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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Big Bend National Park opens for day use

Groups are currently limited to five people or one household.

BREWSTER COUNTY, Texas — Update: As of September 1, some new areas of Big Bend National Park have reopened to the public.

The road to Rio Grande Village is now open, as well as some areas on the east side of the park.

Several trails will now be open for hikes such as the Boquilla Canyon Trail and the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail.

However, all other facilities, roads and campgrounds on the east side will stay closed until further notice. This includes river trips.

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Big Bend National Park has announced it will be reopening for day use.

The park has been closed as part of safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the park's website, this update will start on August 7.

At this time the park will be open for day use only and group sizes will be limited to five people or one household.

Visitors should also note that Brewster County is under the state's mandatory mask order.

During the park's first phase of reopening, only certain parts of the park will be open to visitors.

Some of the park's paved roads are open. Most trails that begin from these paved roads are open for visitors to hike.

Places like restrooms along the open roads and the Panther Junction Store and Gas Station will also be open to visitors.

Multiple area of the park will still be off-limits to visitors until further notice. These areas include all visitor centers, river use, campgrounds and the Boquillas Crossing Port of Entry.

Additionally, further reopenings or closures of the park will be determined based off the advice of the federal, state and local public health officials. 

For more information or to see the full list of areas that are open or restricted to the public, you can visit the Big Bend National Park website.

Big Bend is also warning visitors to be aware of the extreme summer heat the Chihuahuan Desert brings. Temperatures can reach up to 100 degrees before morning is through and remain high until after sunset.

All hikers should try to stay off of trails during the afternoon and carry extra water at all times.