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Austin, TX is not a desert.
Austin receives around 35 inches of rain per year. A desert is classified as a region receiving less than 10 inches of rain per year.
Let’s dive into more detail of deserts in Texas!
Why Would Some People Think of Austin as a Desert?
People can confuse Austin as being a desert because of its long, hot summers with little to no rain.
It’s not rare to go months at a time in Austin with no rain, but the climate here supports lots of greenery. Austin sits between the Texas Hill Country and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. While the city sits close to the more arid areas of the state, it is more than capable of supporting nature.
How Much of Texas is Desert?
While Texas is associated with the southwestern desert, not even 10% of the state is desert.
There are only four deserts in North America, and Texas is lucky enough to have one of them. This desert is known as the Chihuahuan desert. The Chihuahuan desert stretches over 200,000 miles and finds its home in Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.
This large desert occupies less than 10% of the state.
What Part of Texas is Desert?
The part of Texas that is desert is located in the west.
The desert area of Texas is located in the west. The Chihuahuan Desert spills into the western part of the state. This area is not super arid, it very much looks like a desert.
This desert is also more commonly known in Texas as the Big Bend County. This part of the region sits west of the Pecos River, known as the Trans-Peco region of Texas.
How Far is the Desert From Austin, TX?
The drive from Austin to the Chihuahuan Desert takes about 6 hours and 50 minutes.
The distance between Austin and the desert is about 425 miles. Depending on where the final destination is located, this could be a longer or shorter distance.
Below I have some recommendations for where to stop in the Texas desert:
Marfa, Texas is worth a visit. This desert town is also known as an artists hub. It’s been known as an artist’s destination since the 1970s. If you are ever passing through the Chihuahuan desert in Texas, be sure to spend a few days in this funky town.
Big Bend National Park. This is a hiker’s dream. With more than 150 miles of trails and desert to explore, you’ll want to plan for a few days with this one!
Most of Texas is not a desert, despite the constant heat and lack of rain.
The area of desert will be found in the western region of the state. Most of Texas’s climate is subtropical, with lots of greenery.