Category: Big Bend National Park

The Complete Guide to Camping in Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park sits on the Rio Grande River in West Texas. This stunning national park features an incredible landscape of deep canyons, high mountains, and arid desert that…

Big Bend National Park sits on the Rio Grande River in West Texas. This stunning national park features an incredible landscape of deep canyons, high mountains, and arid desert that protects a vast area of Chihuahuan Desert. Big Bend is so remote that the National Park Service has determined that it has the best stargazing of any of the national parks in the lower 48 states.  Given all that, we think the best way to experience all that Big Bend National Park has to offer is by spending the night in your tent or RV where you’ll experience this incredible landscape first hand.

Big Bend National Park and the surrounding areas have plenty of options for camping. From the four developed campgrounds located within the national park, to the primitive roadside campgrounds dotted through the landscape, to the backcountry wilderness campsites high in the Chisos Mountains, you’re sure to find the perfect campsite in Big Bend.

In addition to the campgrounds within the national park you’ll also find great options for RV and car camping just outside the park boundary.  Needless to say, you’ll be spoiled for options.

Keeping reading to get all the details to plan your perfect camping trip in Big Bend National Park.

Mountains of Big Bend

Camping in Big Bend National Park is an experience not to be missed.

 

In this Post

 

Big Bend National Park Campgrounds

There are four developed campgrounds located with Big Bend National Park. Three of these are run by the National Park Service while the fourth, Rio Grande Village RV Park, is run by Forever Resorts, a concessioner of the park.

In addition to these four campgrounds, Big Bend also features dozens of primitive roadside campsites and a plethora of backcountry campsites reached only by foot. All of the campgrounds are well located throughout the park, giving visitors plenty of campsites to choose from regardless of which section of Big Bend they want to explore.

The map below gives you a general sense of where each of the developed campgrounds are located in Big Bend National Park as well as their relation to the surrounding area. 

Map of campgrounds in Big Bend National Park

Campgrounds in Big Bend National Park. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

 

Campgrounds in Big Bend are open year round making a trip any time of year possible. Peak season for camping in Big Bend is from January 1st – April 1st, when temperatures in the park are more moderate.

Keep reading to learn more about reserving your campground in Big Bend National Park.

Reservations & Permits

Generally speaking only the Chisos Basin Campground, Rio Grande Village Campground, and Rio Grande Village RV Campground accept reservations. Reservations at the Rio Grande Village Campground are only available from November 1st – April 15th. However, at the time of this writing reservations are now required for all of the campgrounds within the national park.

Get the most up-to-date information on campground reservations in Big Bend here. 

In addition, reservations are required year round for the group campgrounds located at Chisos Basin, Rio Grande Village, and Cottonwood Campgrounds. 

To make a reservation for the Big Bend Campgrounds you’ll need to visit Recreation.gov, which manages campground reservations for the National Park Service. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance of your trip, but are not accepted less than 48 hours prior to arrival.

Reservations for Big Bend National Park Campgrounds can be made here via Recreation.gov

For the Rio Grande Village RV Campground reservations can be made by calling 1-877-386-4383.

It is important to know that even if you don’t have a reservation  you can still find a campground in Big Bend. All of the campgrounds within the national park have a number of first come, first served campsites available. These can be a lifesaver when you plan a last minute camping trip to Big Bend!

To secure a first-come, first-served campground during peak season, you will want to be sure to arrive early!

Tent in Big Bend lite up at night.

You’ll be glad to made a reservation if you’re hoping to camp in peak season in Big Bend.

 

For those interested in exploring the backcountry of Big Bend, either by camping at one of the roadside primitive campsites or by hiking to a backcountry campsite, you’ll need a Backcountry Use Permit issued by the park service.  Backcountry permits are required for anyone camping in the Big Bend backcountry, so be sure to secure yours in advance.

In order to secure your permit you’ll need to have each night of your itinerary planned out. The backcountry use permit is obtained through Recreation.gov and grants access to a specific campsite for the night. You’ll want to be sure you have a variety of options during peak-season in case your desired campsite is already taken.

Backcountry campsites can be reserved up to 6 months in advance via Recreation.gov. 

Reservations for Big Bend National Park backcountry campsites can be made here via Recreation.gov

In addition to the backcountry campsites located in the Chisos Mountains, there is also the possibility of camping in the open desert areas of Big Bend. While you’ll still need a backcountry use permit for desert wilderness camping, you won’t need to specify a specific campsite for each night of your trip.

