Getting There The closest airports are in Midland and El Paso (242
and 329 miles, respectively, from the park).
Getting Around Gas, water, and limited groceries are available at Terlingua,
Lajitas, and the three main campgrounds at Rio Grande Village, Chisos Basin,
and Castolon. For travel between November 15 and April 15, you can reserve car
campsites up to 240 days in advance through ReserveUSA (877-444-6777; reserveusa.com).
Season November through April, except for the higher Chisos Mountains,
which are best visited late spring through early autumn.
Don’t Miss Fajitas at the Chile Pepper Café in Terlingua.
Cautions Extreme heat and scarce springs mean you must carry lots
of water, identify potential sources, hike during cool parts of the day, and
leave your itinerary with a responsible person. Soloists should fill out the
Solo Hiker Form, which requires check-in upon return.
Regulations Permits (free) are required for all backcountry overnights
and are available at visitor centers up to 24 hours in advance. In the Chisos,
camping is limited to designated sites; elsewhere, camping is allowed anywhere
a half-mile from roads, trails, and developed areas. No campfires or pets.
Maps Trails Illustrated #225 Big Bend National Park is a good
overview map. For custom topos of our main hikes, visit www.backpacker.com/mapstore.
de Anguila: USGS Mesa de Anguila
Loop Trail: Go to www.nps.gov/bibe/backcountry/outermountainloop.htm to
download a map and route description.
Elena: River Guide to the Rio Grande is sold at Big Bend River Tours, visitor
centers, and bigbendbookstore.org.
Peak: Chisos Mountains Trail Map is sold at park visitor centers and at bigbendbookstore.org.
Springs/Juniper Canyon: Road Guide to Backcountry Dirt Roads of BBNP is sold
at area stores & visitor centers.
Vega: USGS quads Boquillas, Ernst Valley Guide Hiking Big Bend National Park,
by Laurence Parent Contact (432) 477-2251; nps.gov/bibe