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So we want to go camping over Spring Break... I'm guessing you get that a lot 'round here. But please, I'm in over my head and need some help!My husband and I aren't completely new to camping though it was car camping and some canoe trips pre-kid. We have never all gone at the same time or for more than a couple of nights. We have 3 boys (will be 13, 9 and 5 come March). I've been car camping through Cub Scouts a fair bit with son #2. We've recently started bringing son #3. Son #1 hasn't been camping with us, but seems positive about the trip. Add to all of this that my husband is not a fan of RVs and doesn't want to be stacked on top of other people, yet he does want to be able to take a shower on occasion. So...When I first logged on last night (11-2), there seemed to be quite a few reservable sites available, but then a bit later there was nothing. What was going on?The reservables may be full by now. There are a lot of first come sites. Try it again....If we left Thursday night and got there Friday morning, would that be good enough to get a first-come, first-served site? Would it be significantly better to get there Thursday morning?Spring break spans more than 1 week, so depends on which week you're planning. Friday mornings seem to be a departure date, and I have been lucky arriving on Friday's. Bear in mind that the Basin Campgound fills first.How is the drive from Houston?Depending on your H location- up to 10 1/2 hours. It is what you make it.Where should we try to get a site? We just replaced an old Coleman 4P with a Kelty 6P that has a "vestibule." But I'm thinking of putting the 13 year old boy in the Coleman all by himself. He's moody.All 3 organized campgrounds have pluses and minuses. Check the NP web pages for descriptions. http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm You can always camp at a primitive roadside campsite for a more private adventure. Absolutely no facilities though. - Like dig a hole none. If we end up at a place with no showers, how far of a drive is it to some showers?From an organized campground, your best case scenario is 30ish miles one way.Keeping in mind the ages of my kids, are there hikes we could all go on? Absolutely If so, which ones and where do they start? Some good suggestions so far, I'd add Bouquillas Canyon, Hot Springs, Tuff Canyon and Burro Mesa Pouroff. These are short if the 5 yr old tires out. If you want to go on a hike that doesn't start at your site, what do you do? Drive to and park.Any recommendations for other places for us to go in March, in case this isn't going to work?And finally, are we just plain crazy? Because it is starting to feel like that! You can do this. You won't regret it.
Spring break spans more than 1 week, so depends on which week you're planning. Friday mornings seem to be a departure date, and I have been lucky arriving on Friday's. Bear in mind that the Basin Campgound fills first.I've checked the calendars for several major Texas universities and a lot of ISDs and they are all the same? I thought they were spread out too, but they don't seem to be. Also, why is the Basin Campground so popular? Depending on your H location- up to 10 1/2 hours. It is what you make it.We are NW of Houston, off 290, in Cypress.
You can do this. You won't regret it.
Also, why is the Basin Campground so popular?
The Basin... doesn't have showers and it does have bears and mountain lions. Cottonwood... I think the end with the toilets and showers is preferable to the one with the port-a-potties.RGV is near many family-friendly hikes including the nature trail, Boquillas Canyon and the sand slide, the hot springs, and the river road. It has a store, many other kids, toilets and showers. I think for the circumstances, especially over Spring Break, it is a great introduction to Big Bend.
If you can arrive between 4 and 6 in the morning, you shouldn't have a problem getting a campsite as that's when many people start packing up and going home.
This is a totally doable vacation that the whole family will love. Get the kids' passports ordered so you can go over to Boquillas, Mexico and eat some tacos while you're there!
You can also get a shower at the Basin Lodge, provided someone has checked out and before the room has been cleaned and set up for the next guest.
Quote from: catz on November 04, 2013, 11:53:09 AMYou can also get a shower at the Basin Lodge, provided someone has checked out and before the room has been cleaned and set up for the next guest.I've heard of this many times, but it has always seemed problematic and almost un-workable. To those that have done this I ask, what exactly did you do to accomplish this?.. go to the lodge counter at 7:00-7:30AM and ask if something is available and then just stand around until it is?..or what? How much $ to do they charge for this? Did this seem like a regular policy or just employees making a little cash on the side? (clue: Do they offer a receipt?) Did you ever head to the room and find the cleaning crew there already or do they set one room aside and service that room only after the morning shower rush is over?
About the showers: The $5.65 is for an unlimited amount of time in a room in the Chisos Mountain Lodge. As far as I know, there are no coin-operated showers in the Basin. Basically, they let you have access to a Chisos Mountain Lodge room that another guest has already checked out of, but has not yet been cleaned by housekeeping. As long as you are out my 10 am, you can take however long a shower you want. You just ask at the desk at the lodge and they even give you a towel, soap, and shampoo! I was in heaven. I also made myself and drank some of the free coffee that was still in the room. Because of the drought, however, I did limit myself to take a 10 minute shower. I figured it was worth $5.65 to take an unlimited shower .5 miles away from my campsite, instead of driving 60 miles round trip to take a $1.50 4-minute cold shower in Rio Grande.
@Don H, they told us at the lodge to come by around 10:00 am, although we went on Sunday around 9:30 and didn't have a problem. It was $5.63 and they let you use a room where the people had checked out but that the cleaning crew had not been in yet. They even give you a clean towel to use.
I would imagine it's subject to room availability and is a regular policy. Feel free to call and verify (432-477-2291).
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