The most popular activity in Big Bend is hiking. Hundreds of people come out to hike the trails in Big Bend, there are over 150 miles of trails altogether throughout the park. Desert hiking isn’t for the faint of heart and it takes some preparation. Always be smart and check the weather before you go, hiking is highly advised against when the weather is over 95 degrees (much of the summer).
Loose breathable clothing like base shirts, hiking pants or shorts, and quality hiking shoes will do you very well on any hike in Big Bend. You will definitely want plenty of water and never forget life-saving tools such as multi-tools, bear spray, whistles, etc. While some of the hikes may be a little shaded, much of the hiking in Big Bend is under the open sky, so with the sun blasting, bring along a sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Camping: In Big Bend, there are so many beautiful places to camp and spend the week or maybe just the weekend. It is a great way to have fun, sleep under the open sky, and give you more time to explore the desert in all its glory.
Even in the summer, the desert nights are known for getting a little cold. So, if you are camping you will definitely need layers. Bring warm pants, socks, sweatshirts, and a beanie just in case. I like having comfortable clothes such as sweatpants and slip-on shoes, like moccasins for quick bathroom trips and to hang out around the fire.
River Trips: One of the most fun things to do in Big Bend is one of the many river trips they offer, floating down the Rio Grande River. You can either do half-day trips or multi-day trips, which include sleeping out under the stars in the desert. You can go with guides or by yourself with friends. You must have a permit to bring any sort of kayak on the Ro Grande.
Besides your life jacket, waterproof sandals or shoes are extremely important for these kinds of trips. Comfortable moisture-wicking shorts and a rash guard are all great to have for kayaking trips. Make sure you have sunscreen, a sun hat, and sunglasses on because much of the time you are floating, you will be in direct sunlight. Having your things in a dry bag is also a very good idea.
Bicycling: Big Bend has over 120 miles of paved roads. Biking through Big Bend is an amazing way to see the country at a slow and easy pace. Bicycling is allowed on any paved roads, but do not go on any trails with your bikes.
Biking, especially in the summer, can get very hot. It is best to wear thin, spandex clothing, like spandex shorts and long sleeves (to protect from the sun). Sunglasses will help you a lot, and make sure you have close-toed shoes. Bring lots of water, and even binoculars to stop and see some sights!