Big Bend National Park, TEXAS
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Bucket List Campsite

We have been camping at Chisos Basin for many years. The views from the campground are incredible. The lodge is a good place to eat after a long hike. Like so many other National Parks, Big Bend is getting very crowded during the peak season and holidays. The campground is good for tent campers and vans with good restrooms and helpful camp hosts. We try to go during the off season. The view of the window at sunset is something to see and the hikes range from easy to moderate. The risk of Mountain Lions is well known and something to think about when hiking alone or with young children. This place is a must see and a hidden gem. I gave it a four out of due to the overcrowding and lack of privacy in the the campground.


Great campground. One of my favorites that I have been to! Beautiful view surrounded by the Chisos Mountains. Definitely recommend trying to get a campsite with a canopy top for shade, ours did not have one and we were very jealous of everyone else that did. It does get windy from time to time but it’s all part of the experience when camping! Bathrooms have plumbing, running water, and outlets. Drinking water is also available at a few spots around the campsite. If you are looking to hike you are very close to a few trailheads. The mountain lodge, the store, and visitor center is all about 3 minute drive or 20 or so minute walk up.

Colima 2 for the win!

Colima 2 is a primitive campsite in the Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park on the Colima Trail. My boyfriend and I backpacked to the campsite from the Chisos Basin trail head down Pinnacles trail to Boot Canyon. The Northeast Rim trail was closed at the time due to respecting space for the peregrine falcons and their nests. The night before, we camped in the Rio Grande campground which wasn't secluded enough for us, so we decided to reserve this campground at the Chisos Basin Visitor Center the next morning. Camp was super easy to set up here. There was a bear box included and plenty of flat ground for easily tent setup. There was PLENTY of tree coverage which was nice because it got hot out in the afternoons under the sun. We chose this campsite because we wanted to hike the South Rim on the same day. We offloaded some weight from our backpacking packs after setting up camp in the mid afternoon, got to hike the South Rim for the remaining hours of daylight, and enjoyed dinner back at Colima 2. The next day, we hiked back to the Chisos Basin trail head on the Laguna Meadows trail. Colima 2 offered the seclusion from other campgrounds we were wanting, and it's definitely on our radar when we return to Big Bend National Park.

somewhat crowded developed campground

Plenty of campsites here in the Rio Grande Village. Easiest way to pay is with cash, and you just reserve your campsite at the self-pay station. We payed with a card at the Rio Grande visitor's center (closed in the summers). If you don't mind other people being close to you, this is the campsite for you. My boyfriend and I camped here for one of the nights we stayed in Big Bend. We wanted a more secluded spot which you can find further back in areas of campsites available, but it's first come, first serve style here. Bear boxes are provided at each campsite. The campsites further back have better shade, but we were able to find some trees to set up under. The only thing we didn't like about the campsite was the proximity to people using generators. They have a separate area for RVs, but some people brought their campers. The generators were somewhat loud, but we were able to sleep through the noise. We definitely prefer more natural campsites, but this one was fine for what we needed that night. Not too far of a drive from the Hot Springs trail either.

It is not the campground it is the Park

OK the campground is a parking lot and I mean a parking lot. Each spot is 2 parking spots. It is all asphalt. No Cell Phone, No Internet, no TV nothing. But was the best place we have been to. If you want full hook ups for camping it is the only one in Big Bend National Park. they only have 25 sites all back in. Pay for showers if you don't have your own. But catch the sunrise and sunsets. Hike to Boquillas Canyon, the hot springs down the river or all over Rio Grande Village. Drive to all of Big Bend and spend days hiking Mountains, Deserts, River, Canyons. The most beautiful area in the World at least to me.

Amazing experience!! If you can swing it, definitely do it!

