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Old 02-07-2007, 03:42 PM   #1
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We may be headed to Big Bend National Park soon - later this month or in March. Wondering about what to see, where to camp, etc. How are the campgrounds in the park? Any good private campgrounds near the park you'd recommend? Our MH is only 23 feet long, so can go about anywhere.

Figure we'd better go before it gets HOT! Thanks
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:42 PM   #2
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We may be headed to Big Bend National Park soon - later this month or in March. Wondering about what to see, where to camp, etc. How are the campgrounds in the park? Any good private campgrounds near the park you'd recommend? Our MH is only 23 feet long, so can go about anywhere.

Figure we'd better go before it gets HOT! Thanks
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:09 PM   #3
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Can't wait to get there myself. In the mean time I just read about it.

Try this thread Big Bend Thread.

Or this one, it has 8 pages of replies Big Big Bend Discussion
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:15 PM   #4
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Like you, I've found some pretty good reading material on Big Bend and read the threads here, too . . . was hoping for some more timely advice . . . maybe we'll luck out and both benefit!

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Old 02-10-2007, 06:20 AM   #5
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We have stayed at the Big Bend Motor Inn and RV Campground which is near the west entrance to Big Bend National Park but it has been a few years back. It is a central place from which to visit all the other spots. We love the area and keep saying we are going back and our summer plans do include a visit to the area. There are also campgrounds in the park and east of the park; Marathon and Stillwell Ranch. Hallie Stillwell wrote a little book and was revered at the Terilingua Chili Cook-offs. Places to visit include: Lajitas is way too rich for my blood but you must visit the Mayor and we could splurge for a fine dining experience. McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis, Marfa (the mystery lights). I believe the Big Bend State Park, west of the national park is going to be more open to the public but can't find the article. Google searches on these points might help you. Enjoy it. It is different but in my eyes beautiful. And to add one more link of our visit there. A Spring Trip to Big Bend Click on the horseback riders!
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:29 AM   #6
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If you have time, spend a few days around Fort Davis as well. The Davis Mountains State Park has full hookup sites with cable TV. In addition to Fort Davis itself (including the National Historic Site), I'd do the scenic loop (70 miles or so through the Davis Mountains), McDonald Observatory, the "artsy" community at Marfa, the Marfa lights, Balmorhea State Park, etc.

While you're in the Big Bend area, take the River Road between Study Butte and Presidio - better suited for the Scion than the Winnie.

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Old 02-10-2007, 05:15 PM   #7
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Thanks, John and Rusty, I'll factor your tips into our plans! Much appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:23 PM   #8
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Hi, We were just in Big Bend in December. We went back for a 10 year re-visit. The first time we were there was in March also and it was wonderful. Lots of hiking and exploring. As stated the two RV campgrounds inside the park are both nice and we enjoyed our visit emensely. We were lucky as Halebop was making it's way across the sky while we were there. We also stayed at the Big Bend Motor Inn and RV Park and it does have full hookups. Just be sure to remember that rustic is the key word to use when describing the park. A great little restauant not to miss is Le Kiva [the Cave]Very small, intimate, great little atmosphere and good food. Enjoy your trip. Diana
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:06 PM   #9
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We are going to Big Bend in March also.

We are spending the first night at The Rio Grande Village RV Campground which has full hook-ups with hopes that we can find a spot in the non-reserved area Rio Grande Village Campground which I understand has more scenic sites but no hook-ups.

Big Bend Park Campgrounds
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:26 PM   #10
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Thanks, Diana and "El Jeffe." I appreciate the info.

I received the following from a member of another forum (View/Navion Yahoo Group, hence the V/N reference) and thought anyone here who might be considering a trip to Big Bend National Park would also benefit from Ed's extensive reply - here's his recommendations:

Hi Warren,

I'd been doing the East Coast to almost West Coast trip for several
winters now and the Big Bend area is such a big draw for me that I was
inevitably pulled to the park whenever I was nearing its longitudinal
orientation. I approach the park from Marathon, TX through Route 385,
affording me a gradual transition from flat desert to the mountainous
scenery of the Big Bend. If you're coming from Rt. 90W, fill your fuel
tank at Sanderson, TX, or if coming from Rt. 118S, fill up at Alpine,
TX. Fuel at the Big Bend area is expensive, available inside the park
and in Study Butte, TX. Before you reach the north entrance to the
park, you'll see a sign to the Stillwell Ranch campground. It is
worthwhile visiting it just to see the Hallie Stillwell Hall of Fame
Museum to learn about ranch life in the area in the eyes of a
ranchwoman, Hallie Stillwell when the west was wilder.

