Sleep under the Stars: The Best Campsites in Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Spanning over 800,000 beautiful acres of land, Big Bend National Park is the perfect destination for all outdoor, nature lovers. Tucked away in southwest Texas, it is home to mountains, deserts, canyons, and rivers, making it one of the top places for the best camping experience. From incredible hikes and diverse wildlife, to stargazing under the Texas sky, camping at Big Bend will be one for the books.

Camping In Texas

The natural beauty of Big Bend speaks for itself. With a diverse terrain and range of activities, you can spend many days exploring all that Big Bend has to offer. The park was designated a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park which means it is one of the top places to stargaze due to its remote location and very minimal light pollution.

Best Time to Camp in Big Bend

Typically, the best time to visit this Texas park is during the spring and fall. From March until about May, the weather is beautiful and perfect for camping and hiking before the summer months come in and bring that Texas heat! After summer, the weather starts to cool off around October and November. The temperature usually ranges from 50 to 80 degrees in the fall, but be sure to bring weather and gear for all types of conditions. Make reservations ahead of time and if you want to avoid the big crowds make sure to steer clear of holiday weekends and school breaks, such as Spring Break in late March.

Experience Texas’ Night Sky

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the stars at night. Big Bend offers the perfect remote location nestled in nature to stargaze. Designated a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park, it has some of the best spots to lay down a blanket or pop open your camping chair and enjoy viewing different constellations, spot shooting stars, and on super clear nights, you can even see the Milky Way. Big Bend is one of the top stargazing places in the United States.

A few great locations to view the stars are:

  • Chisos Basin Overlook
  • Rio Grande Overlook
  • Mule Ears Viewpoint

Make sure to download one of the many stargazing apps on your phone before you head out to help spot different constellations, names of stars, and even some history of what you are looking at. Night Sky, Star Walk, and SkyView Lite are just a few great options to get you started and make the night fun and interactive for the whole family!

Top Campsites in Big Bend

Below are a few of the campsites in Big Bend National Park. Make sure to double check reservation requirements and availability as you plan your trip, as spots can fill up fast during peak seasons. You can make reservations here or call for more information 432-477-2293

  • Rio Grande Village RV Park: This RV park is located on the east side of the park, near the Rio Grande, with 25 full hook-up RV spots. This is a great campground to take the whole family for an unforgettable experience.
  • Rio Grande Village Campground: Just around the corner from the RV park, the Rio Grande Village campground is a great place to pitch a tent and gather around the campfire.
  • Chisos Basin Campground: Located centrally in the park in the Chisos Mountains, this campground is open to trailers and RV’s, with a nearby campsite for tents as well. The famous “window” sunset view point is just a walk away from the site as well.

Activities for the Family

The diverse terrain in the park makes it the perfect camping experience for everyone, offering activities across the board. Below are a few options that are family-friendly and a great way to see the park:

  • Hiking Big Bend: There are over 20 different hiking trails to choose from, all varying in difficulty and length. You can choose to hike in the desert, in the mountains, or along the river. Make sure to check weather permitting trails as well as accessibility before you embark on your adventure.
  • Horseback Riding: Take a guided horseback ride through Big Bend Ranch State Park for ages 10 and up, or a tour through private property for ages 6 and up all through Big Bend Stables.
  • Bird Watching: There are over 300 species of birds to observe at some of the top spots in Big Bend where the birds are in their natural habitat. You are able to see many different species year round, but the best time for birdwatching is during the spring migration season.
  • Floating the River: What better way to cool off on a hot day in West Texas than floating the river. You can choose from an afternoon trip, an overnight adventure, or a 3 day journey with easy floats to rapids between 5 different canyons to adventure through.

Leave No Trace

A few reminders during your stay at this park and every national park to ensure you leave no trace.

  1. Plan Ahead: Make sure you look up weather conditions and have all necessary permits so you are prepared for all outcomes when you get to the park.
  2. Leave what you find: There is a lot of natural beauty to take in and look at in the park, make sure you leave it how you found it for the next people to enjoy. This includes taking rocks and flowers, leaving historical sites alone, and avoiding carving or scratching into any trees or rocks.
  3. Take what you bring: Make sure to pack in and pack out with all of your camping equipment, trash, and food. Do not leave anything behind that could harm the environment or attract wildlife.
  4. Respect the wildlife: Do not feed the animals and make sure to always keep a safe distance of at least 25 yards away from them. Be respectful of their home that you are visiting and make sure to store all food you have when camping to protect yourself as well as the wildlife.
  5. Have a great time and enjoy all that Big Bend has to offer!

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