Learn more about backcountry camping in Big Bend in this section.

Cliff in Big Bend National Park

Backpacking will give you access to some of the most incredible scenery Big Bend has to offer.

 

Developed Campgrounds

There are four developed campgrounds located in Big Bend National Park. These campgrounds vary in size and services and give plenty of options for those looking to explore all that Big Bend has to offer. Details for all four campgrounds are below.

Chisos Basin Campground

Number of Sites: 60 sites (including 7 group sites)
Fee: $16/night
RVs: Yes, max size of 24′ or 20′ trailer. Not allowed at the group sites.
Reservations: Available for 40 sites. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open year round.
More Information

Picnic table at the Chisos Basin Campground.

Chisos Basin Campground, Big Bend National Park. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Chisos Basin Campground sits in the center of Big Bend National Park at the base of the Chisos Mountains. The campground is the perfect place to spend the night before exploring the Window Trail, Boot Canyon Trail, or Chisos Basin Loop trail as they are all located near the campground. You can see a full list of hikes in the mountains of Big Bend here.

The Chisos Basin Campground contains 60 campsites, seven of which are designated group sites. The campground is organized into several loops with potable water and restrooms available throughout. 40 out of the 60 total campsites are reservable in advance on Recreation.gov, while 20 sites are always available on a first-come, first-served basis. The seven group sites at Chisos Basin require an advance reservation year round.

View a map of the Chisos Basin Campground here. 

The Chisos Basin Campground can accommodate RVs and features a dump station. RVs longer than 24′ and trailers longer than 20′ are not recommended at the campground due to the narrow roads. Generator use is generally allowed between 8am – 11am and 5pm – 8pm, but only in designated areas of the campground.

Nearby you’ll find the Chisos Basin Visitor Center and Store, which carries a few camping basics and simple groceries.

View of the Chisos Mountains

Chisos Basin is the perfect place to spend the night before exploring the mountains of Big Bend.

 

Cottonwood Campground

Number of Sites: 24 sites (including 1 group site)
Fee: $16/night
RVs: Yes, no hookups available.
Reservations: First-come, first-served for individual sites. Reservation required for group site. 
Season: Open year round.
More Information

Picnic table at the Cottonwood Campground

Cottonwood Campground, Big Bend National Park. Photo credit NPS/C. Hoyt.

 

The Cottonwood Campground is located in the far southwest of Big Bend National Park and sits adjacent to the Rio Grande river. Cottonwood is the smallest campground in the park and is situated just a short drive from the spectacular Santa Elena Canyon.

Cottonwood Campground has just 24 campsites, one of which is a group site that can accommodate up to 25 people. The campground is laid out in a single loop, located just off Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. The campground has restrooms, a potable water tap, and an amphitheater where ranger presentations often occur. Individual campsites feature picnic tables and charcoal grills.

All of the individual campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, while reservations are required for the single group site.

View a map of the Cottonwood Campground here. 

RVs are allowed at Cottonwood, although there are no hookups or dump stations available and generators are not allowed.

Adjacent to the campground you’ll find the Castolon Visitor Center and Historic District, a worthwhile stop on your visit to Big Bend.

Canoes in Santa Elena Canyon

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend.

 

Rio Grande Village Campground

Number of Sites: 100 sites (including 4 group sites)
Fee: $16/night
RVs: Yes, no hookups available. Dump station nearby.
Reservations: Available for 60 sites from Nov 1st – April 15th. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open year round.
More Information

RVs in the Rio Grande Village Campground

Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park. Photo credit NPS/C. Hoyt.

 

The Rio Grande Village Campground is located on the far eastern edge of Big Bend National Park and sits near the banks of the Rio Grande River. Rio Grande Village is perfectly located for those looking to take a soak in Big Bend’s famous hot springs, explore the Boquillas Canyon Trail, or cross the Rio Grande to explore Boquillas, Mexico.

The campground is the largest in the national park and features 100 campsites, four of which are group sites. The main camping area is organized in a large U shape with campsites clustered in neat rows. Group campsites are located on their own loop, away from the main camping area.

60 of the campsites at Rio Grande Village are able to be reserved in advance from November 1st – April 15h. Group sites require an advance reservation throughout the year.

View a map of the Rio Grande Village Campground here. 

