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Easy Epics: 17 Drive-up Campsites a Backpacker Will Love

Combine the best of car camping (spacious tents, comfy chairs, frosty margaritas!) and the best of backpacking (deep solitude, outrageous scenery, swimming holes!) with these 17 accessible hideaways.

Big Bend National Park
Twisted Shoe

Pitch a tent in one of Texas’s most remote campsites.

In 1787, an Apache chief known as Twisted Shoe led his warriors into battle against Spanish soldiers at the base of the Chisos Mountains deep in the prickly Chihuahuan Desert. Today, his namesake camp—one lonely, ocotillo-lined site at the range’s southern foot—is still a pretty rough place. The summer sizzles like a tortilla on the griddle, and water is scarce. Nestled at the end of a 12-mile approach via a rough and rutted road, however, it’s the very essence of remote, and solitude is assured (it’s a single reservation-only site). Best plan: Pack plenty of agua, and come in late fall. Spend your first day exploring the buttes and verdant, mule deer-frequented valleys surrounding the site (which has a view of Chillocatal Mountain going crimson at sunset). Then hike Juniper Canyon Trail from camp 12.4 miles (round-trip) to the park’s highpoint, 7,825-foot Emory Peak, with views well into Mexico.

Get there From park headquarters, take I-385 to Glen Springs Rd. Turn right and go 6.8 miles to Juniper Canyon Rd. Turn right and drive 5.3 miles to its end.
UTM 13R 0667834E 3237253N
Map Big Bend National Park ($12, natgeomaps.com)
Permit Required ($10); pick up at backcountry office up to 24 hours prior
Contact nps.gov/bibe; (432) 477-2251

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