The Civilian Conservation Corps built Balmorhea State Park in the 1930s. Nearly 80 years later, people are still cooling off at our park.
Swim, scuba or skin dive, camp, geocache, study nature and bird watch. Explore our restored cienegas (desert wetlands), home to endangered fish and other wildlife.
The park has picnic sites, an outdoor sports area and a playground. Rent our group hall for your next family gathering.
Stay overnight at one of 34 campsites. Or reserve a room at the San Solomon Springs Courts, motel-style retro lodging built by the CCC.
Big Bend Ranch State Park
Visitors can hike, mountain-bike, backpack, paddle, ride horses or explore by vehicle (the park has two- and four-wheel-drive roads). This is Texas’ biggest state park, so there’s a lot to explore!
The park has 238 miles of multiuse trails (for hiking, biking and horseback riding). Visitors can explore 70 miles of unmaintained dirt roads in high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles. The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo area offers great day-use access. Visitors can float, fish and hike, or drive the scenic Camino del Rio (FM 170). Each February, the park helps host the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest. Visit our Activities page to learn more.
Campers can choose from vehicle-accessible, backcountry or equestrian sites. All sites (except backcountry) can be reached by vehicle. Some roads require four-wheel-drive or high clearance. Campsites offer solitude and great vistas; all (except backcountry) offer some camp amenities. Lodging is available at the Sauceda Ranch House and Sauceda Bunkhouse.
The park also has a 5,500-foot paved airstrip. If you plan to fly in, read the park's airstrip and aircraft guidelines (PDF), and be sure to call ahead to to get up-to-date information and let park staff know when you will arrive.
Pick up backpacking, camping and river-use permits at the following places. You can also purchase maps and hunting and fishing licenses, as well as find information about the Big Bend region.
Davis Mountains State Park
Davis Mountains State Park offers a unique and remote destination for all sorts of adventures. Here you can hike, backpack, mountain bike or ride your own horse, take a scenic drive through the mountains, go camping, stargaze, geocache and study nature.
Stay at one of our campsites or at Indian Lodge, a historic 39-room motel in the park, which has a restaurant, swimming pool (for Lodge guests only) and meeting rooms. Rent our group picnic area for your next gathering.
Watch birds at the “best little bird blind in Texas.” The blind offers an enclosed viewing station, a shielded outside patio, and watering and feeding stations. Or stop by the interpretive center to see what is visiting the bird feeding and watering station there.
Hike or mountain bike our trails. The 4.5-mile Skyline Drive Trail meanders up and down mountain ridges and valleys. The 1.75-mile CCC trail connects with a trail to the Fort Davis National Historic Site.
Bring your horse for the day or for an overnight stay at Limpia Canyon Primitive Area. The 11 miles of trails take riders from 4,900 feet high at Limpia Creek to over 5,700 feet high at a scenic overlook. Cross rugged terrain and enjoy views of the Davis Mountains. To camp, choose from one of six equestrian or six primitive campsites in this area. Non-potable water is available at the staging area and at the high point in the trail.
Fort Leaton State Historic Site
Fort Leaton serves as the western Visitor Center for Big Bend Ranch State Park. Permits for backpacking and camping (no hookups) at Big Bend Ranch State Park can be obtained at Fort Leaton or the Barton Warnock Visitor Center, on the eastern edge of the park near Lajitas. Visitors can also purchase river-use permits, licenses, and information about the Big Bend region.
The park is day use only and offers picnicking areas, guided tours, plus exhibits on the history from 15th century, natural history, and archaeological history of the area. The site serves for historical study activities.