Motorcycle Safety

Riding in the Big Bend Area

NPS Photo/Mark Schuler


Motorcycle Operation and Equipment
All backcountry roads in Big Bend National Park are public roads. All vehicles driven on these roads must be street legal according to the Texas vehicle laws. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails and all cross-country or off-road travel is prohibited in the park.

In addition to traffic regulations, the following apply to operation of motorcycles on all paved and unpaved roads in Big Bend National Park.

  • One and not more than two multiple beam head lamps.
  • One red tail lamp, which shall include a brake light, white license plate light, and red reflector.
  • One rearview mirror located to reflect a view of the roadway for a 200’ distance behind the motorcycle.
  • It is a violation to operate a motorcycle without a muffler or with a muffler that produces unusual noises.
  • Approved protective headgear must be worn by operator and passenger under the age of 21.
  • The operator of the motorcycle must hold a valid license as a motorcycle operator and is subject to the restrictions stated upon the license.
  • The operator shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat, and shall not carry passengers unless the motorcycle was designed to do so.

Stay Safe

  • Wear brightly colored clothing or jackets to increase visibility to other motorists.
  • Be aware of road surfaces as you ride. Never over-ride the road conditions.
  • Watch for vehicles straying over the center line.
  • Stay alert for sudden stops or traffic slow-downs, especially around scenic pullouts or other congested areas.
  • Watch for wildlife at the road edge.
  • Ride with headlights on.
  • Secure your motorcycle and valuables when you are away from your bike.

Last updated: March 18, 2014

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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



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