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Old 01-27-2023, 07:45 AM   #1
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Big Bend National Park primitive camping

We are considering the primitive camping available at Big Bend. What is the condition of the roads? Pulling a stock 30bunk, no lift, is this feasible? Will I quickly regret attempting this? I donít want to risk bottoming out.
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Old 01-27-2023, 08:00 AM   #2
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We are considering the primitive camping available at Big Bend. What is the condition of the roads? Pulling a stock 30bunk, no lift, is this feasible? Will I quickly regret attempting this? I donít want to risk bottoming out.
Definitely not the old ore road from the north. From the south, I wouldn't with my 30'er. The other road on the west side (forget the name) was pretty tame as I recall. I would explore solo, and place items, go get trailer if it looks doable.
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Old 01-27-2023, 08:12 AM   #3
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Definitely not the old ore road from the north. From the south, I wouldn't with my 30'er. The other road on the west side (forget the name) was pretty tame as I recall. I would explore solo, and place items, go get trailer if it looks doable.
Okie dokie, campground it is, Thanks Rich
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Old 01-27-2023, 08:14 AM   #4
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There are a couple RV dry camping grounds that should be easy enough. I'm not sure you are allowed take a trailer to the back road campsites but I'd be interested to know if anyone has.

I was on the River Road and Glen Springs down by Rio Grand village a few months ago and the hitch without the trailer dragged in some places. I don't think you could get a trailer down those roads.

Lastly I've not found the rangers to be a good source of info for the road conditions. Might be best to make a reservation as one of the RV campgrounds and check the conditions when you are there.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:16 AM   #5
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I would keep your AS on the good roads, but here is a great camping option: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvis...campground.htm

If you have not been to Big Bend be aware that this is a vast park. For added adventure there is Big Bend State Park a few miles west.

Be sure be aware of the current park alerts when you enter the park
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:18 AM   #6
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I've been there twice with my 27' FC and the Rio Grande Village Campground is the right place to be. There is an actual Rio Grande RV Park near there with full hookups, but you camp on pavement, essentially in a parking lot. The Rio Grande Campground is roomy, no hookups and generally available. The off-the-main-roads camping is pretty much for high clearance vehicles, maybe a high clearance teardrop. But no way for a trailer. Your TV should be fine without the trailer for getting to trailheads and exploring the scenery. The Chiso Basin Campground will allow short trailers only and it is really tight to get in there.

Enjoy your trip! Get up early and hike during the sunrise. They are amazing there! Be sure to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico at Boquillas for a day trip. Take your passport.

The desert and mountain beauty there is spectacular! Plan to drive lots of miles getting around. They also sell diesel and gasoline inside the park!
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:45 AM   #7
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Did Grapevine Hills in 2021

We pulled our 25í Eddie Bauer with a 4x4 Tundra to Grapevine Hills 3 in May 2021. It was slow, but not too challenging. Neither truck nor trailer bottomed anywhere. The camping area was great with a full vista of the Chisos Mountains

Iíd do it again.

The BBNP Rangers may have info on the current state of any backcountry roads.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:52 AM   #8
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Big Bend NP Trip

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Originally Posted by s1000pre View Post
We are considering the primitive camping available at Big Bend. What is the condition of the roads? Pulling a stock 30bunk, no lift, is this feasible? Will I quickly regret attempting this? I donít want to risk bottoming out.
I visited this area two years ago sans Airstream. I bought a 2016 Explorer in Dallas and took slow route back to Utah. Suggest you locate nice RV park area away from border, say Marathon or Marfa, and do day excursions to border.

Check out Hotel Paisano in Marfa, if interested in "Giant". The point where the Rio Grande cuts thru a high cliffs is interesting, as are a couple of old forts.
Hopefully other on this blog can add suggestions.
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Old 01-27-2023, 01:08 PM   #9
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The dry campgrounds in Big Bend National Park near Rio Grande Village Campground are large sites with trees but do require a reservation. Stayed in Village Canpground for hookups and regretted it. It is a parking lot closely packed in. If you go to Big Bend Ranch State Park, do not go through Lajitas! There is a hill with a 15% grade. We camped in an rv park in Lajitas (gorgeous golf course across road) and dropped the trailer to drive that road along the border. Funny enough, on the other side of that hill there is a small drive up store selling glasses of beer and ice cream!
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Old 01-27-2023, 02:11 PM   #10
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It may be worth the peace of mind to have a reservation but don't hesitate to contact a ranger to see if a suitable remote camping spot is available.

Having stayed in one of the remote campsites, we can say it was a fantastic experience. The trail to the campsite was narrow but that probably is very dependent on the site. Once at the site, there was nearly nobody around. The paved road was out of sight. The nearest RV (in another remote site) was far in the distance. Cost of Airstream and tow vehicle = $$$$$$. Remote camping in Big Bend = PRICELESS!
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Old 01-27-2023, 03:00 PM   #11
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I've been going to Big Bend pretty much every year for nearly 50 years. I showed up without reservations about 3 years ago and there were no backcountry campsites. I ended up staying at the Gage in Marathon for a week which is a great place but it's different than staying at the park. Big Bend is much more popular than it used to be. I'd make a reservation if you can.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamRider View Post
I would keep your AS on the good roads, but here is a great camping option: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvis...campground.htm

If you have not been to Big Bend be aware that this is a vast park. For added adventure there is Big Bend State Park a few miles west.

Be sure be aware of the current park alerts when you enter the park
There is NO BOONDOCKING ALLOWED in the BB state park.
If you have a dogÖthe dog MUST remain on a 6í leash at all timesÖmay NOT walk on trails, or the river, or go anywhere your vehicle cannot goÖand may not be left in your vehicle or rv.
Stillwell Store is a remote quiet basic rv park. No one else there. We enjoyed the isolation.
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Old 02-03-2023, 07:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
We pulled our 25í Eddie Bauer with a 4x4 Tundra to Grapevine Hills 3 in May 2021. It was slow, but not too challenging. Neither truck nor trailer bottomed anywhere. The camping area was great with a full vista of the Chisos Mountains

Iíd do it again.

The BBNP Rangers may have info on the current state of any backcountry roads.
We did GH2 last year in our 30 - the road was pretty trashed. We didn't bottom out but it took an hour to go a mile so I wouldn't do it again even though the site is amazing.


There are a few 30 ft spots I'm the Backcountry. Hannold Draw would work, as would GH1
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Old 02-08-2023, 03:21 AM   #14
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To do primitive camping at Big Bend NP one must make a reservation. To make a reservation one must use recreation.gov. Each reservation is for a specific camp site. Each camp site has a description as to whether or not it is accessible by a trailer.
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Old 02-08-2023, 02:00 PM   #15
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Couple of Options For You

As far as primitive camping goes, Hannold Draw would work for you as would K-Bar 1 and 2, Government Springs 1, and Paint Gap 1. There may be more that would work but those are the ones Iím familiar with. Big Bend is stunning and, as mentioned earlier, becoming a very popular destination. Enjoy.
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Old 02-08-2023, 02:43 PM   #16
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Thanks, we ended up grabbing a spot in Terlingua, it worked out. We made it to just North of Tucson at Picacho Peak, I highly recommend the overflow parking, Closest neighbors are 50 yards away. photos below.
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Old 02-08-2023, 06:22 PM   #17
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Glad to see you made it to West Texas. You made it out of Sealy and safely hit the road. Enjoy the journey.
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