Texas doesn’t have many waterfalls to boast about, however Cattail Falls in Big Bend National Park is the exception. This seasonal waterfall is best visited after a heavy spring rain. Other times of the year, it may not appear at all. The fragile area at Cattail Falls should be regarded with the utmost respect. You won’t find the trail to Cattail Falls on a map of Big Bend National Park, simply to protect this fragile ecosystem. It is home to unique vegetation like the yellow longspur columbine flower and the red stream orchid. If you are interested in visiting this Texas gem, simply value the area by respecting its surroundings and following park laws.

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Cattail Falls
Cattail Falls

The short yet rewarding hike to Cattail Falls is located in Cattail Canyon. This 1.5-mile trail leads hikers through rolling hills and dense brush and ends at the waterfall. When heavily flowing, this 45-foot waterfall creates a lovely pool. Furthermore, the vegetation and colorful rock offer a lovely scene, no matter if the falls are flowing or not.

Trail to Cattail Falls
Trail to Cattail Falls

To reach the trailhead to Cattail Falls, you must take a dirt road across from the Sam Nail Ranch. Do not expect to see a sign for the trailhead from the main road. Follow this dirt road until you reach a parking lot, and this is where the trailhead is.

View on the Cattail Falls hike
View on the Cattail Falls hike

Since this is a desert environment, always be prepared with water and food. And when it comes to the wildlife here, always remain alert. Black bears actually live in the Chisos Mountains of Texas, so simply make sure to cause noise or sing while hiking to alert wildlife nearby that you are in the area.

Cattail Falls
Cattail Falls

Cattail Falls is an incredible part of West Texas and Big Bend National Park. However it is extremely important for the life of this area to respect national park property and treat it with care. Always follow Leave No Trace policies when it comes to waste, and simply be mindful of your impact during your visit. There aren’t too many scenic waterfalls in Texas, and all hikers must help to keep this area preserved for future visitors.

Big Bend National Park Information: 

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