Lodging in Big Bend National Park

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Lodging in Big Bend National Park

Big Bend is one of the most remote national parks in the country; so you definitely need to reserve campsites or hotels for lodging in Big Bend National Park in advance, as there are fewer spots to stay compared to most other parks. Make lodging reservations early if you plan to visit Big Bend especially during spring break or Christmas/Thanksgiving holiday.

“Where you stay may depend on which direction you are arriving from. Here are my top picks for the best lodging and camping options in Big Bend.”

Camping options Inside the Park

Options for lodging inside the Big Bend National Park are limited to motel-style Chisos Mountain Lodge, backcountry camping, and the three main campgrounds. Camping in Big Bend National Park under the stars is the ultimate way to experience the magic of Big Bend.

01 — Back Country Camping

Big Bends offers endless backcountry camping opportunities if you are seeking solitude, wilderness, and adventure. Permits are required for all backcountry camping and cost $12 for a 12-day period for the entire group. You can pick up the permits at any ranger station in Big Bend.

“Permits are given on a first-come, first-serve basis. Always have a backup plan in place, especially during the busy season.”

“Best place in the world to fall asleep under the stars.”

02 — Chisos Mountain Lodge

Facilities: Restaurant, Conveniences Store
Trail Access: Easy
Season: Year Round

The Chisos Mountains Lodge & Cabins is nestled in the high Chisos Mountains. The rooms are basic but very well maintained and clean.

Several hiking trails start at the lodge and the place can get really busy in the winter. The lodge features a restaurant, conveniences store, and gift shop.

03 — RV Camping & Campgrounds

There are three developed campgrounds in Big Bend with drinking water and restroom facilities. The campgrounds cost $14 per night and use self-registration.
The majority of campsites are first-come, first-serve. Make reservations early if you plan to visit Big Bend especially during spring break or Christmas/Thanksgiving holiday.

“Choose campgrounds according to which Big Bend area you want to cover.”

Chisos Basin Campground

The Chisos Basin Campground is one of the most popular camping areas in Big Bend National Park. The campground consists of 60 sites, as well as 2 group sites. Restrooms are located within the campground. Nearby, the Chisos Mountain Lodge offers a restaurant, gift shop, hotel rooms, and a general store.

The main attractions close to the Chisos campground are Lost Mine Trail, South Rim, Emory Peak.

Rio Grande Village Campground

The Rio Grande village campground is close to some awesome attractions such as Hot Springs, Boquillas Canyon, Old Ore Rd, Ernst Tinaja Trail.
Rio Grande Village has 100 sites available, with an additional 20 RV spots. A store, gas station, showers, dump station, and picnic area are located nearby.

Cottonwood Campground

Cottonwood is the least developed campground located at the end of the Ross Maxwell scenic drive. Roughly 30 sites occupy the Cottonwood campground.
The Cottonwood campground gets its name from the cottonwood trees that surround the area. The campsite is a haven for bird watchers due to its proximity to water. There are also many hiking trails located near the campground.

Lodging outside Park

More lodging and restaurants can be found near the park’s western boundary in Lajitas, Terlingua and Study Butte. Marathon is the main gateway for visitors coming from the east and north, including Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.

If you are looking for something nearby Big Bend, the best option is to stay in the historic town of Terlingua.

Lajitas Golf Resort, Lajitas

The Lajitas Golf Resort offers a boutique resort setting nestled between the majestic mountains of the Big Bend & the Big Bend Ranch State Park. The resort features a world-class 18-hole golf course, 5 stand sporting clay shoot, cowboy action shoot, and an equestrian center for horseback rides. The hotel is perfect if you are traveling with kids as there are plenty of activities for the entire family.

El Dorado Hotel

The El Dorado Hotel is at a comfortable base from getting into the National Park, but don’t expect certain urban comforts here. There is a bar and restaurant located onsite. The nearby convenience store in the main town offers an option for a quick snack or “run in” meals. You can enjoy view of the old Terlingua town and the Chisos Mountain range.

Nomad Tipis & Casitas

This is great for both glamping and primitive campers alike. The vacation home features a dining area and a coffee/tea maker, and a shower. If you are looking for some unique rentals, then Nomad Tipis is a perfect choice. It is located right in the heart of Terlingua ghost town. The Tipis have cooling units to keep the tipi to perfect temperature.

The Gage Hotel, Marathon

The historic Gage Hotel, located in the town of Marathon is probably the best destination if you’re coming in from the north side of Texas. The hotel offers luxury accommodations, top-notch service, and a first class dining experience. The hotel has a full-service spa, heated swimming pool, 27-acre landscaped native garden and a fitness center.

“Have you been to Big Bend National Park? Do you prefer to camp under the stars? I’d love to hear about your experience.”

I hope these tips are helpful. Let me know in the comments below. Happy Traveling!

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