We travel with a kayak so we were fortunate we didn't have to rent one. However, there are lots of rules and extra things you have to carry with you to do this trip. Like - extra life jacket, paddle, waste system and a fire pan. You can rent from the outfitters in town if necessary. We initially wanted to do the point to point trip, but the water level wasn't cooperating so we did a boomerang trip. We kayaked upstream into the canyon, spent the night and came out the next day. It was incredible! We had the canyon to ourselves and loved every minute. If you can manage to do this, definitely do!!

Amazing views in a remote location!

We spent a night here. You will need something other than a normal car to get here. We were in a Jeep and had no issues. It is about an hour to get to this campsite from Dagger Flat and 2 hours from Rio Grande Village on Old Ore Road. We had a great time looking at the stars and being completely alone. There is a bear box, but no water and no fires are allowed. You have to get a permit to backcountry camp in Big Bend and you can do that the day before at the earliest. You can get permits in Chisos and Panther Junction. I highly recommend this spot. It was awesome!

Quiet, nature, primitive toilets only

This campground was very secluded when I visited, there were two others sites taken during my visit. The area was very quiet and we had fun watching the collared pecaries foraging through the sites. We saw multiple bird species and it was a very easy walk to the Rio Grande.

Easy access, not primitive, easy hiking

This is a large campground with multiple types of spots, with access for even some of the largest rvs and tow behinds. This is a popular place for families, so if you are looking for something quieter or more secluded with less human activity, this is not for you. There is a nice nature path that leads to a cliff overlooking the Rio Grande, but it would not be good for very small children our people with unsure footing. There were many different birds in the area tho, due to water access.

Beautiful, dramatic scenery, nature

This campground is located near the center of the park and at a high elevation. It is located in the only mountain range that is entirely within a national park. There are many hiking trails and chances for encounters with nature in the area. The campground is not accessible for large rv's or large tow behinds, so tent camping, pop up callers, tear drop trailers, and class b vans are prevalent. There is a gift shop and restaurant in crisis basin as well.

Solid campsite on the Rio Grande

Basic national park camground. Located close the boquillas canyon, the legendary hot springs and so much more. The park itself is beautiful, and the campground is not exception. Located right on the bank of the river, the campground is an oasis from the desert you spend all day driving through to get there.

Wonderful national park campground

Beautiful views, great facilities, and awesome weather. Big Bend National Park is one of the best stops in Texas, hands down, and the Chisos Basin Campground is the best spot in the park. To the east, the campground is shadowed by Casa Grande, the largest peak in the Chisos. To the west you have the Window, an awesome cut in the basin that lets the sun peek through a little longer in the evenings.

Clean, quiet, and easy drive to Big Bend

This simple campsite was a great find during the crowded superbloom season in Big Bend.

Solar powered showers and flushable restrooms were very clean and the owners could not have been nicer. Spacious group sites, quiet hours enforced, and off the beaten path enough to enjoy the skies, but close enough to get things you may need.

Reservations by phone only, but the website is helpful with all questions.

Most scenic campsite in Texas

You can't get better views than the onces in this campground. The only problem is how crowded it gets. Lots of kids and boy scouts unfortunately.

Rio Grande Village Star Gazing

Rio Grande Village Campground was awesome. They have bathrooms with showers, running water, flushable toilets. They also have potable water all around the campsite. Rio Grande Village Nature Trail is close by and its a short but sweet hike. Sunsets on that trial over the Rio Grande is amazing. Wildlife is abundant. All kinds of animals and birds. Beavers, cranes, horses in the horizon was very welcomed. You can see Mexico and Boquillas village from the top of a cliff off the Nature trail. So bring your camera! I really had a good time. The campground was well maintained and it can get a bit crowded but it’s all good. A Hot springs is near by and the Rio Grande Village store is very convenient and cheap. They even have wi-fi if for some reason you need to check your email or facebook. Overall great experience!

