You won't find any white water to speak of, but the sense of isolation and profound canyon vistas will stay with you. For all the watery pleasures to be had on San Antonio's River Walk or the lakes around Austin, Big Bend (about 425 miles west of Austin) is a landscape on a whole different scale.
In honor of this year's National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We'll post one per day through Dec. 31.
Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds