• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas

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  • Extreme Water Shortage

    Extreme water shortage throughout park. Visitors are limited to 5 gallons per day, and are encouraged to conserve further when possible. Please consider bringing your own water to the park.

Backcountry Use

Sunlit Vista
Sunlit Vista
NPS Photo/Blake Trester
 

Big Bend's vast undeveloped areas provide excellent opportunities for backcountry experiences if you seek solitude, wilderness, and adventure! Use the information on the pages below to learn more about the types of backcountry use and planing and preparation for your next trip.

Types of Backcountry Use

Backpacking
Primitive campsites along the Chisos Mountains Trails provide some of the ultimate Big Bend vistas.

Primitive Roadside Campsites
If you prefer solitude to developed campgrounds, primitive camping in roadside campsites might be for you.

Zone Camping
Camping in the more remote areas of Big Bend's desert offers a unique backcountry experience.

Horseback Riding
Visitors are welcome to bring and use horses in the park.

River Trips
Rafting, canoeing, and kayaking through the canyons of the Rio Grande can be an unforgettable experience!

Things to Know

Backcountry Permits
Permits are required for all backcountry use, before you set up camp, for either day-use or overnight-use.

Backcountry Regulations
Rules and regulations are in place to help you safely enjoy the backcountry and protect the national park.

Backcountry Food Storage
Do your part to properly store food, water and other edible items from wildlife.

Backcountry Water Sources
Big Bend is a desert park; backcountry water sources are ephemeral and unreliable.

Solo Hikers & Boaters
Going solo? Fill out a solo hiker/boater form as a backup safety precaution.

Did You Know?

Tarantula

The largest spider found in Big Bend National Park is the Tarantula. Males are often seen crossing the roads in late summer or early fall searching for a mate. More...