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Adventure Guide: Big Bend National Park

Texas-sized solitude is practically guaranteed when you explore the high peaks and striking river canyons of this lightly visited wilderness.

TRIP PLANNER

Getting There The closest airports are in Midland and El Paso (242

and 329 miles, respectively, from the park).

©Steve Howe

Adobe ruins

at Terlingua Abajo

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.

©Steve Howe

» Mesa

de Anguila: USGS Mesa de Anguila

» Outer

Loop Trail: Go to www.nps.gov/bibe/backcountry/outermountainloop.htm to

download a map and route description.

» Santa

Elena: River Guide to the Rio Grande is sold at Big Bend River Tours, visitor

centers, and bigbendbookstore.org.

» Emory

Peak: Chisos Mountains Trail Map is sold at park visitor centers and at bigbendbookstore.org.

» Glenn

Springs/Juniper Canyon: Road Guide to Backcountry Dirt Roads of BBNP is sold

at area stores & visitor centers.

» Marufo

Vega: USGS quads Boquillas, Ernst Valley Guide Hiking Big Bend National Park,

by Laurence Parent Contact (432) 477-2251; nps.gov/bibe

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