RVs are welcome at the Rio Grande Village Campground, although there are no hookups available. Generators are allowed in specific sections of the campground and can be operated from 8am – 8pm. If you are in search of RV camping with hookups, just head next door to the Rio Grande Village RV Campground.

Near the campground you’ll find good services including the Rio Grande Visitor Center, open seasonally, as well as a camp store selling basic supplies, showers, and laundry.

Sunset over the Rio Grande River

Enjoy stunning sunsets from the Rio Grande Village Campground.

 

Rio Grande Village RV Campground

Number of Sites: 25 sites
Fee: $40/night
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Available for 20 sites. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open year round.
More Information

RVs parked at the Rio Grande Village RV Campground

Rio Grande Village RV Campground, Big Bend National Park. Photo credit NPS.

 

Located just up the road from the Rio Grande Village Campground described above, the Rio Grande Village RV Campground is the only campground in Big Bend that features full hookups for RVs. The campground is operated by Forever Resorts, a concessionaire of the NPS. The campground is well located for checking out the Big Bend hot springs as well as the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail.

The campground is on the smaller side and doesn’t offer much privacy when compared to your other options. However, it does provide water, electric, and sewer hookups for RVs. Rio Grande Village RV Campground is located just off Daniel’s Ranch Road and consists of a single drive-aisle with campsites located on both sides. 20 out of the 25 campsites at Rio Grande Village RV Campground are able to be reserved in advance.

View a map of the Rio Grande Village RV Campground here. 

Most size RVs can be accommodated at Rio Grande Village RV Campground, although a few sites can not accommodate trailers or RVs greater than 40′.

Near the campground you’ll find good services including the Rio Grande Visitor Center, open seasonally, as well as a camp store selling basic supplies, showers, and laundry.

The Rio Grande River

Enjoy views of the Rio Grande River from your campsite.

 

Big Bend National Park Primitive Roadside Campgrounds

In addition to the developed campgrounds described in the section above, Big Bend National Park also features numerous ‘primitive’ campgrounds on its nearly endless miles of dirt roads. These roadside primitive campgrounds are perfect for those looking to explore the vast backcountry of Big Bend without having to pack up their backpack.

The primitive nature of these campsites means you won’t find any bathrooms, water taps, or other amenities that the developed campgrounds in the park offer. In exchange for roughing it you’ll be treated to a solitude only possible by venturing off the beaten path!

Keep reading to learn more about primitive roadside camping in Big Bend National Park.

Big Bend Primitive Campground Permits

All of the primitive roadside campgrounds in Big Bend require a backcountry use permit. You have traditionally only been able to secure these permits in person at one of the visitor centers in the park, but they are now reservable in advance via Recreation.gov.

Your backcountry permit is good for a specific night and specific campsite, so be sure to have your exact itinerary planned out before applying for a permit. Camping permits cost $10/night and can be reserved up to 6 months in advance.

Reservations for Big Bend National Park primitive roadside campsites can be made here via Recreation.gov

Keep reading to learn about your different options for primitive camping in Big Bend.

Dirt road with mountains in the background

The dirt roads of Big Bend offer a unique camping experience.

 

Campsites on Improved Dirt Roads

Your first option for backcountry roadside camping in Big Bend is to camp at one of the campgrounds located on improved dirt roads. These are roads that are passable by most vehicles and don’t require 4WD. Keep in mind that this can change during periods of heavy rain or mud, when you may have a difficult time driving these roads without 4wd.

Most of these campsites are located in the northern section of the park, with a handful located in the southwest portion of Big Bend, near the Rio Grande. Take a look at the map and list below to get a sense of the campsites general location as well as a few details.

Map of primitive campsites in Big Bend National Park.

Map of improved primitive roadside campgrounds in Big Bend. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

 

The following is a comprehensive list of the improved primitive roadside campsites in Big Bend:

Campsites on Primitive Dirt Roads

For those with an adventurous spirit and a 4WD vehicle you’ll find additional primitive campgrounds located along Big Bend’s more rugged primitive dirt roads. These roads are not passable by passenger vehicles or RVs and you will need 4WD. Beware that these roads can become extremely difficult to drive and even unpassable during heavy rainfall.

The primitive dirt road campsites can generally be found in the following areas of Big Bend National Park:

Glenn Springs Road

Glenn Springs Road connects River Road East in the southern section of Big Bend with Park Route 12, the main east-west road through the national park. Along Glenn Springs Road you’ll find 13 campsites, outlined on the map and in the list below.

