BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK 708,200 acres. Bordering on the Rio Grande in southwest Texas, alongside the U.S.-Mexican boundary, Big Bend National Park contains the state’s largest area of wilderness. Included here are the Chisos Mountains and other mountain ranges.
Highest point is 7,825-foot Emory Peak. There are also deep canyons with cliffs, rock formations, some badlands, open desert, grasslands, and wooded areas. Among the wildlife are mule deer, mountain lion, and bobcat.
Activities: Over 150 miles of trails are available for backpacking and hiking. Only about 30 miles of the trails are well-marked and easy to follow. Difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous. Hunting is not allowed in the park.
Camping Regulations: A free permit is required for backcountry camping. Permits must be obtained in person. A few parts of the park are closed to camping, and in the popular Chisos Mountain region camping is restricted to designated sites.
In other regions camping is allowed almost anywhere, but campsites must be at least 100 yards from trails and water sources, and one-half mile from roads and developed areas. Campfires are not permitted. A stove must be used if one wishes to cook. Water must normally be carried in. Pets are prohibited.
Weather changes in the park are sometimes dramatic. Since summer heat is often intense, and winter is often cold in the mountain regions, fall and spring are the best times to visit.
For Further Information: Big Bend National Park, TX 79834; (915)477-2251.