Barton Warnock Visitor Center

  • Barton Warnock Visitor Center
    Pick up permits and get acquainted with the Chihuahuan Desert at the visitor center.
  • Barton Warnock Exhibits
    Browse exhibits on the rich cultural and natural history of the Chihuahuan Desert.
  • Barton Warnock Desert Garden
    Learn about the plants that thrive in this harsh terrain in our two-acre desert garden.

Things to Do

Barton Warnock Visitor Center serves as the eastern entrance for Big Bend Ranch State Park and is near Lajitas. Permits for backpacking and camping (no hookups) at Big Bend Ranch State Park can be obtained at Barton Warnock or at Fort Leaton State Historic Site, the western visitor center for the park. Visitors can also purchase river-use permits, licenses, and information about the Big Bend region.

Learn more about camping at Big Bend Ranch State Park. For reservations:

Extreme heat warning

In warm weather months, be prepared for extreme summer heat. Temperatures typically exceed 100 degrees by late morning and can reach as high as 130 degrees in the sun. They remain at dangerous levels even after sunset. 

Carry plenty of extra water on the trails, and stay off trails in the afternoon. 

Visitor Center

The new, renovated Interpretive Center, "Una Tierra - One Land," is the fruit of an international partnership effort of state and national park experts in Texas and the Mexican states of Coahuila and Chihuahua. The vast majority of information, including captions and text, is presented in both English and Spanish.

The Center presents an archeological, historical, and natural history profile of the Big Bend region. It houses a book store and gift shop. The book store includes guides for area interest, as well as books on the history and the natural environment of the Big Bend Region. The gift shop has a variety of T-shirts, postcards, and souvenirs.

Get involved

Volunteer at the park, online, or join the Friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Donate to the Friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Ranger Programs

Take a self-guided tour through the Interpretive Center and two-acre desert garden. Discover how the history, geology and landscape have shaped the cultural heritage of the region; how humans, animals and plants have adapted to survive the harsh conditions of the Chihuahuan Desert; how plants have adapted to the harsh conditions of the Chihuahuan Desert and how the first inhabitants of Big Bend used these plants for food, shelter and medicine. Guided tours for groups may be arranged. Check the calendar of events, or contact the park for details.

Kids: Become a Junior Ranger!

  • Borrow an Explorer Pack, loaded with tools for exploring the park.
  • Pick up a free Junior Ranger Activity Journal at headquarters. Complete tasks to earn a badge.

Teachers: This is a Texas Aquatic Science Certified Field Site.

Nearby points of interest include Big Bend Ranch State Park, Fort Leaton State Historic Site, Big Bend National Park, Terlingua Ghost Town, and Lajitas on the Rio Grande. For more information on this region, download the Texas Historical Commission's The Land of Endless Vistas | PDF.

graphic Dark Sky Park logo

HC 70, P.O. Box 375
Terlingua, TX 79852

Latitude: 29.269902

Longitude: -103.757351

(432) 424-3327

Make reservations online

Reserve by phone: (512) 389-8900

Entrance Fees
  • 13 years and older: $5 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

Open daily

We often reach capacity; reservations are highly recommended for camping. To guarantee entrance,
 reserve and pay for day passes and camping permits online or by calling the customer service center, before you visit.

Office Hours for
Big Bend Ranch State Park

East entrance:
Barton Warnock Visitor Center
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily


West entrance:
Fort Leaton State Historic Site
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily


Sauceda Ranger Station
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily 
Closed Dec. 25.


Note: The Sauceda Ranger Station is 27 miles of rugged, dirt road from FM 170. This is the only way in or out of the interior of the park. Motor homes and trailers are not recommended.


Average rainfall is 8.9 inches. January average low temperature is 36 degrees. July average high temperature is 99 degrees. Prepare for extreme summer heat. Temperatures typically exceed 100 degrees by late morning and can reach as high as 130 degrees in the sun. They remain at dangerous levels even after sunset.

National Weather Service forecast for this area

2364 feet

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