Big Bend area in May

Is this a good time visit? Is it very crowded? Weather ok for tent camping? I used to live in San Antonio which is the same latitude but definitely different geographically, so I’m sure that affects the weather.

I’ve been to Big Bend only in the winter times, but my guess is that it’d probably be okay for camping and hiking in May. I wonder if @Troy would have any advice for you! He’s a bigtime Texas camper.

Big Bend is remote enough to where I wouldn’t think it ever gets too crowded. Although I would guess May is the start of, or just before the start of, the busy season. One thing to keep in mind there if you are hiking is that there is little to no water available on trails. It’s much like the Grand Canyon where if you start going and don’t know exactly where to turn around, you can get into some trouble.

Regardless, Big Bend is one of my favorite places!

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@Momto4girls I visit Big Bend a couple of times a year. Typically the best time to visit Big Bend is October to April.

From May to September the temperatures get pretty hot, 110+ during mid day. There is very little shade at the campgrounds. I believe that right now both the National and State park have limited camping open, reservations are required and there are restrictions on facilities and hiking trails. You can visit the parks websites for up-to-date information.

In addition, the area is experiencing a bit of a coronavirus outbreak. The small towns and their small hospital are not really equipped to handle it.

Sadly, it’s probably not a great time to go.

Good to know–thanks! I’m thinking by May that COVID won’t be nearly as bad, and being mostly outdoors is about as low risk as it gets. I’m not letting COVID dictate my camping decisions for that reason primarily. I have asthma, and I’m extremely careful about all the necessary precautions, but I may delay our visit until 2022 and try for cooler months. Maybe we’ll try for Colorado this May. My daughter’s best friend recently moved to a suburb of Denver, so she would be good with that.

May is a nice time to go out there because everything is nice and still not yet to hot. Around this time you can sometimes still find the fields of tall bluebonnets also which make for some great photos around camp. With that said, this is the prime time for snakes to be out and about moving so I’d avoid any shrubs near camp. Just take some extra precautions if you have kiddos traveling with you.

@Momto4girls I don’t ever like to discourage people from hiking and camping. If your family’s schedule allows it, consider during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays. It’s sometimes hard to get reservations at those times, but it is typically the best time to visit. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve been to Big Bend 3 different times for a week to 10 days. I generally go in April or May. Earlier the better due to rising temps, but also due to possible water sources after early spring rains. Boot Spring particularly and even two thirds the way down the Windows Trail there is a spring. I’ve seen water at both places early in the year. Even if you don’t need it, it adds some beauty to the desert surroundings. I’ve always camped in the Chisos Basin with my truck camper. Being somewhat in the mountains, the temps are a bit cooler, at least around the campground. There are times of the year where you can make reservations which is nice when you’re driving the 8 hours from Dallas Tx to get there like I do. It’s a very beautiful place with lots to offer, and lots of history.

I just looked up that campground. 5400 ft elevation. Then I checked the weather for today. High was 87. Dew point in the 50s. That is VERY comfortable. And it’s almost July. (I realize lower elevation/desert is a totally diff story). I will do a little more investigating about May. I live in Alabama. Today the high was only 84 here, but humidity and dew point is very high making it unbearable to be outside for very long–even in shade! I’ve spent time outdoors in Phoenix and New Mexico in summer with temps over 100. It’s downright pleasant in the shade compared to the humidity we deal with. I think living in south TX for a few years gives me an idea of what to expect. Clearly lots of water/electrolytes is required for any outdoor activity like hiking. May is the best time for us to take a long road trip because my college age daughter has a few weeks between semesters. My other daughter is homeschooled. It’s nice to take vacays while all the other kids are still in school. Fewer crowds. This might work! I’m thinking early May for Big Bend and then maybe move north and see some of New Mexico. All of this is tentative at this point.

@Troy Weather def cooler then, but I don’t travel at holidays. I especially don’t camp on holidays. Too crowded.