Backcountry Use Limits

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Date: June 15, 2015
Contact: David Elkowitz, 432-477-1108

Big Bend National Park managers are reaching out to visitors who backpack overnight into the park's vast undeveloped back country in order to clarify applicable use limits.

Effective July 1, 2015, Big Bend National Park will be requiring adherence to the published Backcountry Management Plan use limits:

  • No overnight backcountry camping group or party will be larger than 15 persons except for river parties and users of backcountry road group sites.
  • Overnight off-road backcountry camping groups larger than 15 will divide into two parties. These parties will not be permitted in the same use area nor in adjacent use areas for a given night. For purposes of this requirement, adjacent use areas do not include those separated by paved or unpaved roads.

Most park backcountry, outside of the Chisos Mountains, provides open-zone camping for groups up to 15 persons.However, the popular High Chisos zone requires use of designated campsites, each with group size limits.The High Chisos zone includes two campsites that accommodate up to 15 persons each and numerous campsites with smaller capacities.

This clarifies that no more than 15 members of a single group may occupy High Chisos designated campsites at one time.Larger groups can be accommodated in available High-Chisos campsites under the 15-person limit, but will be required to split up with the remainder in a different, non-adjacent use zone outside of the High Chisos.

Backcountry use limits have been established to protect the park's cultural and natural resources and provide high-quality visitor experiences.Park Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones said "We thank park visitors for their assistance in protecting the resources and visitor enjoyment of Big Bend backcountry by observing the group size limits."

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Last updated: July 13, 2015

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129


(432) 477-2251

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