Big Bend National Park encapsulates the seeming contradiction of a harsh desert teeming with life. The largest protected swath of Chihuahuan Desert in the United States, the 800,000-acre Big Bend borders the Rio Grande in southwestern Texas and rises in elevation from less than 2,000 feet to nearly 8,000 feet. The park’s aerial menagerie is unsurpassed in the nation, with confirmed sightings of more than 450 bird species, 180 butterfly species and 20 species of bat.

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