Don’t be fooled by the town’s name. Alpine evokes images of snow-capped peaks and lofty magnificence. You won’t find that here. Instead, you’ll encounter plenty of West Texas charm and fantastic food along the extra-wide streets of this historic community that serves as the economic hub of the Big Bend region.
Alpine’s (population 5,786) origins date to 1882 when workers pitched their tents at a mountain base while working on the transcontinental railroad that traversed the region. The town gained residents slowly until 1921, when the opening of Sul Ross State Normal College (now Sul Ross State University) resulted in a significant population increase. The university, railroad, and ranching industries solidified Alpine’s status as the stable economic core of far West Texas.
Since Big Bend’s  opening in the 1940s, Alpine has become a destination for travelers who often schedule an extra day or two in town on their way to or from the park to enjoy the mild climate and cultural resources, including several noteworthy museums, restaurants, and year-round recreational activities.
The Alpine visitors center offers a handy brochure with a map featuring a walking tour of historic downtown buildings. Popular annual events include the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Trappings of Texas in February, Cinco de Mayo celebration in May, and Big Bend Balloon Bash on Labor Day weekend.