When booking our stay in Big Bend National Park, our key focus was backpacking, but we also knew that staying at an established campground has it’s comforts, so we took a look at the park website just to see if they had any availability.

We were visiting over the winter holidays, one of the busiest times of year for the park, so we knew our chances for snagging a site were slim. But, alas, when we looked about a month in advance, there was one site available at the Chisos Basin Campground for one of the days smack in the middle of our trip. It felt like fate, so we snagged it. From that moment on, we pretty much built our trip around this date, deciding to backpack for the first 3 days, stay here the 4th night, then spend our last night in the park along the river via our Santa Elena Canyon guided trip.

There weren’t showers at the campground, which was bearable since we’d dipped in the hot springs earlier that afternoon, but there was a restaurant and we were so excited to not eat freeze dried food for dinner! We got to the site, set up camp, shared a bottle of rose (because, well – why not) and then headed up to the Chisos Mountain Lodge for dinner.

Our site at Chisos Basin Campground
All of the campsites at Chisos Basin are outfitted with a bear box, picnic table and grill.
Relaxing with some rose before heading to dinner
Sunset gazing from the Chisos Mountain Lodge
That feeling when you’ve backpacked for the first time ever and made it out alive and well.

Want to book your own stay at the park? Check out their website here.

For more information about hiking in Big Bend National Park, check out the guide book we used to plan our time.

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