It's summer in Big Bend! May and June are usually the hottest months here, with life-threatening weather conditions almost every day. Please be cautious!
- Paved roads are undergoing repair and resurfacing work. Center lines and no-passing markers are often missing. Be alert for heavy truck traffic, flaggers, pilot vehicles, wet tar, oil, or paint, and stopped traffic. Some visitors have reported minor damage to vehicles from loose gravel and spatters of tar. This project is supervised by an outside agency, and the park does not always have advance information about scheduling or which areas will be affected. However, delays rarely exceed 15 minutes.
- Panther Junction Visitor Center and the Chisos Basin Visitor Center are open. Persimmon Gap and Rio Grande Village Visitor Centers are closed for the summer (re-opening the first week of November.) Castolon Visitor Center is closed and is expected to move to its new permanent home in the historic Garlick House next season. Cottonwood Campground and Rio Grande Village Campground have moved to summer capacity status.
- Restaurant service at the Chisos Mountains Lodge is sporadic due to staffing difficulties. Current hours are 2-7 pm, Thursday through Monday, for take-out only. This is subject to change without notice.
- Face masks may be required again, depending on Brewster County's latest Covid-19 and hospital availability updates. If "mask required" signs are posted, please have your mask on before entering visitor centers or camper stores. Updates may not be posted on the park website, so please have masks in your car.
PLEASE NOTE that the park is expected to remain extremely busy through at least mid-May. Campgrounds, primitive roadside sites, and the Chisos Mountains Lodge are full most nights.
Planning ahead is crucial to a safe trip. In addition to one or more of the following guidebooks, we highly recommend consulting the park's main website frequently for important safety updates.
Campgrounds, most primitive roadside sites, and most designated mountain hike-in sites remain available by advance reservation through www.recreation.gov. Permits for desert wilderness backpacking, overnight river trips, and some limited-access drive-in sites can be made in person during business hours at Panther Junction. Please note that you MUST have a permit or reservation in advance to be able to stay over night inside the park. There is NO first-come, first-served camping. If you don't have a reservation and you arrive outside of business hours, you must find a spot outside the park. See the main Big Bend National Park website, www.nps.gov/bibe , for full information on what's open and how to reserve a campsite. Remember also that neighboring Big Bend Ranch State Park often has campsites available when the National Park is full. Primitive camping may be available at Black Gap Wildlife Management Area; consult Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.