Big Bend National Park - Big Bend National Park, TX - Historic and Cultural Parks

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Welcome to Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is in southwest Texas and includes the entire Chisos mountain range and a large swath of the Chihuahuan Desert. The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive leads to the ruins of Sam Nail Ranch, now home to desert wildlife. The Santa Elena Canyon, carved by the Rio Grande, features steep limestone cliffs. Langford Hot Springs, near the Mexican border, has pictographs and the foundations of an old bathhouse.Another stop in the park that represents the historically fluid nature of the U.S. – Mexico border is Mariscal Quicksilver Mine & Reduction Works. Protected within the boundaries of Big Bend National Park are the abandoned mine-works, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The well-preserved historic structures are some of the best illustrating the mercury mining industry in the United States. From 1900 to 1943, Mariscal Mine produced 1,400 seventy-six pound flasks of mercury, totaling nearly one quarter of the total mercury produced in the United States. Between 1919 and 1923, Mariscal Mine employed 20 to 40 Mexican citizens who had fled to Texas to escape the Mexican Revolution. The only Americans at the mine were the manager, foreman, and brick-kiln specialist. Most of the ruins visible today are one to three room houses, built between 1919 and 1923.The distinct natural and cultural diversity of Big Bend National Park on the border with Mexico is surely to leave a memorable impression upon any visitor.