Primitive Roadside Campsite— Ernst Basin

Ernst Basin Primitive Campsite
Ernst Basin Primitive Roadside Campsite
Roadside Campsites Regulations Sign

Campsite Specifics

Ernst Basin Primitive Campsite (EB-1) can accommodate up to 10 people, 2 vehicles, no trailers, no horses.

  • Maximum vehicle length is 25'
  • No trailers.

Primitive roadside sites offer nice views, solitude, and a small flat gravel space to set up camp next to your vehicle. No shade, toilets, or other amenities are provided. The use of generators is prohibited in the backcountry.

A Backcountry Permit is required to use this campsite. You can now obtain a backcountry permit for this campsite up to 24 hours in advance of the first night at Panther Junction Visitor Center or Chisos Basin Visitor Center.



Ernst Basin (EB-1) is located along the Old Ore Road, 10 miles from the southern end and 16.4 miles from the northern end. Willow Tank campsite (WT-1) is 0.1 mile north of EB-1.


Road Conditions

Old Ore Road is very rough and rocky. It is maintained for high clearance vehicles only. Following rains and heavy use, the road becomes very rutted and requires 4-wheel drive. Always ask a park ranger for current road conditions.



There is no shade at EB-1 campsite. Common plants are yucca, creosote, candelilla, and lechuguilla. The campsite is protected on the north side by a low hill.



Good views of the Chisos Mountains and the Deadhorse Mountains.



Javelina may frequent this area. Always keep coolers and all food in your vehicle, including trash.

Campsite Photos:

View from Ernst Basin Primitive Campsite
View from the Ernst Basin Primitive Campsite

Last updated: May 1, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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



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