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Thanksgiving Week 2017 in Big Bend

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Offline RoadtripperATX

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Thanksgiving Week 2017 in Big Bend
« on: October 18, 2017, 09:42:23 AM »
I am planning a 3-4 day trip to Big Bend NP over Thanksgiving. Don't have campsite reservations. Current plan is to arrive at the Park early in the morning (8AM?) the Friday (11/17) before Thanksgiving Week. What are my odds of getting a campsite at (1) Chisos Basin Campground, (2) a primitive roadside campsite in Pine Canyon, K-Bar or the like, or (3) Zone Camping (in Subaru Outback) somewhere near Chisos Mountains? Any and all recommendations/advice will be greatly appreciated!

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Thanksgiving Week 2017 in Big Bend
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 10:17:37 AM »
I am planning a 3-4 day trip to Big Bend NP over Thanksgiving. Don't have campsite reservations. Current plan is to arrive at the Park early in the morning (8AM?) the Friday (11/17) before Thanksgiving Week. What are my odds of getting a campsite at (1) Chisos Basin Campground, (2) a primitive roadside campsite in Pine Canyon, K-Bar or the like, or (3) Zone Camping (in Subaru Outback) somewhere near Chisos Mountains? Any and all recommendations/advice will be greatly appreciated!
I'd say your chances of getting a site in the Basin are fair to good. It will probably fill by 10:00AM or so, but the earlier you can get there, the better.

See http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-campgrounds/first-come-first-serve-process-help/msg155692/#msg155692

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Offline tuanzo

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Re: Thanksgiving Week 2017 in Big Bend
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 02:41:52 PM »
Do you think we'll be ok rolling in late morning on a tuesday (nov. 21st) the week of thanksgiving? Checked for reservations at Chisos and RGV and they're both booked. We're hoping to snag a site at chisos but will settle for RGV if needed.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Thanksgiving Week 2017 in Big Bend
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 03:13:52 PM »
Do you think we'll be ok rolling in late morning on a tuesday (nov. 21st) the week of thanksgiving? Checked for reservations at Chisos and RGV and they're both booked. We're hoping to snag a site at chisos but will settle for RGV if needed.
More than likely your only hope of getting a Chisos site is catching someone leaving close to checkout time, which I think is 11:00. The campground host should know who will be leaving and there's a good chance by "late morning" someone else will already be waiting for it. Getting there by 8:00 or so greatly improves your odds. No clue how things usually are at RGV. The visitor centers will probably report that the Basin campground is full, even if a site is open (or going to be open). Only way to find out for sure is find the campground host and ask.

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Offline tuanzo

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Re: Thanksgiving Week 2017 in Big Bend
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 09:32:36 AM »
Thanks! I guess we'll try to arrive early as possible in the AM to better our odds. Is there a back up site just in case we're unable to get any sites at Chisos or RGV?

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Thanksgiving Week 2017 in Big Bend
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 10:47:32 AM »
Outside the park, Rancho Topanga is nice but a bit out of the way, and I believe the Study Butte RV park also has some tent sites.
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Thanksgiving Week 2017 in Big Bend
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2017, 12:57:22 PM »
Thanks! I guess we'll try to arrive early as possible in the AM to better our odds. Is there a back up site just in case we're unable to get any sites at Chisos or RGV?
There is also Cottonwood Campground in the park. Otherwise you could consider getting a backcountry car site or zone camping. Outside the park there is the Stillwell RV Park and campground, as well as Study Butte RV and Big Bend Resorts RV Park. Rancho Topanga offers a better "camping" experience, as the others in Study Butte are essentially pitching your tent in a parking lot, albeit with grass (if you're lucky). The catch is that everything is a fairly long way from the Basin, so if you aren't able to snag a site there, you'll spend the better part of your first day driving to find a spot. Call the Panther Junction Visitor Center (432-477-1158) as soon as you get cell service and ask for the latest updates on campground availability.

 


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