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.
Big Bend National Park is not typically considered a climbers’ destination, but it offers some scenic, challenging, and wildly varied rock climbs. Over the years, park visitors have often inquired about climbing, but there is little written. A rudimentary climber's guide is available by request at most visitor centers.
Climbing in the park is unofficially discouraged because there is little written information to disseminate, the quality of rock ranges from fair to terrifying, the weather can be extremely harsh, and the approaches can be long, waterless ordeals. Bolting of any kind, electric or hand, is strictly forbidden. Climbing in Big Bend National Park can be very rewarding, but leaving any trace of impact on this resource, over time, will surely jeopardize access.
Climb safe! A climbing helmet is an absolutely necessary part of a Big Bend climber's rack. Dehydration kills park visitors every year; you cannot bring too much water. All rock in Big Bend National Park is suspect, so belayer position and gear placement are especially critical.
Please get involved. If you climb in the park let a ranger know about it. Provide a photo or sketch if you can, and a written description of the location, route, and overall quality of the climb. Your information will be much appreciated by future climbers.
Did You Know?
In 1935, Conrad Wirth, later the director of the National Park Service, said this of Persimmon Gap in Big Bend National Park, “There will probably always be a road from Marathon through . . . Persimmon Gap, which is a very fine and natural gateway to the Park.”