Primitive Roadside Campsites

primitive roadside campsite
Primitive Campsites are an option to those with rugged vehicles.
 

Plan Ahead and be Prepared

For those who wish to get away from it all, Big Bend offers 64 primitive campsites along backcountry roads. These sites are located in the most remote desert areas of the park. Some require hours of challenging driving to reach. A sturdy high-clearance and usually 4-wheel drive is necessary to safely reach most of them.

Primitive roadside campsites offer nice views, solitude, and a small flat gravel space to set up camp next to your vehicle. No shade, toilets, or other amenities are provided. The use of generators is prohibited in the backcountry.

  • These sites are primitive backcountry sites and will not accommodate large RVs and trailers. Plan accordingly.
  • There are strict vehicle length and capacity limits for each campsite, so plan accordingly.
  • A backcountry use permit is required to camp at any of these sites.
  • Permits for the most popular 34 campsites are available online (up to 6 months in advance) via www.recreation.gov. These sites are typically full every night of the year.
  • Permits for the remaining 30 primitive roadside campsites (located along the River Road, Glenn Springs Road, and Old Maverick Road) are only available in person at Panther Junction Visitor Center (daily 8:30 am - 5:00 pm) and Chisos Basin Visitor Center (daily 8:30 am - 4:00 pm), 24 hours in advance of your first night's stay.
    NOTE: A rugged high-clearance 4x4 vehicle is required to access these campsites. You will NOT be able to reach these sites with a passenger car, minivan, or RV, and rangers will not issue permits for those types of vehicles.
  • Site photos and detailed descriptions are linked below.
 
 

Primitive Roadside Campsites— Improved Dirt Roads

Primitive roadside campsites along improved dirt roads are usually accessible to most high-clearance vehicles except after rain when road conditions may require 4-wheel drive vehicles to access these campsites.

 

Obtain a backcountry permit for these sites online via www.recreation.gov

(Please note: we recommend that the first thing you do on recreation.gov be to create an account, then select the campsites you're interested in).

 
bc road sign
 

Primitive Roadside Campsites— Primitive Dirt Roads

Primitive dirt roads are maintained for rugged high clearance vehicles only, and usually require 4-wheel drive. These roads may be rocky, exposed bedrock, deep ruts, and extensive sections of soft sand/mud that are impossible for passenger cars, minivans, or RVs to negotiate. Rain will make these roads difficult to drive or impassable.

 
Primitive Roadside Campsite Regulations
Protect YOUR Park. These are a few of the regulations that all backcountry campers are required to follow. Click to learn more.

Last updated: December 21, 2021

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Mailing Address:

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

Phone:

432-477-2251

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