Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Backcountry Camping => Topic started by: dtnsloan8 on November 04, 2017, 08:54:36 PM

Title: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: dtnsloan8 on November 04, 2017, 08:54:36 PM
Hi everyone. Looking for some advice from anyone with primitive roadside camping experience in Big Bend. We will be staying Nov15-18 and will have 2 vehicles, and 3 tents. We are planning on doing some dual sport trail riding during our stay and looking for suggestions on the best roadside sites for our accommodations. Prefer great views and elbow room.....I know....doesn't everyone. Anyways, thanks in advance!
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: Al on November 04, 2017, 09:18:58 PM
Hi everyone. Looking for some advice from anyone with primitive roadside camping experience in Big Bend. We will be staying Nov14-18 and will have 2 vehicles, and 3 tents. We are planning on doing some dual sport trail riding during our stay and looking for suggestions on the best roadside sites for our accommodations. Prefer great views and elbow room.....I know....doesn't everyone. Anyways, thanks in advance!

Here's where you need to look:  http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/backcountry-campsites/
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: RichardM on November 04, 2017, 10:32:47 PM
Hi everyone. Looking for some advice from anyone with primitive roadside camping experience in Big Bend. We will be staying Nov14-18 and will have 2 vehicles, and 3 tents. We are planning on doing some dual sport trail riding during our stay and looking for suggestions on the best roadside sites for our accommodations. Prefer great views and elbow room.....I know....doesn't everyone. Anyways, thanks in advance!
By "dual sport trail riding" I assume you mean riding on the backcountry dirt roads?
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: dtnsloan8 on November 05, 2017, 07:05:44 AM
Hi everyone. Looking for some advice from anyone with primitive roadside camping experience in Big Bend. We will be staying Nov14-18 and will have 2 vehicles, and 3 tents. We are planning on doing some dual sport trail riding during our stay and looking for suggestions on the best roadside sites for our accommodations. Prefer great views and elbow room.....I know....doesn't everyone. Anyways, thanks in advance!
By "dual sport trail riding" I assume you mean riding on the backcountry dirt roads?

Yes, exactly. We are just wanting to pick a roadside campsite, set up and ride around on the designated permissible roads (paved, improved dirt and unimproved dirt) to explore the park throughout our duration.
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: Jalco on November 05, 2017, 08:59:06 AM
My favorite back country site for "wide open lonesome" is Fresno, literally just across the road from Mariscal Mines.  Great views - Chisos Mts to the north, Carmens to the east, Mariscal Mines directly to the west.  You may see some folks during the day, exploring the mine complex, but, once the sun sets, it's all yours.

For dual sport action, you may also want to look at Big Bend Ranch State Park, which, IMO, offers more of what you seem to be looking for.
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: dtnsloan8 on November 06, 2017, 11:15:23 AM
Thanks for all the useful information. I made a spreadsheet so we won't be caught off guard at check in. Take a quick glance and choose from available sites that I narrowed it down to and that work for us space wise. Any other "favorite" sites from any members here? Thanks again!
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: rocketman on November 06, 2017, 06:29:29 PM
If you're going to be riding, consider sites on the river road. Lots of good riding along the river road, and you can camp at Talley, Solis, Johnson Ranch, etc.
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: dtnsloan8 on November 06, 2017, 09:01:09 PM
If you're going to be riding, consider sites on the river road. Lots of good riding along the river road, and you can camp at Talley, Solis, Johnson Ranch, etc.

I originally thought about that, but checking the El Campo site kinda scared me off those river sites with warnings about frequent theft and or property destruction. Riding all day, I sure would hate to leave vehicles and camping stuff alone.
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: BlindWilly on November 09, 2017, 01:49:34 PM
I'm going to second the State Park.  Lots more wide open spaces, challenging trails, less people.
Just be careful with your speeds in the park.  Last year while i was there, the Park Police pulled over some kids going over the 25 MPH speeds on the dirt roads.
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: Shocky1352 on November 12, 2017, 08:42:55 AM
If I were going to Big Bend for the first time with multiple vehicles, wanted to tent camp, and use my campsites as a base for further exploration I'd get both Paint Gaps #2 and #3. Roomy, far enough off the beaten path, but fairly quick to get back out on the main Park road.

Close enough together for socializing, far enough apart for a little privacy.

Bear boxes for securing some of your valuables when away on the bikes.

Ought to be a fun ride from PG3 out to the end of Pant Gap Road, advertised as 4WD only-high clearance.

If you can only get one of the two, get PG3.

One of my favorite campsites in the Park to wake up in. Cup of coffee, birds singing, sun coming up over the Paint Gap Hills....it's a great start to the day.

Lot of sun in the afternoon from the west, some kind of shade device(s) might be a good idea.

I've camped in PG3 many times. One of the best in my humble opinion for getting out and roaming around, always feels like "Home"  when I get back to camp.

9 Point Draw is very nice also, just a lot more driving from camp to get to anywhere else in the Park.
Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: kevint on November 12, 2017, 10:30:41 PM
If you're going to be riding, consider sites on the river road. Lots of good riding along the river road, and you can camp at Talley, Solis, Johnson Ranch, etc.

I originally thought about that, but checking the El Campo site kinda scared me off those river sites with warnings about frequent theft and or property destruction. Riding all day, I sure would hate to leave vehicles and camping stuff alone.


This a real concern. I have a friend who took his Boy Scout troop there 2 years ago and a lot of the troop's equipment was stolen while they were out one day. There were tire tracks so they believed it was automobile traffic, not foot traffic across the border.


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Title: Re: First time Big Bend visitor, Roadside camping question
Post by: kevint on November 12, 2017, 10:37:21 PM
If I were going to Big Bend for the first time with multiple vehicles, wanted to tent camp, and use my campsites as a base for further exploration I'd get both Paint Gaps #2 and #3. Roomy, far enough off the beaten path, but fairly quick to get back out on the main Park road.

Close enough together for socializing, far enough apart for a little privacy.

Bear boxes for securing some of your valuables when away on the bikes.

Ought to be a fun ride from PG3 out to the end of Pant Gap Road, advertised as 4WD only-high clearance.

If you can only get one of the two, get PG3.

One of my favorite campsites in the Park to wake up in. Cup of coffee, birds singing, sun coming up over the Paint Gap Hills....it's a great start to the day.

Lot of sun in the afternoon from the west, some kind of shade device(s) might be a good idea.

I've camped in PG3 many times. One of the best in my humble opinion for getting out and roaming around, always feels like "Home"  when I get back to camp.

9 Point Draw is very nice also, just a lot more driving from camp to get to anywhere else in the Park.


If the ability to get out and about is important, Government Springs is also worth considering -- large, very close to the main road with a nice view of the Chisos bathed in the light of the setting sun.

It's not remote enough for me but especially if you are trailering your bikes it is easy to get to and turn around.


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