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Big Bend National Park

Official NPS Website

Ranger Programs
Ranger HatThe Division of Interpretation and Visitor Services offers guided Ranger Programs throughout the year at Big Bend National Park. Join a ranger for a free guided walk, talk, or evening slide show. Attending a ranger program will enhance your understanding and appreciation of Big Bend.
Schedules change weekly.
take a ranger guided hike 1950s evening program in the Chisos Basin Questions and Answers
November 12 - November 20, 2004 

Visitor Center Hours

Panther Junction Visitor Center - 8:00 am - 6:00 pm. Daily.
Chisos Basin Visitor Center - 9:00 am -4:30 pm. Daily.  Closed for lunch.
Persimmon Gap Visitor Center
- 9:00
am – 4:30 pm.  Daily.  Closed for lunch
Rio Grande Village Visitor Center
- 8:30
am – 4:30 pm.  Daily.  Closed for lunch
Castolon Visitor Center - Opening November 15, 2004. 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Daily. Closed for lunch

Programs and Hikes

Friday, November 12

7:30 AM Morning Program – “Coffee With the Superintendent” Do you have questions about Big Bend National Park? Come join Superintendent John King for a leisurely morning question and answer session over a cup of coffee. Meet at the Chisos Mountains Lodge patio, next to the restaurant. 1 hour.

8:30 AM Geology Caravan – “Geology For Dummies” Don’t know your Cretaceous from your Tertiary, or your sill from your laccolith? Then this tour is for you! Meet Ranger A. Yost at the Panther Junction Visitor Center. Bring water and a vehicle…carpooling is encouraged! 30 miles. 2 hours. Bring water and a hat. 1 hour.

7:30 PM Evening Program – “Dinosaurs! Exciting, Entertaining and…Extinct?” Join Ranger R. Dean to learn about these enigmatic giants, the dinosaurs of Big Bend. Wheelchair accessible. Bring a flashlight. 1 hour. Chisos Basin Amphitheater.

Saturday, November 13

9:00 AM Guided Walk -- "Plants and Their Human Predators" Join Ranger A. Yost as she identifies plants and teaches about their dynamic relationship with humans in Big Bend over hundreds of years. Meet at the Burro Mesa Pouroff Trailhead, 11.5 miles south on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Bring water and a hat. ½ mile. 1 ½ hours.

7:30 PM Evening Slide Program – “Beating the Heat, Defying the Drought" Join Ranger M. Manning to learn how reptiles and amphibians survive and even thrive in the desert. Bring a flashlight. Wheelchair accessible. 1 hour. Chisos Basin Amphitheater.

Sunday, November 14

9:00 AM Guided Walk -- "Plants and Their Human Predators" Join Ranger A. Yost as she identifies plants and teaches about their dynamic relationship with humans in Big Bend over hundreds of years. Meet at the Burro Mesa Pouroff Trailhead, 11.5 miles south on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Bring water and a hat. ½ mile. 1 ½ hours.

7:30 PM Evening Slide Program – “Beating the Heat, Defying the Drought" Join Ranger M. Manning to learn how reptiles and amphibians survive and even thrive in the desert. Bring a flashlight. Wheelchair accessible. 1 hour. Chisos Basin Amphitheater.

Monday, November 15

THE NEW CASTOLON VISITOR CENTER OPENS TODAY!! COME DROP IN AND PAY A VISIT!

8:30 AM Guided Walk – “The Marrow of Nature” Humans have always been attracted to water and wetlands, particularly in the desert. That attraction has led to challenges, some resolved, others compounded. Join Ranger R. Dean for this interesting view on Big Bend’s wetlands. Meet at the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail near campsite 18. Bring water and a hat. ¾ mile. 1 ½ hours.

2:00 PM Afternoon Program – “Big Bend’s Enigmatic Water Miser” What Big Bend animal spends most of its life underground, can go years without sunlight and water, yet rejoices in the time of rain? Come join Volunteer M. Hicks to find out the answer. Meet at the Panther Junction Visitor Center. 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 16

8:30 AM Guided Walk – “The Quality of Life” Balance within an ecosystem depends on the integrity of all its parts. Join Ranger S. Collyer on a guided walk to a pristine desert oasis and learn what makes up the quality of life for all Big Bend’s creatures. Meet at the Sam Nail Ranch parking lot on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Be prepared to caravan 10 minutes down a rocky road. Bring water, a hat, and sturdy hiking shoes. 1 ½ miles. 2 hours. One Way.

Wednesday, November 17

9:00 AM Guided Walk --"Piece of the Puzzle" Big Bend National Park has a complex and sometimes puzzling geologic history. Join Ranger D. Leavitt for an introduction to the geology of the Chisos Basin and just one piece of the puzzle. Meet at the Chisos Basin Trailhead. Bring water, a hat, and good walking shoes. ½ mile. 1 hour.

7:30 PM Evening Slide Program – “Paws & Claws: The Grrrreat Story of Big Bend’s Biggest Cats” People and mountain lions share common ground in Big Bend National Park. Is there enough room for both species to peacefully coexist? Join Ranger S. Collyer for an intimate look at the infamous Big Bend mountain lions. Wheelchair accessible. Bring a flashlight. 1 hour. Rio Grande Village Amphitheater.

Thursday, November 18

2:30 PM Afternoon Program – “Settlers’ Stories” Join volunteers G. & J. Kamaras as they tell the first person stories of Big Bend ranch woman Hallie Stillwell and Hot Springs developer J. O. Langford. Meet at the Daniels Ranch picnic area at Rio Grande Village. Bring water, a hat, and a folding chair if you like. 1 hour.

7:30 PM Evening Program – “Indians of the Big Bend” For thousands of years many different American Indian groups lived in and around the region. Join Ranger D. Thompson for a look at these cultures and the various lifestyles they utilized for surviving in the Big Bend. Wheelchair accessible. Bring a flashlight. 1 hour. Chisos Basin Amphitheater.

Friday, November 19

8:30 AM Birding Walk -- “The Best Bird?” It’s the one in your binoculars! Join Ranger M. Flippo for some tips on identifying some of the resident and migrant species found in the Big Bend. Recommended for beginners. Bring binoculars and field guides. Meet at Daniels Ranch picnic area, just west of Rio Grande Village. 2 hours.

Saturday, November 20

8:30 Am Guided Walk – “Vital Survival” What does it take to survive in Big Bend National Park? Join Resource Assistant K. Miller to discover how plants, animals, and humans have adapted to a changing environment through a 1mile round trip hike. Meet at the Hot Springs parking lot. Bring water, a hat, and sturdy hiking shoes. 1 hour. Note: Motorhomes and oversize vehicles are prohibited on the one-way sections of the Hot Springs road.

10:00 AM Guided Walk –“Life Before The Ruins: A Walk Through Terlingua Abajo” Join Volunteer B. Wirt for a visit to Terlingua Abajo, a former farming village. Meet at the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook, 7 miles west of Castolon. Includes a three mile drive on a gravel road, generally accessible to most vehicles. Hikers must rock-hop or wade through a shallow stream and dodge thorny vegetation. Wear sturdy shoes, and bring water and a hat. 1 mile. 2 hours.

7:30 PM Evening Slide Program -- "The Nature of Water" The Rio Grande is the most significant water source in the park. In recent years it has changed in size, quality and quantity. Join Ranger D. Leavitt for an introduction to some of the issues surrounding the once mighty, now meager Rio Grande. Wheelchair accessible. Bring a flashlight. 1 hour. Rio Grande Village Amphitheater.

Last updated: Friday, 12-Nov-04 16:21:31