Big Bend National Park is a backpacker's paradise. For those who come prepared, there are hundreds of miles of trails, and vast expanses to explore. The following information will help you plan your dream adventure.
Backcountry Use Permits
Backpacking Group Size Limit
An organized group or individual party may not exceed a 15 person limit.
Backpacking in the Chisos Mountains
Overnight backpackers in the Chisos Mountains must choose from forty-two designated campsites. A backcountry permit is required. Your permit will designate your specific sites for specific nights. You may obtain a permit up to 6 months in advance via www.recreation.gov. (Please note: we recommend that the first thing you do on recreation.gov be to create an account, then select the campsites you're interested in.)
Backpacking in the Desert
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/routes, a topographic map and a compass/gps are necessary for some hikes. Not for novices, you will need to be fully equipped and physically prepared to pack your gear and water into the desert and camp primitively.
Last updated: September 28, 2021