Big Bend Natural History Association

***Self-Guided Trip Planning

RAIN!!  After 2 extremely dry years, the normal Big Bend summer rains are back. Temperatures are predicted to be very comfortable for at least the first 10 days of September, so it's a great time for an unusual visit. You'll need to do some extra planning, however. Roadside primitive campsites often have to be closed with very little notice, and Cottonwood and Rio Grande Village campgrounds are sometimes evacuated for a few days at a time if the river rises. Be flexible and ready to move if necessary. At this time of year, there's ample availability in private campgrounds on high ground just outside the park. Also review safety guidance for driving in areas prone to desert flash floods. And possibly the most important tip-- bring mosquito repellent!

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. Remember that there is no longer any first-come, first-served camping; see the park website for information on how to reserve a campsite before you arrive.

The restaurant at the Chisos Mountains Lodge is providing take-out meals from 12-7 pm most days. As of early August, limited table service may be available in the dining room as staffing and repair work allows.

The Chisos Basin Campground is temporarily closed to all entry, to allow bears to feed undisturbed. Please ask a Ranger how to "be bear-aware." While most bear activity is currently concentrated in the mountains, in this unusually dry year they have been seen seeking food throughout the park.

2019 Trails Illustrated Map: Big Bend National Park

2019 Trails Illustrated Map: Big Bend National Park

• Waterproof • Tear-Resistant • Topographic Map The largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert, Big Bend National Park is a...
$14.95
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Backcountry Road Guide

Backcountry Road Guide

Thoroughly revised mile by mile, this new edition of the Road Guide to Backcountry Roads of Big Bend National Park now includes GPS coordinates as...
$4.95
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Big Bend Vistas: A Geological Exploration of the Big Bend

Big Bend Vistas: A Geological Exploration of the Big Bend

Big Bend Vistas: A Geological Exploration of the Big Bend by William MacLeod takes you along the highways and park roads in Big Bend National Park...
$24.95
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Chisos Mountains Trails Map 2020

Chisos Mountains Trails Map 2020

Revised in 2019 and in full color, this handy map includes a new inset map of the Chisos Basin Trailhead and developed area as well as descriptions...
$1.39
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Death In Big Bend

Death In Big Bend

Real Stories of Death and Rescue in Big Bend National Park by Laurence Parent. BACK IN PRINT!!! This Big Bend bestseller was unavailable for a while,...
$18.95
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Desert Hiking Tips: Expert Advice on Hiking and Driving

Desert Hiking Tips: Expert Advice on Hiking and Driving

  This pocket-size book might be a life-saver—or at least a time- and embarrassment-saver! Veteran outdoorsman Bruce Grubbs provides the...
$10.95
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Great Walks of Big Bend

Great Walks of Big Bend

Note: The Chisos Mountains walks in this guide are NOT affected by the spring-summer 2021 wildfire closures. All of them remain open as of May 2021....
$8.95
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Hiker's Guide 2021

Hiker's Guide 2021

Significantly revised, the 2021 edition is filled with full-color photographs and is a large format 8.5" x 11" for readability. The...
$4.95
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Hiking Big Bend National Park 3rd Edition

Hiking Big Bend National Park 3rd Edition

By Laurence Parent. Hiking Big Bend National Park features forty-seven of the finest trails in Texas - from short day hikes to backcountry treks....
$22.95
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Restop 2 Disposable Travel Toilet

Restop 2 Disposable Travel Toilet

Campers in the Chisos Mountains hike-in sites are now required to pack out human waste, and it's likely that this requirement will be extended to...
$3.45
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