Permits & Reservations

Reservations are not needed to enter Big Bend National Park, but normal entrance fees will be collected at all park entrance stations. America the Beautiful Annual Passes, Senior Passes, and Access Passes will be honored. Entrance stations are open daily.


Do I Need to Make Reservations?

Big Bend is a remote place, and visitation is burgeoning. Gone are the days when visitors could simply show up and arrange for camping and lodging. Always make arrangements before traveling here. All park campgrounds REQUIRE reservations.

Rio Grande Village Campground


Plan Ahead! Advance reservations for campsites are required. There is NO first come, first served camping available at park campgrounds.

Chisos Basin Lodge


The Chisos Mountains Lodge, operated by Aramark, is located in the Chisos Basin at 5,400 feet elevation. The lodge offers a variety of rooms and cottages, plus a gift shop and dining room. The lodge accepts reservations year-round.

desert view


A selection of primitive roadside and Chisos Mountains backpacking campsites are available for online permitting up to 180 days in advance through Plan ahead. There is no "boondocking" or "dispersed camping" in Big Bend National Park.

local outfitters rafting

Local Outfitters

From guided trips, equipment rental, shuttle services, tours, horseback riding, and more, there are a variety of services available in the local area.



Backcountry Use Permits
A Backcountry Permit must be obtained before participating in overnight backpacking, primitive camping, horse/stock use, and river use.

Backcountry Use Permits are issued in person at Panther Junction and Chisos Basin visitor centers, and may be obtained up to 24 hours in advance of the trip. A selection of the most popular backcountry campsites (both Chisos Mountains Backpacking and Primitive Roadside Campsites) are available for online permitting up to 180 days in advance through or calling 1-877-444-6777.

A backcountry use fee of $10.00 per night is charged for all overnight backcountry use.

Special Use Permits
A Special Use Permit is required for nontraditional park use and activities such as weddings, school groups, or other organized groups. Requests for a permit may be made by going to the Special Use Permit link or calling the park 432-477-1108. Allow at least four weeks for processing. Fees may apply.

Commercial Use Authorization
Permits are required of all individuals, organizations or businesses who lead commercial trips within the National Park, or in other ways receive monetary gain or profit from commercial activities that take place within the park.

Filming Permits
Filming and still photography may require a permit. Arrangemanets must be made in advance. Follow the link to learn more about NPS requirements.

A state fishing license is not required in Big Bend National Park, but a free fishing permit (obtained from a visitor center) is required. A state license is required on the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River located outside of the park boundary.

Last updated: July 10, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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



Contact Us