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Texas

Geographically, Texas is part of the Southwest but only part of this massive state has the characteristic mountain and desert scenery. To the west of San Antonio and San Angelo the land becomes empty and very sparsely settled, while to the east the countryside is mostly farmed and inhabited with woodland, meadows, meandering slow-moving rivers and some patches of swampland, a characteristic environment of states further east. This change in landscape occurs in the distance of 100 miles or so. At the west edge of Texas, isolated mountains such as the Guadalupe and the Chisos range in Big Bend National Park rise high above the desert, but most of the next 500 miles eastwards is flat, featureless prairie. These mountains form the centrepiece of the only two national parks in Texas. Neither receives many visitors compared with other Southwest parks, but Big Bend is becoming increasingly popular, and rightly so as it has a great variety of scenery and recreation opportunities.

The south and west of the state is part of the Chihuahuan Desert and has quite varied plant life but further north the land is more barren. In central Texas, the plains eventually merge with the Edwards Plateau which rises gradually then breaks up into a series of steep-sided, wooded canyons and ridges, forming the Hill Country north and west of San Antonio. This area is famous for the displays of wildflowers during spring and has a number of interesting state parks, often based around rivers or lakes, including Dinosaur Valley, Lost Maples, Enchanted Rock and Pedernales Falls.

Texas is a vast state over 800 miles in both length and breadth has many places worth visiting, however, because of its size requires lot of driving between locations.


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