For Your Safety
Knowledge and preparation can increase your comfort level and reduce your chances of injury. Remember, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety.
There are no reliable water sources in the backcountry. To insure you have enough water for drinking and cooking, please carry one gallon per person per day (water weighs approximately 8 lbs. per gallon). Water faucets are located at every visitor center. Carry additional water for your vehicle.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Too much sun can be dangerous; take heat safety seriously. For more information visit the sun safety page.
Be Alert for Venemous Snakes and Insects
Watch where you place your hands and feet, carry a flashlight at night, and shake out your shoes and clothes before putting them on. Remember, snakes and insects are protected in the park. Please do not harm or harass them.
Mountain lions and black bears are a natural part of the environment; be prepared for the possibility of an encounter. Keep small children close at all times. Don't let them run ahead on trails. If you feel threatened by a lion or bear, do not run. Instead, look large and yell, scream, wave your arms, and throw rocks or sticks if necessary. Pick up small children. Report lion and bear sightings in detail to a ranger.
Secure Your Food
Do not feed any wildlife. Keep your food in a hard-sided vehicle or food storage locker. Ice chests are not animal-proof. Visit the backcountry food storage page for more information.
Lock Your Vehicle and Safeguard Your Valuables
Theft of property from unoccupied vehicles and campsites can be a problem in remote areas of the park.
Avoid Swimming or Wading in the Rio Grande
Sudden dropoffs and unpredictable currents make the river potentially hazardous.
Report Any Illegal Activity to a Ranger
Drug smuggling and illegal border crossings occasionally occur within the Big Bend region. If you encounter or see anything that appears illegal, suspicious, or out of place, please do not approach or intervene. Note the location, time, direction of travel, and report to a park ranger or call 911 as soon as possible.
Last updated: October 22, 2020