Map of campsites along Glenn Springs Road

Map of primitive campsites along Glenn Springs Road. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

 

The following is a comprehensive list of the primitive roadside campsites along Glenn Springs Road:

Old Ore Road

Old Ore Road leads from the Rio Grande Village in the far southeast corner of Big Bend National Park north to the Main Park Rd as it nears the Permission Gap Visitor Center. The NPS estimates that it takes 3.5 hours to drive the entire length of Old Ore Road from south to north. Along the way you’ll find 11 primitive campsites outlined on the map and in the list below.

Map of primitive campsites along Old Ore Road

Map of primitive campsites along Old Ore Road. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

 

The following is a comprehensive list of the primitive roadside campsites along Old Ore Road:

River Road

River Road is split into east and west sections as it follows the Rio Grande River along the southern boundary of Big Bend National Park. This is one of the most remote and beautiful sections of the park, and the campsites make a truly spectacular place to spend the night. Be aware that it can take up to 7 hours to drive the entire length of the road and that a 4WD vehicle is a must.

Along the way you’ll find 20 primitive campsites outlined on the map and in the list below.

Map of campsites along River Road in Big Bend National Park

Map of primitive campsites along River Road. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

 

The following is a comprehensive list of the primitive roadside campsites along River Road:

Backcountry camping in Big Bend

Backpacking in Big Bend National Park presents nearly endless opportunity for adventure. For those planning a backpacking trip in Big Bend you’ll need to secure a backcountry use permit ahead of time and have a well planned itinerary. However, this upfront planning will pay off in spades as you’ll be able to explore an incredibly diverse and remote wilderness.

Backpacking in Big Bend can generally be split into the following three options:

Chisos Mountains Backpacking

The Chisos Mountains are entirely contained within Big Bend National Park and provide stunning terrain for the adventurous backpacker. Emory Peak, at 7,825 feet above sea-level is the highest point in the Chisos Moutains and can hiked in a strenuous day.

For those looking to explore further, the Chisos have 42 backcountry campsites located throughout the mountainous terrain. Each campsite provides a food storage locker to help keep your food safe from wildlife in addition to an area to pitch your tent.

You can view a map of the campsites and trails in the Chisos Mountains below:

Map of trails and campsites in the Chisos Mountains.

Map of trails and campsites in the Chisos Mountains. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your backpacking trip in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend:

  • Plan to bring all the water you’ll need. Water sources can be scare in Big Bend.
  • No fires of any kind are permitted. You must use a camp stove for all cooking.
  • Securely store all food in the provided storage lockers.
  • Pets are not permitted in the backcountry of Big Bend.

To learn more, be sure to read the National Park Service’s excellent Chisos Mountains Backpacking Guidebook here.

The Chisos Moutains

The Chisos Mountains provide numerous options for backcountry camping.

 

Desert Backpacking

Outside of the Chisos Moutains, it is possible to backcountry camp in Big Bend’s expansive desert ecosystem. This is not for the inexperienced as you’ll need to be fully self-sufficient, know how to navigate off trail, and be prepared for harsh conditions.

However, for those who are up to the challenge desert backpacking in Big Bend National Park offers the chance to experience some of the most remote sections of the area and gain a true appreciation for this incredible national park. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a desert backpacking trip in Big Bend:

  • Always have a topo map and compass AND know how to use them.
  • You must obtain a backcountry use permit.
  • Be sure to notify the NPS of your planned route and itinerary.
  • Camp at least 500′ from the nearest road and 100 yards from the nearest trail.
  • Always practice Leave No Trace principles.

The National Park Service recommends the following areas as potential desert backpacking destinations:

Learn more about desert backpacking in Big Bend on the National Park Services’ website here. 

Sunset in Big Bend National Park

Explore Big Bend’s vast desert landscape on a backcountry camping trip.

 

Rio Grande River Trips

The final, and possibly the most spectacular, way to experience the backcountry of Big Bend National Park is to take a multi-day river trip along the Rio Grande. The park has several spectacular canyons to explore as well as peaceful, meandering sections of the Rio Grande River. You’ll need to secure a backcountry use permit for your trip and also have the required equipment prior to setting out. You’ll want to keep the following in mind when planning a river trip in Big Bend:

  • Be everyone in your group has a personal floatation device (PFD).
  • Always practice Leave No Trace principles.
  • Camp only in permitted areas.
  • Fire pans are required for all trips.

