Primitive Dirt Roads In Big Bend National Park

Juniper Canyon Road
Get off the beaten path at Big Bend!

If you have a high-clearance, four wheel drive vehicle, Big Bend's primitive dirt roads provide many opportunities to get off the beaten path and explore the remote corners of this park.

All vehicles must be street legal. No "off-highway" or ATVs, UTVs, or 4-wheelers.

Some of these roads traverse bedrock and washes, making them extremely rough. A slow speed is mandatory for safe passage. Be prepared with plenty of water, a jack, and good spare tire. On these isolated, infrequently patrolled backcountry roads, a disabled vehicle can become a life-threatening situation.

You Will Need A High Clearance Four-Wheel-Drive (4WD) Vehicle
A high clearance 4WD vehicle is defined as a SUV or truck type vehicle, with at least 15 inch tire rims or more, with a low gear transfer case, designed for heavier type use than a standard passenger vehicle, with at least 8 inches of clearance or more from the lowest point of the frame, body, suspension, or differential, to the ground, also including a means to mechanically power both, front and real wheels at the same time.

Help Our Cactus
Protect YOUR Park

Protect Big Bend. Always stay on established roadways. OFF ROAD DRIVING IS PROHIBITED.

  • All vehicles must be street legal. No "off-highway" vehicles allowed.
  • The effects of off-road driving last up to 50 years, and result in compacted soils, heavy erosion, and destroyed vegetation.
  • Thank you for helping to keep Big Bend National Park's ecosystem healthy.
Old Ore Road
Old Ore Road

Interesting geology and historical sites are among the highlights of this 25-mile rocky, rugged road.

Glenn Springs Road
Glenn Springs Road

Explore the desert and enjoy amazing vistas of the eastern side of the Chisos Mountains.

River Road
River Road

51 mile primitive route between Rio Grande Village and Castolon. This is the most remote area of Big Bend.

Black Gap Road
Black Gap Road

Extremely rough, this section of road is NOT maintained, and 4-wheel drive is required at all times. Only for the most rugged vehicles.

Backcountry Road Safety
Backcountry Road Safety

Be prepared and equipped. A disabled vehicle on Big Bend's isolated roads can be a life-threatening situation.

road guide

Road Guide

Guide to Backcountry Roads of Big Bend National Park
Now available through the Big Bend Natural History Association bookstore, this 25-page, full-color guide to the highlights and natural/cultural history of Big Bend as experienced along the backcountry roads. Thoroughly revised mile by mile, this new edition now includes GPS coordinates as well as mileage logs along with information for mountain bikers, color photographs throughout, maps of the Glenn Spring and Mariscal Mine historic areas, and more roads!

Last updated: April 5, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129



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