Located in the "big bend" of the Rio Grande River, the Chisos Mountains are located in the Big Bend National Park, Texas. They are on the Texas and Mexico border, where the river unites with the desert. The water causes an abundance of spectacular flora and fauna. The Chisos Mountains are the only complete mountain range within a national park in the United States. The best way to see the Chisos Mountains and the Big Bend National Park is to explore it by hiking or biking. There are also other services available at Big Bend National Park such as river rafting, camping and wildlife watching.
Historically, the mountains were once home to the Mescalero Apache Indians. They would raid nearby Spanish settlements south of the Rio Grande. Mexican generals eventually led a crusade against the Indians and pushed them further north into the Guadalupe Mountains. In the nineteenth century, the Comanches used the Comanche Trail through the mountains where they also raided Mexican parties along the Rio Grande. White settlers, traders and soldiers began moving through the mountains at this time as well. The Chisos Mountains have been a part of the Big Bend National Park since 1944. The name most likely comes from the Chizos Indians, although there are several stories that they were named after fighting ghosts in the mountains.
The Chisos Mountain Lodge is the only lodge in Big Bend National Park. The lodge provides comfortable overnight stays year round in the Chisos Mountains. The lodge is located near the trail heads as well as food services, convenient stores, gift shops and guest services. There are a variety of rooms and cottages available at the lodge for your overnight stay.
If you are looking to rough it a little more, there are also RV hook-ups and campsites. There are three large RV and campsites available in the Chisos Mountains and all have well-defined campgrounds. There are 25 RV hook-ups in the Rio Grand Village Campground with water, sewage and electricity. The campgrounds do have water and lighted bathrooms, but do not have showers.
The Big Bend Nature Festival is in September. You can enjoy three days in the Big Bend National Park and Chisos Mountains learning about nature and the cultural history of the Chisos Mountains. There are many mountain species in the area including Mountain Lions, Mexican Black Bear, Deer, Javelina hogs and over 450 species of birds.
The Big Bend National Park also offers a Junior Ranger Program for children ages 6 through eleven. Information packets can be obtained from the park visitor center. The Junior Ranger Program helps children become involved as an official Junior Ranger and they can earn a patch. The program helps children get the most out of their stay in the park and in the Chisos Mountains.
The Chisos Mountains and the Big Bend National Park can be reached from both Alpine, Texas on highway 118 south to Big Bend National Park and from Marathon, Texas on 385 south to Big Bend National Park, following directions to Basin.