Backcountry Camping

We did some back country camping at Big Bend National Park. You will need an SUV or 4x4 for some spots, I did see some cars but they were struggling. We have a Jeep and had to help several people out. Pro tip: show up to get your permit early as it’s in a first come first serve basis. Scout out some sites so you have back up spots if the one you want is taken. We camped at Solis as it was the only one available. It was nicely laid out and super peaceful! After doing some driving around there are some other camps I would have rather had and will try to get them next time. Ours had a beautiful view of the mountains but would have like to been higher up. No complaints.

Serene Desert Retreat

Tin Valley is a beautiful and serene desert retreat situated in a valley, surrounded by small mountain ranges such as the Western Corrazones and Sombrero Peak. The night skies are bright and breathtaking when the weather is clear; we were lucky enough to see the Milky Way and the Leonid meteor shower during our stay. There are several sites at Tin Valley - some A frame platforms, some stationary trailers, some cars and buses that have been converted to camping trailers. There are also some stationary RVs available to rent that have running water, electricity, and a bath house. These latter RV rentals are more expensive than the more primitive sites. We booked our stay through Airbnb.

Our camper was an old trailer that had been gutted/renovated and was outfitted with sleeping bags, extra blankets, two cots, and a propane heater (no gas provided). It was a good windbreak on the colder, chillier nights. There were some solar-powered outlets in the trailer (for charging a phone), but we didn't use them since our phones would charge in the car. I don't think they would power anything like a hair dryer, etc. The rest of the site included a trash can, a padded bench, two chairs, a picnic table, a charcoal grill, and a fire ring (wood available for purchase - I think it was $5 per bundle). There is no water at the site, but there is a sink and outdoor shower a short walk away. There is no hot water available, but it is potable. The rental included the free use of the (hot) showers at nearby (5 minute drive) Terlingua Ranch Lodge, where there is also a restaurant. There is also a portapotty a short walk away from the trailer, which was kept very clean and well-stocked with toilet paper. There is no cell service or wifi at the campsite, but free wifi is available if you walk down toward the stationary RVs.

Getting to the site in the dark can be a little intimidating - it's West Texas, so everything is pretty spread out. The owner of the site was excellent when communicating how to find it. Google Maps will not take you to the correct place - you must print out directions before you go (cell service is very spotty out there) and watch your car's odometer. Drive slowly and carefully - lots of wild animals and winding, unpaved roads. You can safely make it to the camp site with any kind of car, though a vehicle with high clearance and/or 4-wheel drive wouldn't hurt.

The site is about a 20-25 minute drive from Terlingua/Study Butte, and about a 30-35 minute drive to the entrance of Big Bend National Park. If you plan to stay here while visiting Big Bend, remember to factor drive time to the park and then within the park - it's a big place. The drives are beautiful, though, so it's not a chore.

Please be aware:

1) If you bring your own car, please check all systems before you take it out there. Our car's battery died halfway through the trip and the owner of the only auto parts store in Terlingua was out of town, so the store was closed. We had to get a jump in the park and then drive two hours north to Alpine to get a new battery.

2) West Texas is a desert - Big Bend NP only allows 5 gallons of water per person per day at potable spigots. Please be sparing and conserve where you can. That said, it is Texas, which means it can get very hot. Bring water with you everywhere.

3) West Texas is home to Mexican black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, javelinas (wild hogs), every variety of poisonous snake that lives in the United States, and more. It may not look like a typical "predator country," but it can be. Store food in hard-shell enclosed spaces, like your trailer or car. Bear boxes are not available at sites, but they are available in the national park. Watch carefully for snakes on dry ground at the site (rattlesnakes, copperheads, coral snakes) and in water (cottonmouths, water moccasins).

Awesome views + close to hiking!

Chisos Basin is surrounded by rocky cliffs and is located near some pretty awesome hiking trails. The campground is all first come, first-served. Arrive early so that you can claim a good site.

The campsite sits at an altitude of 5,500ish feet. Since Chisos Basin sits at a higher altitude I recommend bringing a heavier bag. They do not allow wood or ground fires in the park.

