• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas

Zone Camping

Mesa de Anguila
Mesa de Anguila
NPS Photo/Reine Wonite
 
Zone camping is available throughout much of the park's desert elevations. The scenery varies from Rio Grande floodplain and arid badlands to sotol grasslands and rugged volcanic peaks. Some areas are regularly used and easily accessible while other more isolated areas are seldom used.
 

Things to Know

  • Zone camping requires a backcountry permit.
  • You must specify a particular zone for for each night of your itinerary.
  • Individual group size is limited to 15 people. Larger groups must split up, and may not camp in adjacent zones.
  • Camp must be at least 0.5 mile from the road and out of sight of any road.
  • Camp must be at least 100 yards from any trail, historical structure, archeological site, dry wash, water source, or cliff edge.
Backcountry Zone Map [220k PDF File]
Map of backcountry zone camping areas with names, codes, and capacities. Formatted to fit on legal-size paper.
 

Hiking the Outer Mountain Loop, Mesa de Anguila, or the Marufo Vega Trail

The most remote areas of Big Bend National Park are best left to experienced backpackers. Each year, park rangers respond to desert emergencies when hikers are not prepared for the heat and extreme conditions of the desert.

Due to the complex topography and vague trails, detailed 7.5 minute topographical maps and a compass are necessary for most hikes.

Did You Know?

Camels

Traveling through the Big Bend during the 1860 camel experiment, Lt. William Echols reported that camels did well in the desert, but that they suffered from sore feet. “I would recommend to any one using the camels over rough country, in case of tender feet, to shoe them with a piece of raw hide…” More...