Big Bend Country
Big Bend Country is a region in Texas. It is also referred to as the Big Bend region.
- Permian Basin - Grassy oil-drilling region extending west to the Pecos River.
- Trans-Pecos - West of the Pecos river, a large sweeping area that is part of the Chihuahua Desert.
- Big Bend National Park
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
- Monahans Sandhills State Park
The Big Bend area of Texas represents one of the last vestiges of open frontier that once encompassed the entire state. Outside of the major cities the area is largely unmolested by development; one can experience a small taste of what the unexplored state once resembled. Geography varies widely, from wide open prairie grasslands, to vast desert expanses. Far western Texas is quite mountainous; it is home to Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. The flatlands of the Permian Basin remain a center for petroleum production for the US. The wildlife is also representative of an outsider's expectation; during the daytime hours it is not unusual to see a roadrunner or armadillo wandering alongside the road, and at night the far away wail of a coyote is commonplace.
Far western Texas is, in contrast to the eastern portion, is quite sparsely populated. For example, Loving County, which is on the New Mexico state line, is the least populous county in the United States, claiming a mere 56 residents. Brewster County, in the Big Bend, is larger in land area than the state of Rhode Island yet is home to only slightly more than 6,000 residents; over 4,000 of which live in the county seat of Alpine. Keep in mind when vacationing in the area that towns and cities are often a hundred or so miles apart, so embarking on a drive in the open Big Bend country without a full tank of gas and necessary provisions is not advised.
As stated before, cities and towns are few and far between. There are two major interstate highways which cross the area, I-10 and I-20, but most of the remaining roadways are two-lane blacktop and tend to be quite desolate. These highways are fairly easily navigable and are for the most part paved, so a full tank of gas and a map or GPS should suffice in keeping a visitor to the area on track.
This area is popular for hiking and camping due to its national parks.