Fifth wheel parked at Maverick Ranch RV with Lajitas mesa in the background. Text on the image says "the best camping near big bend national park"

The Best Camping Near Big Bend National Park

Remote, wild, rugged, vast. Way out in Far West Texas lies Big Bend National Park. Here, the weather-beaten desert surrounds the mountain range that towers above. Rivers carve their way through canyons and the night sky is as black as coal illuminated by thousands of stars. 

View from the Mesa de Anguila trail overlooking the Rio Grande and Mexico in Big Bend National Park.
Views from Mesa de Anguila in Big Bend National Park.

Oddly enough, this national park is not on most people’s radar. If you’re looking for camping near Big Bend National Park then keep reading! When visiting the area for the first time, it can be difficult to decide where to stay since the park is so large and spread out. My goal is to help you find the best Big Bend camping sites! This guide will cover Big Bend camping options both in and outside of the national park. 

Big Bend National Park Campgrounds

There are 4 campgrounds in Big Bend National Park. 3 are run by the National Park Service and the fourth is run by the park concessioner, Forever Resorts. In addition to these 4 campgrounds there are many backcountry camping options as well for those with rugged vehicles or willing to backpack. I will be sticking to the 4 main campgrounds in this guide but if you’re interested in backcountry camping, you can click here to learn more. As of right now, reservations are required for campgrounds. 

Chisos Basin Campground

The Chisos Basin Campground is a 60 site no hookup campground nestled at the base of the Chisos. Campers can expect to enjoy views of Casa Grande and Emory Peak (highest point in park). 

The Details:

  • Not recommended for trailers over 20′ and RV’s over 24′ due to the narrow, winding road to the campground and the small sites. 
  • $16/night
  • 60 sites
  • No hookups (Generators allowed in specific sites only)
  • Flush toilets
  • Running Water
  • Grills / Picnic Table
  • Dump Station
View of the Window at Big Bend National Park with the Chisos Basin way off in the distance below.
View of the “Window” at Big Bend. If you look closely you may be able to see the Chisos Basin Campground below.

If you’re wanting to camp inside the national park and have a small enough RV this is the campground I would recommend based purely off of location. Many of Big Bend’s most popular trails (Lost Mine, Window, South Rim, Emory Peak) start near this campground by the Chios Basin Visitor Center. Panther Junction Visitor Center is also nearby and this campground puts you in a central location for driving to other areas of the park. Balanced Rock and the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive are right down the road too. 

Rio Grande Village Campground

The Rio Grande Village Campground is located deep in the national park. It’s situated in a grove of cottonwoods right along the Rio Grande which forms the border between the United States and Mexico. We tent camped here on our first trip to Big Bend in 2018 and absolutely loved it. Javelinas ran right through our campsite early one morning which was the coolest thing. RV’s are able to camp here as well!

The Details:

  • $16/night
  • 100 sites 
  • No hookups (Generators allowed in specific sites only) 
  • Flush toilets
  • Running Water
  • Grills / Picnic Table
  • Some sites have overhead shelters
  • Dump Station Nearby
Rio Grande Village campground views. RV campsites surrounded by trees and mountains.
Views of the mountains in the Rio Grande Village Campground.

The Rio Grande Nature Trail is accessed from inside this campground which is a perk of staying there. It’s not far from the Boquillas Crossing Port of Entry (currently closed due to covid), the Boquillas Canyon Trail, and the hot springs (also currently closed). This section of the park is quite a ways from other areas of the park – 30 miles to the Chisos Basin Visitors Center and 65 miles to Santa Elena Canyon just to give you an idea. 

There is a boat ramp near the group camping area of the campground which is perfect for putting in a kayak. We brought our inflatable kayaks our first trip out and kayaking the Rio Grande was one of the highlights of our trip. Just make sure to get a permit first! 

Additionally, the Rio Grande Village Campground is located right next to a camp store with laundry and showers. Don’t forget your quarters!

Rio Grande Village RV Park

Not to be confused with the Rio Grande Village Campground I just mentioned above, the Rio Grande Village RV Park is located adjacent to the camp store and is operated by Forever Resorts. It is the ONLY full-hookup campground in the park. 

The Details:

  • 25 sites
  • Full hookups (water, electric, sewer)
  • All sites are back in only
  • No tent camping 
  • Pets are allowed on property but must remain on leash
  • Occasionally, a few sites are not available for RV’s 40′ and over because of the size and orientation of the spaces
  • Call for rates and reservations
Woman wearing a tan wide brimmed hat and a life jacket paddles a yellow inflatable kayak down the Rio Grande with a canyon wall to her right. Further down the river in front of the woman is another person paddling in a yellow inflatable kayak.
Campers have easy access to the Rio Grande from the Rio Grande Village RV Park.

Not going to lie, when we saw this “RV park” it looked like an over glorified parking lot to us. But, if you’re looking to be in the national park and have full hookups this is your only option! You’ll also be close to the trails I mentioned above: Rio Grande Nature Trail, Boquillas Canyon Trail, Hot Springs and the Boquillas Crossing Port of Entry. 

