Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

Things to Do

World Birding Center logoAs part of the World Birding Center, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a world-class destination for bird-watching. The Rio Grande Valley hosts one of the most spectacular convergences of birds on earth with more than 525 species documented in this unique place. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park alone has an impressive list of 358 species recorded within the park’s boundaries. Birders have a chance to see migratory birds during their yearly migrations over the valley including flocks of thousands of hawks from the park’s Hawk Tower in the spring and fall. Some birders travel to the Bentsen to see bird species they can’t find anyplace else in the country--from the Green Jay and the Buff-bellied Hummingbird to the Great Kiskadee and the Altamira Oriole.

The visitor center has a bilingual (English/Spanish) exhibit hall, park store, group hall and administrative offices--all surrounded by butterfly gardens and hummingbird feeders. Visitors can take our transportation shuttle, ride bikes or walk through the park. A two-story observation tower with a wheelchair-accessible ramp gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of the canopy as well as a peek into Mexico. Two enclosed bird blinds, a birding wall and several water features allow visitors to see birds up close and watch their behaviors. Ten bird feeding stations are stocked from November through March, and over seven miles of trails offer a variety of opportunities to encounter wildlife inside the park.

Ranger Programs

Bird and nature walks are a great opportunity for visitors to meet the wildlife in the park. Other guided tours feature butterflies, dragonflies, and creatures of the night, as well as programs for teachers, students and young naturalists. During the summer months the park has "Beak the heat" birding programs that take place in an air-conditioned room. Regularly scheduled programs are free with park admission.

  • Check our Events page for upcoming programs and workshops.
  • Borrow a Junior Ranger Explorer Pack for the kids in your group!
  • Contact the park to set up a special tour or program for your group. School field trips and special programs are available upon request (fees may apply).
  • Learn about our Field Trip Opportunities.
  • Connect with us on Facebook!

Equipment Rentals

The Texas State Park Store "Algunas Plumas" offers a variety of camping supplies, outdoor equipment, field guides, gifts and food items. The store also rents the following equipment for use at the park:

  • Bicycles:  regular, children's and trikes - $5 to $12 per day
  • Binoculars:  $3 per day

Area Attractions

The World Birding Center is based on a joint partnership between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Rio Grande Valley communities, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It consists of a network of nine distinctly different birding sites, set along a 120-mile historic river road--each sponsored by one of the Valley’s nine partner communities.

Find more information on the Tropical Trail Region area from the Texas Historical Commission

First Day Hike at this park on January 1, 2017.

Take a
First Day Hike



2800 S. Bentsen Palm Drive (FM 2062)
Mission, TX 78572

Latitude: 26.186987

Longitude: -98.381888

(956) 584-9156

Make reservations online

Reserve by phone: (512) 389-8900

Entrance Fees
  • Adult: $5 Daily
  • Group (10+ people): $3 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under : Free

Park is open daily, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Park Store is open daily, 8 a.m - 5 p.m

Park Shuttle

From Oct. through May: Hourly, every day from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
From June through Sept: Hourly, Thursday to Sunday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.


When the visitor center is closed, please pay at self-pay station beside the main gate into the park.

Busy Season:
  September through April.

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