At the north entrance to the Big Bend, there's a visitor center with
good exhibits and the rangers will answer your questions about the
park. At the southern end of Rt. 385 at Panther Junction is the Park
Headquarters with more exhibits, topographic representation of the
area and a nice store. I've seen all 3 RV campgrounds but had stayed
only in the Rio Grande Village Campground under the cottonwood trees,
the dry-camping sites. The full hookup sites look like a parking lot
and didn't appeal to me. The walk on elevated wooden trail over the
pond is a must do. Look for the American Bittern, shy and not easily
seen. Go up the hill and get a good view of the campground and the
surrounding landscape. Go to the Boquillas Canyon Overlook and you'll
see Boquillas del Carmen, a small quaint Mexican village where
tourists used to go before the river crossings were restricted.

The other two campgrounds: in the Chisos Basin - small sites but maybe
doable with the V/N; the Cottonwood campground near the Rio Grande -
history of past problems with people from the other side of the river.
It might be different now, so ask the rangers.

The Chisos Basin in the Chisos Mountains is a must see, including the
Window, and Casa Grande. There is a restaurant here with decent food
and another nice store. This is a starting point for some serious
hiking so bring your boots. If you're going to the Rio Grande Village,
go to the hot spring, you'll have to park your RV about a mile away
and walk the distance to the site. There are some remaining structures
there as it used to be a commercial operation with hotel and lodging.
Bring your camera, on the walk to the hot spring, there are some very
interesting cliff formations overhead. If you have arthritis problems,
a dip in the hot spring might give you some comfort.

A must drive is the Ross Maxwell Drive, a paved road leading you to
some interesting geologic features like dikes, old volcanic ash
deposits and hardened lava flows. You'll learn a little bit about the
area's history at the exhibit near the Castolon store where you can
get some cold drinks and ice popsicles to cool you down in the hot
desert. The drive ends at the Santa Elena Canyon where the Rio Grande
flows dividing the two countries. If hiking is your thing, there are
endless possibilities in the park and only your stamina and endurance
will be the limiting factors. The park has magnificent vistas but its
beauty also lies in its ruggedness, vastness and sense of desolation.

A few miles from the west entrance is the town of Study Butte, where
some private campgrounds are located. The most popular and with more
facilities is the Big Bend Motor Inn and RV Park. They have a 9-hole
golf course, bring a shovel and a mallet, just in case your ball goes
astray behind a rock and you don't want to take a penalty. I've also
stayed at the Study Butte RV Park, the closest to the west entrance,
near a store. It's much smaller and less expensive, if you aren't
interested about the other amenities available at the other campground.

Visit Lajitas, a developing resort, so that you can spend some of your
time and money. They have stores, expensive restaurant and hotel, and
a 18-hole golf course. Across the street is the resort's RV "ghost"
campground. They used to have a variety of RV's staying there until
they restricted it to Class A Motorcoaches and the rate/night 2 years
ago was $65. Last year I saw only 2 identical motorcoaches side by
side looking like props or decoys, in the whole campground.

Before you reach Lajitas, see the Barton Warnock Environmental
Educational Center, with excellent exhibits about the geological, and
environmental aspects of the area. A desert garden decorates the back
and side of the building.

Between Study Butte and Lajitas on S.R. 170 is the Terlingua Ghost
Town with an interesting trading post and adjoining gallery and
entertainment place. Every year, it's appearing less like a ghost town
as new residents move in and tourist-related business ventures open.

On a cloudless night, pull out a chair and look at the sky, you'll
marvel at the treasures and sparkling gems that one can only think of
seeing at a jewelry store. Look a little longer and you might see
streaking objects that regularly bombard our home planet. This is
probably another quality that makes it a great park, an intensely dark
sky, far from man-made light pollution, exposing distant treasures
that are completely hidden during the day. Have a wonderful trip!

Ed
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