Cottonwood Campground

The Cottonwood Campground is a shady spot out in the desert surrounded by cottonwood trees along the Rio Grande. 

The Details:

  • $16/night
  • 24 site campground 
  • No hookups 
  • No generator use 
  • Pit toilets
  • Grills / Picnic Table
  • Water
  • No dump station
The Rio Grande flows into Santa Elena Canyon as the canyon walls tower above the river.
The Cottonwood Campground is just minutes from Santa Elena Canyon.

Cottonwood Campground is located between the Castolon Historic District and Santa Elena Canyon. The Castolon Visitor Center is nearby as well (*note a fire severely damaged the visitor center in 2019 and is temporarily relocated to the the Officer’s Quarters building). 

Chisos Mountains Lodge

I know this isn’t a campground, but I wanted to include it anyways just in case you need a night or two away from your tent or RV. The Chisos Mountains Lodge is the only lodging in Big Bend National Park. It has a range of accommodations from motel / hotel style rooms to stone cottages with gorgeous views of the Chisos Mountains. The Chisos Basin is home to many of the parks best hikes. Lodging in this area of Big Bend will give you quick access to numerous trail heads. 

Camping Near Big Bend (Outside the National Park)

There are so many options when it comes to camping outside the national park. The campgrounds inside Big Bend tend to get booked up pretty quickly, especially during peak season, so staying outside of the park is a good alternative. 

Maverick Ranch RV Park at Lajitas Golf Resort

If you’re looking to explore both Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, then Maverick Ranch RV Park in Lajitas, TX is a great option! Situated on FM 170 between both the state and national  park, Maverick Ranch is the perfect place to launch your Big Bend adventures. The RV park has lots of amenities plus access to all the amenities and activities offered at the golf resort across the street. 

A white fifth wheel and black Ford F-350 are parked at Maverick Ranch RV Park in campsite 79 with Lajitas Mesa in background.
Site 79 at Maverick Ranch RV Park.

The Details:

  • 100 sites (60 are pull-through)
  • Big rig friendly 
  • Full-hookups (30/50 amp, sewer and water)
  • Swimming Pool 
  • Dog Park
  • Shower & Laundry Facilities 
  • Clubhouse 
  • Hiking Trails
  • Nearby general store
  • Access to amenities and activities offered at the golf resort
  • Rates depending on season (night/week/month rates available)

Maverick Ranch came highly recommended to us by a couple friends and it did not disappoint! There are gorgeous views throughout the campground and plenty to do if you need a break from exploring the parks. We took a day to relax, hit the pool and hike the trail at the RV park. 

An aerial view of Black Jack's Crossing Golf Course with mountains surrounding the course and Big Bend National Park in the distance.
Black Jack’s Crossing Golf Course with views of Big Bend National Park as the back drop.

Over at the resort activities include: the Agave Spa, Black Jack’s Crossing Golf Course, horseback trail rides, zip lining, mountain biking trails, and more. 

Our friends @makingawayinthewilderness,  rented out the movie theater at the resort (this is FREE and you can pick the movie) and had a fun pizza and movie night with their girls. You can order pizza and they’ll bring it right to you at the movie theater. They also ate restaurant at the resort, Candelilla Cafe and said the food and dessert was delicious!

RoadRunner Travelers RV Park

This is a fairly new RV park located right outside the main section of Terlingua. Owners Allison and Chris traveled for three years in their RV but fell in love with the Big Bend region and kept coming back. They opened their RV park because they wanted to share the beauty of the area with other travelers. RoadRunner Travelers RV Park is located just 3 miles away from Big Bend National Park, 15 miles from Big Bend Ranch State Park, and a short walk/drive into Terlingua. 

The Details:

  • Big rig friendly
  • Full-hookups (20/30/50 amp, sewer and water)
  • Community fire pit
  • Pet friendly
  • Picnic table (on deluxe sites)
  • Community games
  • Community grill
  • $40-70/night depending on site & season
Overhead drone picture of the RoadRunner Travelers RV Park. Desert and mountains are situated behind the RV park.
Photo Credit: RoadRunner Travelers RV Park

The RV Park at Big Bend Motor Inn

The RV Park at Big Bend Motor Inn is right in the middle of Terlingua and just minutes from the west entrance of Big Bend National Park. This park is right in town near the gas station and close to a couple restaurants as well. 

The Details:

  • 131 sites
  • Full-hookups (30/50 amp, sewer, and water)
  • Big rig friendly
  • Pets allowed

Paisano Village RV Park & Inn

Paisano Village RV Park and Inn is another RV park that’s just minutes from the entrance to Big Bend National Park. It’s close to the only grocery and gas in town and has large spacious sites with great views throughout the park. 

My friend Sammy, recently stayed here with her family in their fifth wheel. She said the location was perfect for the national park (plus the state park is only 30 minutes away) and the owner was super friendly. Sammy also mentioned there’s a food truck that has really delicious chili. Yum!

