Visitors are welcome to bring and use horses in the park. A backcountry use permit is required and must be obtained in person at a park service visitor center up to 24 hours in advance of the trip. Every horse user should obtain a copy of the stock use regulations. All livestock must meet state vaccination requirements. Copies of vaccination documents must be in your possession.There are no horses or pack animals for hire in or near the park; you must bring your own stock. All rides require thorough preparation. Improper equipment, poor conditioning, and disregard for weather conditions can result in an unpleasant or dangerous ride. Respect for the environment you ride through will help protect park resources for you and for future generations.
Where Can You Ride?
While horses are not permitted on paved roads or road shoulders, all gravel roads are open to horses. Cross-country travel is permitted in the park, except in the Chisos Mountains where horse use is limited to the Laguna Meadow, Southwest Rim, and Blue Creek trails. Horses are not permitted in picnic areas, on nature trails, the Santa Elena and Boquillas Canyon Trails, or the Pine Canyon Trail. The Chisos Mountain and Burro Mesa trails are day use only.
Food and Water
You may camp with your horses at several of the park's primitive road campsites. The Hannold Draw primitive campsite, located 4.8 miles north of Panther Junction, has a corral large enough for 8 horses. If you plan to bring horses to the park, you may reserve this campsite up to 10 weeks in advance by calling 432 477-1158.
Did You Know?
As part of the Mission 66 development program, Big Bend National Park received $14 million dollars for improvements between 1958 and 1965. One Texas writer felt that these developments, such as paved roads and campgrounds, "will not sissify nor citify the wilderness...." More...