(Photo Credit: NPS Photo/Cookie Ballou)
Along with a rich cultural history, Big Bend National Park in Texas is like a melting pot for plants and animals. Camping in Big Bend brings you to the extreme limit of the ranges of many plants and animals. The park boasts nearly limitless opportunities for recreational activities and exploring natural resources and spectacular geology.
What to do When Camping in Big Bend National Park
When we choose a place to camp we look for a place that will give us new experiences to treasure forever. Big Bend National Park is one of those places that gives you a little bit of everything. Enjoy scenic driving, hiking, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, horseback riding, bird watching, wildlife observation, and stargazing.
Part of enjoying a new national park is learning about the history. For thousands of years, Native Americans have been passing through Big Bend. In the 16th and 17th century, Spanish people crossed the Rio Grande searching for gold, silver, and fertile land. The 19th century brought over the Comanche Indians from Mexico who crossed the river and started farming on both banks. You can follow in their footsteps with a scenic drive on the Comanche Trail. Finally, in 1920, Anglo-Americans also started farming, ranching, and mining along the banks of the river. It’s not that surprising considering that Texas has been claimed by 5 different nations in the last 500 years (nope that’s not a typo
Plant and Animals
You don’t have to be a history buff to love Big Bend. Bring your camera, binoculars, and hiking boots, because Big Bend is home to more birds, bats, and cacti than any other national park in the United States. Animals come from all directions, East, West, North, and South to cohabitate in one national park. It’s a rare find for nature buffs.
Welcome to a hikers paradise. Big Bend is the largest expanse of roadless public lands in Texas. Grab your backpack and hiking gear and prepare to explore over 150 miles of trails. You’ll find hiking for everyone, from day hikes to multi-day remote hiking in the backcountry.
Camping in Big Bend
There are several campgrounds in Big Bend, most are first come first serve. There are developed campgrounds with drinking water and campground facilities, but there are also limited campgrounds available in the Rio Grande campsite.
Backcountry Camping and Hiking
You will need a permit for backcountry camping in Big Bend. For any backcountry hiking, you will also need to get a permit before you show up at the park. Backcountry camping groups are limited to 15 people. However, there are only two campsites that can accommodate a group of that size. You may need to split up your group into several campsites, depending on the availability.
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