Description - Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is located along the Rio Grande River, 5 miles southwest of Mission, in Hidalgo County. The 587.7 acres of subtropical resaca woodlands and brush land of thicket-forming thorny shrubs and small trees. The resaca woodlands and brush lands were acquired from private owners in 1944. The park opened later in 1944.
Copyright: Texas State Parks & Historical Sites
Sunset at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
The park contains acres of subtropical, resaca woodlands and brush land of thicket-forming, thorny shrubs and small trees. Resacas are low-lying, former river channels, which are partially filled with silt. Their associated banks support a luxuriant growth of cedar elm, anaqua, ebony, hackberry, Mexican ash and Tepequaje, a very large Mexican lead tree. Plants and animals in the park represent a northernmost extension of the Mexican subtropics.
The park is open 7 days a week year-round. The gate is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m daily. The warm climate and rare freezes make the park extremely attractive to visitors in the winter and early spring.
- This park is one of the best places in the United States to observe subtropical birds and wildlife that are more commonly found south in Mexico. Birds from both the eastern and western United States are also found in the area; and during spring migration, the park is especially interesting to birders. Unusual birds include: black-bellied whistling duck, clay-colored robin, rose-throated becard, tropical parula and masked tityra. The park is also one of the last natural refuges in Texas for cats such as the ocelot and jaguarundi. Popular fish include bass and catfish.
Facilities include restrooms with showers; picnic sites with tables, grills and water nearby; campsites with water; pull-through campsites with water, electricity and sewer hookups - 20/30/50 amp outlets (paved pullouts, a table, a grill, a fire ring and a lantern post); a youth group camp with fire rings and tent space; a group pavilion with tables (a tin roof, a concrete floor, electricity and shuffleboard); a trailer dump station; a playground; 3 miles of hiking trails; a fish-cleaning table; a boat ramp, and a Texas State Park Store.
Recreation - The park provides a chance to study unique plants, animals and birds of the region. Many species of birds unique to the southern U.S. are found here. Visitors to the park have opportunities to enjoy camping, hiking along nature trails, picnicking, bird watching, nature study, boating and fishing.
Professional park naturalists conduct daily, on-site birdwatching and wildlife tours from December through March. A visitor birding information center is also available from December through March. All tours begin at the group pavilion. Visitors meet in that area at 7:00 a.m. and depart at 7:20 a.m. and are picked up by a bus equipped for disabled persons. Tours last about 6 to 8 hours. (Contact the park at 956/519-6448 for specific fees and details on tours.) Reservations and advance payment for these tours may be made by mailing payment to the park address. Income from tours supports the conservation efforts of Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park.
Climate - Temperatures within the park range from an average July high of 95 degrees to a January average low of 48 degrees. September and October are usually the wettest months. The first/last freeze is normally December 8/February 7. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is situated within the Gulf Coast region of Texas. From Mission, take US Highway 83; continue west on Loop 374 for 2.5 miles, then south on FM 2062 for 2.6 miles, and enter on Park Road 43.