Big Bend National Park features a rugged landscape in a remote location. The park lies in Texas along the Rio Grande. Due to its remote location in the Chihuahuan Desert far from any major cities, Big Bend is among the least-visited national parks in the lower 48 states. Although it takes a little bit of effort to make it to Big Bend, the rewards include an outstanding, unique landscape, as well as wildlife.
Nature photographer Sheen Watkins has shared some of her photos from Big Bend with Loaded Landscapes, as well as a bit of advice and insight for those who are interested in visiting Big Bend.
Sheen says, “The park is like going back to the sixties and seventies in vacationing – remote, primitive, big skies and the stars are amazing at night. It’s a ‘no outdoor at night light’ type of place at night.
“Plan your days, the park is big and so much to do but there are a few hot spots for birds, sunrises, hot springs in addition to hiking trails. Carry a lot of water as it is hot and dry.
“Driving there – by car from Austin or San Antonio – it’s a long way and with 75-80 mph speed limits, you burn gas. There’s a long stretch on I-10 without a gas station, stop in San Angelo, even if you don’t need too, and refill! We saw two cars run out of gas, we were on fumes and just made it to a gas station. I’ll never make that mistake again!
“Big Bend is also a great place for macro photography. Cactus, desert flowers, ocotillo cactus and many others make for interesting subjects.”
Sheen recommends Starlight, a historical dinner theatre. “They have nightly entertainment. Local food, farm to table in some cases. The front porch is loaded with locals, dogs and people wanting to escape the rat race.”
She recommends bring a circular polarizer to extend photography time as the skies are huge and the sun can be intense.
For lodging, Sheen recommends Big Bend Casitas at Far Flung. “Very nice cabins, with kitchen, great location, not too far from the park, the ghost town and Starlight restaurant!”
Sheen’s favorite birding hotspots include: Cottonwood canyon, Chisos Basin, Sam Nail Ranch, Rio Grande Village – all worthy of a visit!
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All photos are © Sheen Watkins, used with permission.