Big Bend National Park

Camping
Gorp.com
Sierra del Carmen in Big Bend National Park
Sierra del Carmen in Big Bend National Park (Eric Leonard/National Park Service)

All campgrounds accommodate people on a first-come, first-served basis only. Campsite occupancy is limited to eight people and two vehicles, or one RV plus one vehicle. Advance reservations for groups (scouts, school, etc.) may be made by writing the Superintendent, Big Bend NP, TX 79834. Group campground reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance. Minimum group size is ten people.

Campgrounds
Rio Grande Village RV Park: This is the ONLY campground with hookups in the park. It is a concession-operated trailer park, and sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register at the Rio Grande Village Store/Service Station. Full hookup capability is required.

Rio Grande Village Campground: This 100-site campground has flush toilets, running water, picnic tables, grills, and some overhead shelters. A dump station and water hose are available. The elevation of the campground is 1,850 feet.

Chisos Basin Campground: Flush toilets, running water, picnic tables, grills, and some overhead shelters are available in this 63-site campground. A dump station and water hose are available. The elevation of the campground is 5,400 feet.

Cottonwood Campground: Pit toilets, picnic tables, grills, and water are available at this 31-site campground. There is no dump station. Elevation of the campground is 1,900 feet.

Campground fees are subject to change.
Primitive Camping: Numerous backcountry roadside campsites are located throughout the park. Most require a high-clearance or four-wheel-drive vehicle. No services or facilities are available at primitive campsites. A backcountry permit is required to camp, and can be obtained free of charge at any visitor center.

Showers/Laundry: Showers are not available at the campgrounds, but coin-operated showers and laundry facilities are available at the Rio Grande Village Store/Service Station.

Limitations
A parkwide limit of 14 days occupancy is in effect February 1 to April 15 for any developed campsite including the concession-operated trailer sites at Rio Grande Village. During the rest of the year, a limit of 14 days occupancy is in effect per campground visit, but occupancy beyond 14 days may be authorized by campground managing personnel on a day-to-day basis if sites are available for new arrivals. A limit of 28 nights per year is in effect.

Campground Activity
During holiday periods, particularly Easter/Spring Break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, the main campgrounds and most primitive sites are likely to be full. If you plan to camp in primitive sites, come prepared with a portable table, folding chairs, water container, and a portable grill. In addition to primitive areas within the park, there are several private camping facilities adjacent to the park. They are listed under "Facilities and Services Outside the Park." For additional information call the park at 915-477-2251.

Overnight lodging in the park can be found at the Chisos Mountains Lodge in the Basin. The lodge offers 72 rooms and stone cottages (reservations recommended). Three campgrounds are maintained by the park service: the Basin (65 sites), Rio Grande Village (100 sites), and Castolon (35 sites). All are operated on a first-come, first-served basis and are suitable for tents and small RVs. Each site has a picnic table and grill (for charcoal only—wood fires are not permitted). There is a trailer park with utility hookups at Rio Grande Village.

In spring and fall, all lodging and camping facilities may be full. Check before driving to the park by calling 915-477-2251. For reservations and information on lodging, call 915-477-2291 or write National Park Concessions, Inc., Big Bend National Park, Texas 79834. There are backcountry roadside campsites along some park dirt roads (free permit required). Many require a high-clearance or four-wheel-drive vehicle. Check with a park ranger for the latest park regulations and safety guidelines.


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