Pets are allowed but must be leashed. Pets are not allowed on trails in the park.

Highly recommend!

Small enough to not be noisy, large enough to be accommodating. Central to multiple trails. Staff was friendly and knowlegable. Shade trees at many sites, important even in November in Texas. Showers and restrooms available. Highly recommend!

The place to get away from those getting away from it all

It's 3 miles off Hwy 118 and 20 miles to the entrance to Big Bend NP. Very remote, but easy drive to sites. Totally open desert with no one else around and in the official dark sky country, so expect amazing stars at night.

Chisos basin campground

This campground is surrounded by beautiful big bend mountains and a ton of hiking trails. The campsites each have charcoal grills, picnic tables and bear boxes to keep your food/equipment safe.


Great primitive campsites! vast space for hiking and exploring! wonderful place and would absolutely visit again!

Great camping

This is a great campsite in the heart of Big Bend NP. From here there is easy access to some of the best trails in the park. Facilities include toilets and running water, no showers. Be aware, it can get windy and quite chilly in the basin in the evenings (visited in February and March).

Great campground bring shade

Great campground but no shade. Several trails start around the campground. Facilities are old but maintained. Near the resturant and hotel.

Quiet open campground

Great bird watching opportunities. Beautiful night skies! old facilities are maintained but full of bugs especially spiders. Showers are available for a charge at the store as well as wifi at the store. The wifi only works on the store porch, so it is always crowded.

Fun wilderness

We did trail camping. Each camp site had a different amount of bear boxes and different sizes. Trails were fun and challenging.

First to Review
Windy but scenic & solitute

Fresno Vista has a wonderful view! It gets a little windy at night and you have to park your tent pretty far away from the fire ring for flat ground. It's wonderful having a shelter over the picnic table. The drive to the site off the main road is truly 4x4 - we barely got away with being in a 2SW SUV. We stayed over NYE when a cold front swung by - it was brutal but we still loved it. You're so far away from your neighbor which provides quite a bit of solitude.

Beautiful desert scene

Big Bend is a magical place. It’s one of the darkest places in US to see the Milky Way at night. During the summer it can get insanely hot, but the nights cool off immensely and the sunsets are amazing.

Spacious, amazing views from the tent.

This campground offers some of the best views in the park. There is a massive individual campsite for tents and RVs, as well as a large group site area. The campgrounds or less than 1 mile from the park store and the lodging on site. There are literally thousands of miles of trails within Big Bend National Park. The trail head to Emory peak extends directly from the campground. Another good trail coming out of the campground his window trail. The sites are clean and equipped with their boxes and plenty of space for parking as well as overflow parking. I go here twice a year and I never want to leave.

The Rio Grande Village + The Rio Grande River + Hot Springs

The Rio Grande Village Campground is located in the far eastern part of Big Bend National Park. Prior to entering the park fill up with gas in the town of Marathon, because you will be driving far distances within the park and there is limited gas available.

In the Rio Grande Village there is a visitor center and convenience store. There are 25 campsites that fit small to mid-size RVs with hookups and 100 campsites for car campers. There are tables, fire pits and bear boxes at each campsite.There are communal restrooms and potable water nearby. The only available showers are located at the Rio Grande Village Store which is a short drive from the campground. The showers do cost a few dollars and are available 24/7. Some of the sites have covers, but most do not. There are some shade trees spread out sporadically amongst the campsites, but do not count on having much shade.

The main attraction of this campground is that you have the ability to walk right up to the Rio Grande River and the border between the US and Mexico. It is physically possible to cross the river into Mexico, but technically one must have a passport to travel between the two borders. Another feature of the area is the Hot Spring pool. You have to drive a little distance from the campgrounds and walk about 1 mile to reach the Hot Spring pool. Around the Hot Spring pool there are a few old structures that once housed stores and a school. There are some petroglyphs on the cliff walls along the trail to the hot springs. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to camp at the hot springs area due to safety concerns.