Suggested Reading List
Naturalist's Big Bend
Author: Roland Wauwe
Description: An introduction to the trees, shrubs, wildflowers, cacti, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects of the Big Bend.
The Big Bend, A History of the Last Texas Frontier
Author: Ron C. Tyler
Description: A study of four centuries of human society-Indian, Spanish, Mexican, Texas and American - in a region remote and little known.
The Story of Big Bend National Park
Author: John Jameson
Description: This book offers a comprehensive, highly readable history of the park from its founding in 1944 up to the present.
Big Bend, The Story Behind The Scenery
Author: Carol E. Sperling
Description: This book is dedicated to all who find nature not an adversary to conquer and destroy, but a storehouse of infinite knowledge and experience linking man to all things past and present. They know conserving the natural environment is essential to our future well being.
The Big Bend of the Rio Grande
Author: Ross Maxwell
Description: The most definitive overall guide to the Big Bend by the park's first superintendent, Ross Maxwell who was also a geologist.
Hiking the Big Bend National Park
Author: Laurence Parent
Description: Comprehensive guide to 44 of the most popular hikes in the national park as well as three hikes in Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Big Bend, A Homesteader's Story
Author: J.O. Langford
Description: A story of the Langfords' life in the rugged and spectacularly beautiful country which they came to call their own. This account is told with the help of Fred Gipson, author of Old Yeller.
I'll Gather My Geese
Author: Hallie Crawford Stillwell
Description: The New York Times identified Hallie Stillwell (1897-1997) as a "rancher and a Texas legend."
At the age of nineteen, Hallie decided to take a job teaching school in the remote border town of Presidio, Texas. Her father thought it a dangerous proposition and told her she was getting into a wild goose chase. She responded, "Then I'll gather my geese." After teaching for a year, she got a proposal from an old-fashioned rancher twice her age, Roy Stillwell. Hallie's escapades as a bride in the rough environs of the Big Bend ranch have appealed to thousands of readers.
Beneath the Window: Early Ranch Life in the Big Bend Country
Author: Patricia Wilson Clothier
Description: A memoir by Patricia Wilson Clothier. Before it became a national park, the Big Bend was home to a number of ranches and mining operations. On the Wilson ranch, which stood at the center of the current park, Mrs. Clothier spent her youth exploring the wonders of ranch life in the Chisos. Patricia's richly detailed memories, coupled with a backdrop of Depression era hardships, bring the Big Bend to life in this original and vivid description of a childhood spent "Beneath the Window".
A Most Singular Country-A History of Occupation in the Big Bend
Author: Arthur R. Gomez
Big Bend Country, Land of the Unexpected
Author: Kenneth B. Ragsdale
Description: Ragsdale's stories cover a half-century, roughly 1900 to 1955, from wagon trains to the filming of an epic movie, a time in which the face of the Big Bend changed: the quicksilver mines closed, a national park was established, isolation and cattle gave way to vacation ranchettes and tourists.
Big Bend Vista, A Geological Exploration of the Big Bend
Author: William MacLeod
Exploring the Big Bend Country
Author: Peter Koch & June Cooper Price
Description: Photographer-naturalist Peter Koch first visited the new Big Bend National Park in February, 1945, on assignment to take promotional pictures for the National Park Service. He planned to spend a couple of weeks—and ended up staying for the rest of his life. Koch's magnificent photographs and documentary film-lectures Big Bend, Life in a Desert Wilderness and Desert Gold introduced the park to people across the United States, drawing thousands of visitors to the Big Bend. His photographs and films of the region remain among the best ever produced, and are an invaluable visual record of the first four decades of Big Bend National Park.
In this highly readable book, Koch's daughter June Cooper Price draws on the newspaper columns her father wrote for the Alpine Avalanche, supplemented by his photographs, journal entries, and short pieces by other family members, to present Peter Koch's vision of the Big Bend. The book opens with his first "big adventure," a six-day photographic trip through Santa Elena Canyon on a raft made from agave flower stalks. From there, Koch takes readers hiking on mountain trails and driving the scenic loop around Fort Davis. He also describes "wax smuggling" and other ways of making a living on the Mexican border; ranching in the Big Bend; the prehistory and Native Americans of the region; collaborating with botanist Barton Warnock on books of Trans-Pecos wildflowers; and the history and beauty of Presidio County, the Rio Grande, and the Chihuahuan Desert.
God's Country or Devil's Playground
Author: Edited by Barney Nelson
Description: In this anthology of nature writing, Barney Nelson gathers nearly sixty literary perspectives on the landscape and life of the Big Bend region, broadly defined as Trans-Pecos Texas and northern Chihuahua, Mexico. In addition to Leopold and Webb, the collection includes such well-known writers as Edward Abbey, Mary Austin, Roy Bedichek, and Frederick Olmsted, as well as a wide range of voices that includes explorers, trappers, cowboys, ranch wives, curanderos, college presidents, scientists, locals, tourists, historians, avisadores, and waitresses. Following a personal introduction by Barney Nelson, the pieces are grouped thematically to highlight the distinctive ways in which writers have responded to the Big Bend.
Author: Park Staff
Description: Covers all major trails in the park, from short self guiding nature trails to strenuous backpacking routes.
Hiking Big Bend National Park
Author: Laurence Parent
Description: Comprehensive guide to 44 most popular hikes in the national park as well as three hikes in Big Bend Ranch State Park
The Big Bend Guide
Author: Allan C. Kimball
Description: Whether spending two days or 10, Kimball provides the skinny on what to do, what to see and how to get there.