety of fun, informative, and free ranger-guided activities. Join us for a guided hike, patio talk, or engaging evening program and discover the many "stories behind the scenery" of YOUR national park.
 

January 17 - 25, 2020

Friday, January 17
9:30 AM Patio Program – “Big Bend Bears: A Comeback Story”
Did you know that the black bears of Big Bend defied the odds and recolonized the area on their own? Join Ranger A. Markell to learn more about this exciting conservation success story. Meet at the patio outside the Chisos Mountains Lodge. Wheelchair accessible. 30 minutes.

7:00 PM Evening Program – “Beyond the Scenery: Treasures of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive” The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive threads through some of the most spectacular scenery in the park. But there’s more than just scenery. Join Ranger C. Hoyt to learn more about the hiking trails along the scenic drive and what “treasures” there are to discover. Meet at the Chisos Basin Amphitheater. Bring a flashlight. Wheelchair accessible. 1 hour.

Saturday, January 18
9:30 AM Guided Walk – “Life at the Windmill”
The desert may seem to be an impossible place to live but a significant number of living things thrive in this extreme environment. Join Ranger B. Smith for an hour of discovery and exploration into the secret, and not so secret, stories of life at the windmill. Meet at Dugout Wells, six miles southeast of Panther Junction Visitor Center. Bring water and a hat. ¼ mile. 1 hour.

10 AM Special Event – “Big Bend National Park Stamp Unveiling” Big Bend National Park has been selected as the subject of a new postage stamp! Join representatives of the National Park Service and Postal Service to commemorate the new stamp. For collectors, a special first day cover with a Big Bend cancellation will be available. Light refreshments will be served. Meet in the Community Room at Panther Junction Visitor Center. 30 minutes.

7:30 PM Evening Program - “A Park Ranger’s Guide to the Galaxy” Join our Astronomy Rangers for a night of viewing the wonders of Big Bend’s dark night skies. We’ll begin with a constellation tour followed by telescope viewing and an astrophotography demonstration. Park at the Panther Junction Visitor Center parking lot and follow the signs to the back of the building. Bring a flashlight, jacket, and lawn chair. An indoor astronomy program will be held in the Panther Junction Community Room in the event of inclement weather. Wheelchair accessible. 2 hours.

Sunday, January 19
9:30 AM Program – “Rocks and Bones” Ever wonder about the fossils in Big Bend National Park? Explore geologic layers and life forms from the time of the dinosaurs up to the present and come away thinking about the future. Join Ranger J. Swab at the Fossil Discovery Exhibit, 8 miles north of Panther Junction. Wheelchair accessible. 45 minutes.

7:00 PM Evening Program – “Before There Was a Park…History of the Big Bend Region” Ranchers, farmers, miners, traders, cavalrymen, and even bandits thrived in the Big Bend region long before the national park was established. Join Ranger D. Dosedel for a discussion on the rugged men and women who called this remote region “home” long before the creation of Big Bend National Park in 1944. Meet at the Chisos Basin Amphitheater. Bring a flashlight. Wheelchair accessible. 1 hour.

Monday, January 20
9:30 AM Program – “Battles of the Big Bend” Before Big Bend became a national park in 1944, it was the site of many conflicts, including the famous 1916 Raid on Glenn Springs. Join Ranger D. Dosedel for a discussion of the early 1900s military history of the Big Bend region. Meet at the patio outside the Chisos Mountains Lodge. Wheelchair accessible. 30 minutes.

7:00 PM Evening Program – “The Rio Grande” Some of the most interesting and dramatic scenery in big Bend National Park is visible only from canoe or raft floating along the Rio Grande on the park’s southern border. Join Ranger J. Duke for a photographic story that showcases scenic canyons, exciting rapids, and areas of the park that many never visit. Meet at the Chisos Basin Amphitheater. Bring a flashlight. Wheelchair accessible. 1 hour.

Tuesday, January 21
9:30 AM Guided Walk – “ In Search of Wings” Whether you’re new to birding or are working on your life list, Big Bend is a special “must see” destination, offering one species that cannot be found anywhere else in the United States. Join Ranger C. Negele on a walk in search of some of Big Bend’s winged beauties and find out why this park is so attractive to birds. Meet at the Daniels’ Ranch Picnic Area, located at the west end of Rio Grande Village. Bring binoculars if you have them, water, and sunscreen. ½ mile. 1 hour.

Wednesday, January 22
7:00 PM Evening Program – “Some Endangered Evening” Is it dark where you live? Can you see as many stars as you once could? A dark night sky is an important factor in the lives of living creatures planet-wide, a way for humans to connect to days past, when artificial light was non-existent. Join Ranger B. Smith for an evening about evenings. Meet at the Chisos Basin Amphitheater. Bring a flashlight. Wheelchair accessible. 1 hour.

Thursday, January 23
9:30 AM Program – “Desert River: The Story of the Rio Grande” The Rio Grande courses through the parched landscape of the American Southwest and defines our international border with Mexico. The river brings life to what its waters touch, and for much of its journey through Big Bend, it is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River. Join Ranger J. Duke for a discussion of the Rio Grande at the historic Barker House, 0.2 miles past the Boquillas Port of Entry on Boquillas Canyon road. 45 minutes.

Friday, January 24
9:30 AM Guided Walk – “Lions Snakes, and Bears… Oh My!” Do you find yourself questioning going on a hike because of the creatures that could be on the trail? Begin facing some of your fears by joining Ranger J. Deger for a discussion about some of Big Bend National Park’s most feared and often misunderstood creatures. Meet outside the Chisos Basin Visitor Center. Wheelchair accessible. 30 minutes.
7:00 PM Evening Program – “Beyond the Scenery: Treasures of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive” The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive threads through some of the most spectacular scenery in the park. But there’s more than just scenery. Join Ranger C. Hoyt to learn more about the hiking trails along the scenic drive and what “treasures” there are to discover. Meet at the Chisos Basin Amphitheater. Bring a flashlight. Wheelchair accessible. 1 hour.

Saturday, January 25
7:30 PM Evening Program - “A Park Ranger’s Guide to the Galaxy” Join our Astronomy Rangers for a night of viewing the wonders of Big Bend’s dark night skies. We’ll begin with a constellation tour followed by telescope viewing and an astrophotography demo. Park at the Panther Junction Visitor Center parking lot and follow the signs to the back of the building. Bring a flashlight, jacket, and lawn chair. An indoor astronomy program will be held in the Panther Junction Community Room in the event of inclement weather. Wheelchair accessible. 2 hours.

Last updated: January 17, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129

Phone:

(432) 477-2251

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