- Almost all roads and day-hiking trails are currently open at Big Bend National Park!
- Panther Junction Visitor Center and the Chisos Basin Visitor Center reopened in late May. Persimmon Gap and Rio Grande Village reopened in November as usual. Castolon Visitor Center is open in the ranger station (old officers' quarters) with limited services and is expected to move to its new permanent home in the historic Garlick House in late winter or early spring.
- The high Chisos Mountains trails and most campsites have reopened after the South Rim 4 Wildfire. Please note that human waste containment systems, such as WagBag or Restop 2 bags, will be required for overnight use and are highly encouraged for day hikers, due to the destruction of some composting toilet outhouses in the fire.
- Face masks are required in all buildings within the park. Please be prepared and have your mask on before entering visitor centers or camper stores.
HOWEVER, the park is extremely busy. Campgrounds, primitive roadside sites, and the Chisos Mountains Lodge are full most nights. On weekends and holidays you may encounter traffic line-ups at entry points to popular sites, especially at the base of the Chisos Basin road.
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.