Wilderness Camping

Mesa de Anguila
Mesa de Anguila

NPS Photo/Reine Wonite

Some of the desert areas of Big Bend National Park are open to wilderness backpacking. A backcountry permit is required. Prospective desert backpackers will need to have all the gear necessary for a safe trip, and be prepared to describe a detailed itinerary to a park ranger. There are limits to the number of backpackers allowed in each area, and a variety of backcountry regulations that must be followed.

Things to Know

  • Backcountry Permits are required for all backcountry camping.
  • You must specify a destination and detailed itinerary for for each night of your backpacking trip.
  • Individual group size is limited to 15 people. Larger groups must split up and may not camp in adjacent backountry zones.

Hiking the Outer Mountain Loop, Mesa de Anguila, or the Marufo Vega Trail

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 complex topography and vague trails topographical maps and a compass are suggested for some hikes.

Last updated: January 2, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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


(432) 477-2251

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