View the full list of regulations for planning a river trip in Big Bend National Park here.

The Rio Grande River

 

Big Bend National Park Camping Must Know

The following sections contain all the basic information you need to ensure you have a great time camping in Big Bend National Park. Before we dive in, there are a few important regulations to note:

  • The maximum stay at any campground or campsite is 14 consecutive nights and no more than 28 total nights in a calendar year.
  • You are not allowed to camp for a total of more than 14 nights between January 1st – April 15th.
  • Only camp in designated sites.
  • No more than eight people per campsite.
  • Always store your food using the provided food storage locker, in your car, or in an animal proof container.
  • Always practice Leave No Trace principles.

Detailed information on fires, pets, wildlife, and more can be found in the sections below.

Stone building in front of bluff in Big Bend

 

Fires

Campfires are prohibited throughout Big Bend National Park. This includes developed, primitive, and backcountry campsites. Fires can leave a deep scar on the sensitive desert environment, so please be sure to observe this important regulation. The following are permitted:

  • Use of camp stoves
  • Use of charcoal in provided grill stands in developed campground
  • Fires in pans for river trips

Please do not gather any wood from Big Bend National Park.

Wildlife

Big Bend National Park is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife. The desert, mountain, and river landscapes are all home to unique fauna that thrives in this protected park. Many of the animals who call the park home are most active during the night, a common trait among desert adapted species. That being said, there are a few specific animals that you’ll want to be aware of when planning your camping trip in Big Bend National Park.

  • Javelina: Often thought to be wild pigs, javelina are actually an entirely different animal. These fun loving creatures can be found throughout Big Bend. Campers will want to be especially careful to properly store their food, as javelinas are known to raid campsite kitchens!
  • Black bears: Big Bend’s black bears have an incredible story of survival and reestablishment in Big Bend National Park. Once thought to no longer inhabit the area, in the 1980s black bears again begin to appear in the Chisos Moutains, their traditional habitat. While you are unlikely to have any issues with bears in Big Bend, it is important to always practice bear safety when camping.
  • Snakes: Big Bend is home to over 30 species of snakes, many of which are venomous. Don’t fret too much, as human snake interactions are rare. However, it is always a good idea of keep an eye on the trail for both snakes and their burrows.
A javelina walks on a trail

Javelinas are found throughout Big Bend National Park.

 

Pets

Pets are allowed in Big Bend National Park, but only in specific areas and under specific rules. Pets are not allowed in the backcountry, anywhere off-road, or on the Rio Grande River.

They are permitted in the developed campgrounds (but not the primitive roadside campsite), adjacent to park infrastructure, and on the main park roads.

We generally recommend against bringing you pet to Big Bend, but if you do please follow these regulations:

  • Pets must be on a leash at all times.
  • Pets are allowed within campgrounds, on park roads, and in picnic areas.
  • Pets are not allowed in park buildings, on trails, or in the backcountry.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in your vehicle. Temperatures can get extremely hot in Big Bend.
  • Always properly dispose of pet waste.

For a complete list of regulations related to pets check out the Big Bend National Park website here.

Where to get supplies

Big Bend National Park is incredibly remote, with no major cities in close proximity. This makes it both important and difficult to stock up on camping supplies prior to your trip. Check out your options below:

  • Cottonwood General Store: Located just west of Big Bend near Turlingua, TX, the Cottonwood General Store in a local favorite. Here you can purchase all the food, water, and other essentials you’ll need for your Big Bend camping trip.
  • Big Bend National Park Convenience Stores: Located at Chisos Basin, Rio Grande Village, and Castolon these basic shops sell groceries, camping supplies, and other essentials.
  • Marathon & Alpine, TX: These are the two closest towns to Big Bend that offer a significant number of services. Marathon is convenient for those entering Big Bend via the Permission Gap Visitor Center, while Alpine is best suited to those exploring the southwest section of the park. In both towns you’ll find grocery stores, gas stations, outdoor shops, and medical services.

Services are few and far between on the road to Big Bend.

 

Camping near Big Bend National Park

Camping in Big Bend National Park is an incredible experience. However, given the increasing popularity of the national park it is always possible that you’ll arrive to find no campsites available. If this happens, all is not lost as there are plenty of good campgrounds just outside the national park boundary. From RV campgrounds with full hookups to the desert campsites of Big Bend Ranch State Park you’re sure to find something that suits your needs. Keep reading to learn more.

Highway through Big Bend National Park.