The Details:

  •  Full-hookups
  • Concrete pad that your door will open up to
  • $50/night
  • Big rig friendly
  • Pets welcome
  • Weekly & monthly rates available 
  • A couple rooms and casitas available too

Big Bend Ranch State Park

If you’re really looking to get out into nature and enjoy some peace and quiet, I highly suggest Big Bend Ranch State Park. The park boasts over 300,000 acres of land, making it the largest state park in Texas and is probably the most remote place we’ve ever stayed the night. It is quite the journey reaching the interior of the park and making it to the Sauceda Visitor’s Center. Many of the park’s roads are unmaintained dirt roads some of which require 4-wheel drive or high clearance so be prepared for a bumpy ride. Due to road conditions, motor homes and large recreational vehicles may not be able to enter backcountry park areas.

The Details:

  • $10-16/night
  • Picnic table
  • Fire ring (must bring your own firewood)
  • Must obtain permit to camp in the park (max stay is 14 nights)
  • Up to 8 people per campsite
  • No facilities, water/electric, or dump station available
  • Must haul out both human waste and trash
A white truck with a truck tent and a blue Subaru are parked at the Escondido Pens Campsite in Big Bend Ranch State Park. There are small mountains behind the campsite and behind the vehicles is a shaded area with a picnic table. A brown sign marks the name of the campsite.
Escondido Pens Campsite at Big Bend Ranch State Park

We camped here in our truck tent a few nights on our first trip to Big Bend in 2018. We absolutely loved how quiet and remote the park was and hardly saw any other people during our stay. There are many options for camping but as mentioned previously, some areas of the park the road conditions are a little rough. Check to make sure your vehicle is suitable for the road to reach your campsite. We booked the Escondido Pens site and it was huge (there was even a pen if you wanted to bring your horses). Personally, I wouldn’t be comfortable taking a rig of our size out there but you may be okay if you have something smaller (it’s always best to check with the state park!). Big Bend Ranch State Park is definitely worth visiting even if you don’t end up camping in the park!

Glamping in Terlingua

If you’re looking for accommodations near Big Bend you may want to consider glamping!  If we didn’t travel full-time in our RV, I totally would have considered booking a few nights at one of these glamping spots in Terlingua. 

Big Bend Glamping

If you’re looking to get off the grid, then Big Bend Glamping might be for you! They offer a variety of camping accommodations including canvas tents, tipis, trailers, domes, and campsites. 

Teepee Tent with Adirondack chairs set up out front. Sun is setting on beautiful mountains in the background.
Photo Credit: Big Bend Glamping

This campground is off the beaten path and truly off-grid (no running water or electricity is on site). If you’re looking to disconnect and really enjoy the beauty around you then this campground might be just the place to stay!

Ocotillos Village

If you’re looking for a star gazing opportunity you may want to consider the wooden A-frame “Stargazers” at Ocotillos Village in Terlingua. Big Bend and Big Bend Ranch State Park are both International Dark Sky Parks. In fact, Big Bend has the darkest night skies of any national park in the lower 48 states. This would be the perfect place to fall asleep enjoying the night sky above and in the morning take in the sunrise over the Chisos Mountains. 

5 wooden A-frame "stargazers" at the Ocotillos Village are illuminated under a dark night sky filled with stars.
Photo Credit: Ocotillos Village

In addition to the “Stargazers” Ocotillos Village also has several campsites available as well if you’re looking to bring your own tent and camp!

The Local Chapter

The last glamping accommodation I’ll highlight (although there are several others) is The Local Chapter. We actually saw the sign for this property on our way out of Big Bend one afternoon. The name sounded interesting so I had to do a search to see what it was! The Local Chapter is comprised of 392 acres of untouched high desert land bordering Big Bend National Park. 

Big Bend Yurt
Photo Credit: The Local Chapter

Guests can book a stay at one of their 4 yurts that sit atop Maverick Mountain. You can really tell how much thought and detail went into preparing these accommodations. This would be a great place to experience the dramatic landscape of the area while enjoying the amenities of a cozy space. 

There you have it folks. These are the best places to stay near Big Bend where you can fully immerse yourself in the culture and beauty this region has to offer. Next time we visit, I’d love to stay in the Chisos or maybe take a break from the RV and campout under the stars for a night or two. No matter where you decide to stay, I promise you’ll have an unforgettable trip! 

Let me know in the comments where you stayed and what you thought of it! If you haven’t been, which of these locations would you choose to camp at??

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Information on Big Bend Hiking

More Big Bend NPS Information

Best Places to Camp Big Bend National Park Pinterest Pin

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  1. Thank you for such an incredibly detailed overview of the Big Bend camping options! This will definitely be my camping guide when we visit!

    1. You’re welcome!! I’m so glad you find it helpful. Let me know if you have any questions whenever you do plan a trip out there ☺️

  2. Megan!! You are killing me with this place!! I swear it gets more and more beautiful the more I see! Saving for when we go because we are FOR SURE going one day!!

  3. This is wonderful!! It can be overwhelming sometimes to research camping spots. So exited to have this when we go to Big Bend!

    1. Oh I definitely know that feeling! Especially when it’s somewhere you’re not familiar with!

    1. Thanks Janae!! ❤️ Some of those glamping options look so fun. Might have to do a trip sometime without our dogs and the RV

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