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Old 02-17-2013, 08:17 AM   #1
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Big Bend National Park

Can someone give me some incite to Big Bend National park and surrounding area. Is it best to be in park? Are there areas outside of the park, can it be an inexpensive stay? Is there Golf? We are planning on fall thou spring of next year, is there a best time.. I been searching there web site. I was hoping someone here might give a twosome with an old 30' motor home a heads up? Thanks in advance for any incite...

PS: How about internet and TV?

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:37 AM   #2
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Check out my blog post about our trip there.

Spring is a favorable time weather wise, tho around the Spring Break holiday it can get very busy. We stayed in the park at Rio Grande Village, they had internet available around the little store area. Out of the park we stayed in Terlingua, a funky little town with an cool old ghost town.

It's an amazing area, you have to go.


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Old 02-18-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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I believe wifi is available at the lodge in the Basin. Cell phones did not have reception the last time I was there. The area is remote and takes a long time to get there from either Alpine or Marathon. Having said that, it is one of my favorite places I have been. I did a lot of primitive camping and backpacking there in my younger days. I've been there a couple of times in a RV and stayed at Rio Grande village in their parking lot RV camp. It's full hookup and it's an OK place to stay. First come first served. I prefer staying in the park and driving to any areas I want to visit.

It's relatively inexpensive to stay in the area. Good, fair priced restaurant in the Basin. There are restaurants outside the park. RV parks outside the park are competitively priced. Gas can tend to be higher in the park. Long distances between areas to explore. Stock up on groceries prior to going.

If you are looking for a remote area that has some diverse and awesome scenery, then make the trip. There are some camping sites that you can boondock at.

Terlingua, Study Butte and Lajitas outside the west edge of the park are very interesting communities to visit. there are a lot of eccentric "desert rats" living in the area, but all in all very interesting folks to visit with. Just stay away at Spring Break and Thanksgiving. Very crowded. There's a nice museum outside the West entrance.

Enjoy your trip. I highly recommend seeing and experiencing the Big Bend Area.

I would also recommend Fort Davis State Park and the MacDonald Observatory if you have the time. Guadalupe Mountains Nat'l Park is North, near theTX border and a scenic area to visit. Near Carlsbad Caverns.

At one time there was golf at Lajitas, You'll have to research it to see if it's still open.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:55 PM   #4
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I agree with everything Howdja just wrote. I will add that I too prefer to stay in the park. If you want to get a good sense of things, start at one end of the park and travel to the other end (using several days). You can start at Rio Grande Village which has both hook-ups and dry camping sites, then go the Chisos Mountain CG, dry camping only and finally go to the far other end and stay at Cottonwood dry camping only and no generator useage allowed.

IF you choose to camp outside of Big Bend, you will be driving a lot to get back into the park and to go to any of the main locations. I have used all of my rigs in each of the three developed CGs (listed above) and in some of the remote sites located very close to the main roads (I would not take my rig too far off road).

I always make three additional stops coming and going, Seminole Canyon State Park (on my way in from Houston), Davis Mountain State Park (on my way out heading west and one of the best parks in Texas) and finally I go out of my way to camp at Guadalupe Mountain National Park (dry camping only).

I make this run every year and have been doing so for more than 20 years. You can spend a lot of time in far west Texas and really enjoy it. It is not for everyone, but if you like desert sceneary and amazing skies, it will be for you.

Study the map carefully to get a good grasp of the distances out there and just how large Big Bend Park really is. You will drive for an hour after passing either of the two gates before coming to an improved CG. In my opinion there is nothing like spending a week inside this amazing park.

I have absolutely no idea about golf but I am sure there is no water skiing! We always top off our diesel fuel at the Walmart in Del Rio Texas coming from the South East. Be advised that the park service will tell you that you cannot bring trailers longer than 24 feet up to the Chisos Mt CG. Unless they have changed the law since last Spring, that is a "suggestion" and not a law. In other words it is legal to go there, just not what they would prefer (and they will try to convince you otherwise). I go up every year with my 35 DP and have never failed to find a spot to park in. Tour buses go up to the lodge all the time as do delivery vehicles. Chisos Mt CG is a great place to dry camp for two or three nights. Several wonderful hiking trails right out of the CG, including one of the best in the park. Walking distance to the lodge and resturant.

If you want more info, dont hesitate to email me for more.


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Old 02-18-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
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As stated - when out there you will NEVER see a clearer night sky - stunning the number of stars you can see !!! The only better night sky I've ever seen in my life was in the Alborz mountains in Iran in the 70's .....

Hope it's as good now as it was 30 years ago when I went and I'm IN Texas only 500 miles away !
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, the Big Bend/Davis Mountains area is hazier than it used to be due to the construction of a massive coal-fired power plant across the border in Mexico about 10 or so years ago (IIRC). There was an uproar in the Trans-Pecos area over the impact on quality of life and tourism - we owned property between Davis Mountains State Park and McDonald observatory at that time and watched the goings-on in the Fort Davis newspaper.

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Old 02-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #7
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Our favorite time is the month of November when the cottonwoods are brilliant yellow against the constant blue sky. We enjoy Rio Grande Village campground - dry camping - for the beautiful surrounding mountains. Right next door is the RV park with hookups. We've also stayed at Cottonwood campground in the park but be advised that generators are not allowed in that one. It's very pretty. Your motorhome would not fit in Chisos Basin campground. We always stay IN the national parks for the best experience and much less driving. The park is HUGE. We did get Verizon service at Panther Junction. Have a good trip!
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:01 PM   #8
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I disagree that a 30 foot MH would not fit in Chisos. I was there less than a year ago in my 35DP. As I wrote earlier, they do have a sign warning trailers over 24 ft and coaches I think over 28 (not sure) but the Ranger when asked admitted that it was a "suggestion" not the law. If you drive the 8 miles up to the Basin you do so understanding that you might not fit. They have excellent over-flow parking with tons of room for tour buses and coaches. I park there and walk the CG to pick out my site. If you go in the morning, and dont find a site through the course of the day, you could still enjoy the hiking and beauty of the Basis.

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