There are plenty of campgrounds just outside Big Bend.

 

RV campgrounds

Those camping in an RV will have plenty of options just outside Big Bend National Park. The majority of the RV campgrounds near Big Bend are located to the west of the national park near Terlingua. However, there are also campgrounds to the north and east, giving you tons of options to meet your camping needs.

Check out your best options for RV camping near Big Bend National Park below:

Lost Gringo RV Park

Number of sites: 15 sites
Fee: $25/night for tents, $35/night for RVs
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes
Reservations: Recommended. Call (432) 371-2111
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Located west of Big Bend National Park just outside of the ghost town of Terlingua, Lost Gringo RV Park provides a great option for RV campers. With only 15 campsites this is a small, well-run campground that will put you only a few minutes from the park.

Amenities include water and electric hookups, restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities.

Big Bend Resort

Number of sites: 131 sites
Fee: $25 – $45/night
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes
Reservations: Recommended. Visit website here.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Big Bend Resort is located just a few minutes from the western entrance to Big Bend National Park, making it an incredibly convenient place to stay before exploring the park. This is a large campground with friendly staff, although some campers say the facilities could use an upgrade.

Regardless, Big Bend Resort is a great option for RV campers looking to explore the west side of Big Bend.

Terlingua Ranch Lodge

Number of sites: 20 RV sites + 28 tent sites
Fee: $30 – $40/night for RV sites // $16/person for tent sites
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes
Reservations: Recommended. Call 432-371-3146
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Terlingua Ranch Lodge is located northwest of Big Bend in a remote section of West Texas desert. While not as convenient to the park as some of your other options, you’ll be in a stunning and quiet location. Terlingua Ranch features campsites with electric, water, and sewer hookups. There are also basic tent sites available.

Amenities include WiFi, a restaurant, and shower facilities. Highly recommended.

Maverick Ranch RV Park

Number of sites: 100 sites
Fee: $49 – $69/night depending on season
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes
Reservations: Recommended. Call 432-424-5182
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Maverick Ranch RV Park is located in the far southwest corner of the Big Bend area in the town of Lajitas. You’ll be well positioned to explore the Santa Elena Canyon area of Big Bend as well as the Chisos Mountains. Maverick Ranch features campsites with full hookups, a pool, dog park, and more.

The campground is very popular during peak season, so be sure to call ahead to secure your site.

Stillwell Ranch RV Park

Number of sites: 65 pull thru sites + tent sites
Fee: $30 – $35/night for full hookup
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes
Reservations: Recommended. Call 432-376-2244
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Stillwell Ranch RV Park is located north of Big Bend National Park only a few minutes from the Permission Gap entrance. This campground and store features RV sites with full hookups as well basic tent sites. The campground has a well equipped shop and also features WiFi.

Don’t forget to check out the Hallie Stillwell Hall of Fame while you’re there!

Car camping sites

If you’re looking for car camping sites near Big Bend National Park you’ll have a few good options to choose from. The adjacent Big Bend Ranch State Park is worth exploring, and the Rancho Topanaga campground is a great choice for those looking to avoid the RV crowd on their camping trip. Read on to learn more.

Camping near Big Bend.

 

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $12 – $16/night
Capacity: 8 – 12 people per site
RVs: Not recommended.
Reservations: Recommended. Visit website here.
More Information

Big Bend Ranch State Park is often considered the little brother of Big Bend National Park, but it is less crowded and features some incredible campsites. The park is located to the west of Big Bend National Park and includes the same stunning scenery, mountains, and river access. Big Bend Ranch State Park features a number of primitive campsites that are perfect for those looking for more of a wilderness camping experience.

Reservations are recommend, and can be made through Reserve America here.

Rancho Topanga Campground

Number of sites: 25 sites
Fee: $10 – $25/night depending location & number of people
Capacity: None stated
RVs: No
Reservations: Recommended. Call (432) 371-2131
More Information

The Rancho Topanga Campground is located west of Big Bend National Park along highway 170. This small, friendly campground can only accommodate tents, although a few sites may allow for a pop-up trailer. The campground is basic, but features restrooms, fire rings, and excellent views.

Rancho Topanga does not accept reservations via email or their website, so be sure to call ahead if you’d like to reserve your campsite.

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope you’ve found all of the information on camping in Big Bend National Park in this post helpful and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure! Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or had a great time out camping!

Starry sky while camping in Big Bend National Park.

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