Big Bend National Park

ProTip: Holidays are super busy (relative to Big Bend, this is still not The Grand Canyon). Book lodging far in advance. With that said, you can have the park to yourself much of the year. Summers are hot, but you can acclimate and plan accordingly. My first visit was in July. We camped and easily acclimated to the heat, did smart hikes, carried lots of water and “energy”, and ensured we supplemented plenty of salt. I found the trip completely tolerable, and that was where the obsession began.

ProTip: The speed limit inside the park is 45 mph. Rangers will not hesitate to hand out a ticket. There’s no need to rush through the park. Set the cruise control and don’t let a ticket spoil your fun.