Big Bend National Park – Central

The central part of the park is dominated by the Chisos mountains, eroded remnants of volcanic activity 35-44 million years ago. This mountain range is the only one in the United States fully contained within a national park and is the southernmost mountain range in the mainland United States.
The higher altitude (up to 7,835 feet) in the mountains supports cooler temperatures and more moisture. This supports Douglas fir, Aspen, Arizona cypress, Maple, Ponderosa pine, and Madrone; there is plenty of shade unlike the desert. You’ll see moss on rocks and trunks on the wetter side of the mountains.

The road entering the park from the north side has a nice outdoor Fossil Discovery Exhibit.

This included Quetzalcoatlus, a toothless pterosaur which was discovered here. It was one of the largest known flying animals of all time, with a wing span of at least 36 feet. The name comes from the Aztec feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl.


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