Reserving or holding of non-reservable campsites
Wood and ground fires are prohibited (including pressed wood logs or wood chips). Charcoal grills and gas grills are permissible, provided they are attended at all times. Do not place charcoal grills on tables.
Food items should be stored inside your vehicle or in an animal-proof food locker. Animals consider toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and trash as food. Javelinas will destroy a tent to get at them. Do not place coolers or food boxes on the ground when your campsite is unattended.
Dispose of trash in animal-proof dumpsters. Do not hang bags of trash from structures or vegetation. Birds, especially ravens and vultures, tear plastic bags open and spill the contents. Cigarette butts, etc., are considered trash and should not be deposited on the ground. Such items must be completely extinguished and properly disposed of.
Do not feed the wildlife, including birds. This is unhealthy for wild animals and invites human/animal confrontations.
Weather may change quickly, be prepared for sudden gusty winds by ensuring that tents and other items that may be damaged or scattered are properly secured at all times.
Prevent injury to your pets by keeping them on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times. Pets are not allowed in public buildings, on trails, in the backcountry, or on the river. Pets may not be left unattended. Check at a visitor center for local kennels, if needed.
Pet owners are required to immediately remove and properly dispose of fecal matter deposited by their pets. Deposit bag of fecal matter in dumpster.
Protect your park. Do not destroy, injure, deface, dig, collect or otherwise disturb any park resources, including plants and animals (dead or alive), fossils, rocks, or artifacts. It is a violation of park rules to possess park resources. Metal detectors are not allowed in any National Park. Please report any illegal activities to a ranger.
Desert plants are fragile, do not drive or park off the paved or graveled areas.
Be considerate of your fellow campers by observing quiet hours from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Generator use is permitted in designated areas between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m in the Rio Grande Village campground. Generator hours in the Chisos Basin campground are 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Idling vehicle engines are considered generators in this regard. No generators are allowed at Cottonwood Campground.
Property left unattended longer than 24 hours will be impounded and the campsite forfeited, regardless of whether or not it is reservable or non-reservable.
Camp only in designated sites. All vehicles (including trailers and motorcycles) must remain on pavement or designated areas, do not put any vehicle on grass or behind parking barriers, rock or otherwise. Do not move parking barriers. No digging or trenching is allowed at campsites.
Bicycles and street legal motorcycles are allowed only on designated roadways, not on trails or off-road. Use of any all-terrain vehicles (ATVs with 3 or more wheels) or non-street legal motorcycles in Big Bend National Park is prohibited.
Carry a flashlight and use caution when walking at night on trails, campground paths, or roads. There are many trip hazards in mountain and desert country as well as spiny plants and venomous animals. Footwear other than flip-flops and sandals is recommended. Rattlesnakes may be prevalent anywhere in the park on warm to moderate evenings. Skunks are talented at using their noses to unzip tents. Make sure your tent is secure, especially if you are in it at night.
Did You Know?
In 1535, prior to settlement, the Spanish adventurer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca is credited with being the first European to visit the Big Bend Country. The Spanish had a name for such an area - despoblado, or unpopulated land. More...