For outdoor enthusiasts seeking challenging terrain and beautiful landscapes, Big Bend National Park is the grandaddy of all Texas parks. Providing visitors with its vast desert land, mountains, and the Rio Grande River this national park is bound to impress. Located on the Texas-Mexico border, this park is the largest protected public land area in the United States and is open to the public 24 hours a day.
With 42 campsites available to backpackers, the Chisos Mountains are the perfect location for park visitors to experience the Big Bend National Park’s Backcountry. Set in the desert, these unique campsites offer plenty of opportunities to spy Black Bears and Mountain Lions. Backcountry permits are required.
One of the most enjoyable activities in Big Bend is camping. For regular car camping (meaning no RV’s or trailer over 20’ long), there are several locations to enjoy starting with the Chisos Basin Campground. The campground has grills to cook on and picnic tables.
The Cottonwood Campground is shaded, fits up to 24 cars, and open year-round. This spacious campsite is nestled between Castolon Historic District and Santa Elena Canyon, offers water, grills and pinic tables.
Named for the legendary river that divides Texas and Mexico, the Rio Grande Village Campground is available to campers year-round, and features picnic tables for delicious daytime lunches. This wide open space is lined with trees, offers flushing toilets and running water for campers, grills for cooking and picnic tables.
During specific months, campsites are are subject to reservation. For more information about reserving a campground, call 1-877-444-6777.
For visiting groups of up to 15 campers, the following campgrounds are available for reservation:
- Chisos Basin Group Campground Reservations
- Rio Grande Village Group Campground Reservations
- Cottonwood Group Campground Reservations
The Chisos Mountains Lodge, located in the Chisos Mountains, offers 72 non-smoking rooms for visitors of Big Bend National Park. Open year-round, this is a lodge that offers comfortable rooms and cabins for visitors.
Day Hiking is a major attraction of Big Bend National Park. This is because of the park’s road-less public land that offers over 150 miles of trails, with peaks and valleys that reach elevations to an upwards of more than 7800 feet. A yield of various flora and fauna have thrived along the trails due to changes in elevation and dramatic temperature differences, both events felt by hikers. Different types of hiking available include Chihuahuan Desert Trail Hike (0.5 miles long), Emory Peak Mountain Hike (10.5 miles long), and the Hot Springs Historic Trail (1 mile long).
Guided river trips are available to adventurous park visitors. Giving visitors the opportunity to sit inside the middle of the park’s canyons, river trips are a great way to experience Big Bend’s extraordinary presence while floating along the historic Rio Grande River.
Know Before You Go
With so many activities to participate in while enjoying Big Bend National Park, visitors hardly ever want to return to their regular way of life. Although the park is open 24 hours and has a low amount of visitors year round, there are peak seasons that require reservations and planning including Spring Break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
A gallon of water per visitor is required in the park due to perpetual climate changes.
Before visiting the Big Bend National Park, learn about Backcountry Permits, Backcountry Regulations for safe park visits, and stay abreast of trail closures and inclement weather conditions.
There is a daily entrance rate for adults, and vehicle registration fees. Children, ages 15 and younger, are admitted for free. Campsite fees vary by specific experience, vehicle type, and reservation availability.
For more information about Big Bend National Park, visit U.S. National Park Service – Big Bend National Park today.