Explore Texas’ Big Bend National Park on an Off-Road 4-Wheel Drive Tour

visiting big bend national park
4-wheel drive tours are the ideal way to see the rugged landscape of Texas' Big Bend National Park

The guides and outfitters profiled below provide off-road and 4-wheel drive tours as a way of visiting Big Bend National Park in Texas. The 801,163-acre park shares a 118-mile stretch of river along the Rio Grande with Mexico. There is no better way to get an overview of the park’s features including canyons and mountain peaks, desert, dinosaur bones, and archaeological sites than on an off-road tour.

A Brief Intro to Visiting Big Bend National Park

Located in west Texas next to Mexico, Big Bend National Park takes in 801,163 acres. One hundred and eighteen miles of the Rio Grande forming the border between Texas and Mexico touches the park. The name “Big Bend” comes from a large bend in the Rio Grande. The park is the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. That, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature, means that the park’s Chihuahuan Desert may be the most diverse desert in the world in terms of the number of plants that are unique to a single location. The park contains 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals.The weather is hot and dry in late spring and summer and mild in winter with occasional sub-freezing temperatures. The elevation ranges from around 1,800 feet along the river to 7,832 feet at Emory Peak in the Chisos Mountains.

The guides and outfitters profiled below provide guided off-road and 4-wheel drive tours in Big Bend National Park. Or you may rent a Jeep and tour the park on your own.

Angell Expeditions

visiting big bend national park
Angell Expeditions

Angell Expeditions most popular drives in the National Park are Old Ore Road and River Road. The Old Ore Road drive includes a 20-minute hike to Ernst Tinaja, a deep pool of water surrounded by rock formation with unusual coloration. Drives also include locations of Native American pictographs, some of which are easily accessible and some of which require strenuous hiking. Angell Expeditions is happy to tailor driving tours to your specific interests. A basic lunch is provided (for a fee) or you may bring your own. Other Angell Expeditions experiences visiting Big Bend National Park include raft trips, mountain biking, canoe trips, camping, and hiking.

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Big Bend Overland Tours

visiting big bend national park
Big Bend Overland Tours

Big Bend Overland Tours provides a variety of off-road driving tours for visiting Big Bend National Park that take you to remote areas of the park which would not otherwise be accessible on a one-day experience. The River Road Tour runs along the southern end of the park between Castolon and Rio Grande Village. The Hot Springs and Rio Grande Village Tour includes a 1-mile hike to a location where you can bathe in the hot springs. On the Santa Elena Loop Tour, you have the opportunity to view Santa Elena Canyon from 1,500-foot cliffs. The Indian Head and Moon Valley Tour takes you to a Native American campsite that dates back some 7,000 years and includes good views of pictographs. The Moon Valley portion of the tour goes to an area of the park where Neil Armstrong trained to take rock samples – a skill he would use on his moon landing. Big Bend Overland Tours provides several other off-road driving tours and will be glad to tailor a tour to your specifications.

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Far Flung Outdoor Center

visiting big bend national park
Far Flung Outdoor Center

Far Flung Outdoor Center offers a number of driving tours for visiting Big Bend National Park and vicinity in Jeep vehicles. Tours range from 3 hours to 8 hours and most include short walks as a part of the tour.

  • Rent a JeepRent a Jeep and create your own off-road tour with the assistance and guidance of Far Flung Outdoor Center.
  • ATV ToursFar Flung Outdoor Center conducts guided ATV tours for beginner to intermediate riders on private land near (but not in) the national park.

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Big Bend River Tours

visiting big bend national park
Big Bend River Tours

Known primarily for its river tours of the Rio Grande in the Big Bend area of Texas, Big Bend River Tours also conducts backroads tours that visit sites of Native American pictographs and petroglyphs, fossil graveyards, springs, waterfalls and swimming holes.

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Brown's Guide
About Brown's Guide 275 Articles

Brown’s Guides is a website about the top outdoor experiences in America and about the professional outfitters and guides who know them best. BG selects guides and outfitters located in or in close proximity to the Natural Areas they provide activities in. These outfitters know the areas and care about protecting and preserving them in a way that outfitters based in other states never can. Hiking, biking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and over 100 other outdoor activities are indexed on the site. BG has been doing this type of thing since 1972 in books, magazines, maps and on the Internet.

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