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.
Rains from remnants of tropical storms have brought hints of a good fall wildflower bloom, but not much relief from the heat. Come prepared for temperatures up to 110 near the river and around 90 even in the Chisos at least until the end of September. If you're camping at lower elevations, it's important to know that the desert cools very slowly. The low temperatures you see in forecasts occur just after sunrise; nights are quite hot.
Remember that you must have a reservation or permit to camp or park overnight anywhere inside or outside the park. There is no first-come, first-served camping anywhere in Brewster County. Summer campground closures don't end until after November 1, so be sure you have a place to stay lined up before you leave home. See the park website for information on how to make a reservation and a list of nearby options when Big Bend National Park is full.
Bringing a trailer or RV? It's best to go to your RV park first to leave your RV, and drive into the park in your tow vehicle. You're unlikely to find a parking spot large enough for an RV. The only place in the park where you might be given permission to leave a trailer is the Rio Grande Village visitor center at the far east end.