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4.0
24 votes

Chisos Basin Campground

1 Panther Junction, Texas TX USA

Open Now
Thu 12a-11:59p
  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
  • Not Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms
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“near some of the park's most spectacular and popular trails”

Overview Chisos Basin Campground, perched high in the rugged Chisos Mountains, is one of the most sought-after campgrounds in Big Bend National Park. At an altitude of 5,400 ft., the campground is surrounded on all sides by tall, rocky cliffs and is conveniently located near some of the park's most spectacular and popular trails. This campground offers excellent views and mild temperatures. Also found in the Chisos Basin area is the Chisos Basin Visitor Center, the General Store and the Chisos Mountains Lodge, which houses the only restaurant in Big Bend National Park. Please note: The road to the campground is steep and winding with sharp hairpin turns. Trailers over 19 feet and RVs over 24 feet are not recommended. No RV parking is available at the group campground. Recreation This campground is a hub for hikers. Some of the park's most spectacular and popular trails are nearby, including the Lost Mine Trail, the Window Trail, the South Rim Trail and the Pinnacles Trail, with its access to the park's highest point, Emory Peak (elevation 7,825 ft.). Campers can find the trailheads for most of these trails in the main Chisos Basin area a mile or so further down the basin road from the campground. Access to the river is approximately 30 miles away, where visitors can canoe, kayak and fish. Facilities The Chisos Basin Campground has 60 individual campsites. However, only 26 are available for advanced reservations (Nov. 15 - May 31). The first-come, first-served sites are not visible on this website. Because of the size of each campsite, they are more suitable to tent camping than RVs or trailers, though both are allowed. Each site comes with a picnic table, charcoal grill and bear-proof food storage container, and some sites come with picnic shelters for shade. All campsites are within easy walking distance to drinking water and toilets, and a dump station is provided for RVs and trailers. Natural Features The national park is named for a curve in the Rio Grande called the "big bend." For 1,250 miles, the river is an International Boundary between the United States and Mexico. The campground lies at the base of several sloping cliffs amidst montane shrubland; desert plants such as Arizona cyprus and mesquite trees fill the landscape. Maple, aspen, pinyon and ponderosa pines grow at higher elevations just above the campground. Though it is lower than the surrounding cliffs, the Chisos Basin is at a higher elevation than other campgrounds within the park. Summer temperatures here are cool, yet warmer than other areas in fall and winter due to the cold air sinking into lower regions. The Chisos Mountains are a popular nesting site for migratory birds. The mountains provide the only nesting ground in the United States for the Colima warbler, which arrives in mid-April and departs for its wintering grounds in southwestern Mexico by mid-September. Nearby Attractions Big Bend National Park encompasses 801,000 acres and the Chisos Basin area is centrally located. This allows visitors an excellent opportunity to explore all areas of the park in a relatively short drive. Big Bend offers excellent hiking trails, miles of rugged dirt roads, and endless possibilities for sightseeing.

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Reviews of Chisos Basin Campground

23 people have reviewed this location

Ratings Summary

3.8 Access
4.6 Location
4.9 Cleanliness
4.1 Site Quality
4.1 Noise

Cell Coverage

Verizon 4G/5G

Confirmed by 6 users | Last reported on October 24, 2023

AT&T 4G/5G

Confirmed by 5 users | Last reported on January 22, 2023

T-Mobile 4G

Confirmed by 1 users | Last reported on June 04, 2021
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Reviewed by
Campendium

May 20, 2015
Rated

In our opinion, Chisos Basin is the premiere campground in Big Bend NP. The campground is nestled right in the middle of the Chisos Mountains and is at a higher elevation than much of the park itself. The views from our site rivaled that of Zion NP and Glacier NP. While the campsite is about ten miles from the main road, Chisos has its own visitors center, shop, and lodge/restaurant next door to it. So while Big Bend is in the middle of no where you have amenities close by. Yet of course no cell service.

All that to stay, our stay at Chisos was brought down a star by two things. The first was the amount of wind we experienced for two days/nights straight. The wind gusts were constant and probably up to around 45 mph. I believe the basin contributes to the strength of the wind. We slept very poorly for the last two nights, but were told it was not that usual by some locals. Secondly since you are in a basin, the campground does not have any extra space so the sites are pretty close together. This is fine if you have quite neighbors, but we had some rowdy college kids that played drinking games throughout the day.

Another factor to consider is that the road to Chisos is not for bigger rigs. The sign says no trailer over 24' are allowed on it. Its a steep road that will test your enginge's cooling system.

All this to say our main downsides could happen anywhere, so I would still definately recommend Chisos campground if you are in Big Bend.

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Nightly Rate: $14.00

Days Stayed: 3

Site Number: 34?

3 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
5 Site Quality
1 Noise
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Reviewed by
Campendium

July 01, 2015
Rated

I was hesitant about camping in Big Bend during the summer, but Chisos had refreshing cool weather and incredible 360 degree views! The campground has 62 sites, many of which have a shelter with concrete patio, picnic table, and charcoal grill. Ground fires aren't allowed, as in many of the other western parks. There were well kept bathrooms with flush toilets, sinks, electricity, and a dishwashing station but no showers.

The campground was fairly quiet while we were there. Noise seems to carry in the basin, so this could depend on your camping neighbors. Bears are commonly spotted in the area, but food boxes are provided at each campsite.

The campground provides access to the popular Window Trail and the Lost Mine trailhead is just a mile or so down the road. The Chisos lodge has a small store with necessities (there are no towns around the park).

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This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $14.00

Days Stayed: 2

Site Number: 16

3 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
4 Site Quality
4 Noise
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Reviewed by
Campendium

November 10, 2016
Rated

Note: We camped here in a tent. This campground has spectacular views (much better than the 2 other campground options) but the sites are really on top of each other so if you're camping in a tent, you'll hear everything from the other campsites around you. If you're bringing a camper, they don't suggest longer than 20ft-24ft, which we thought was generous, and there are very few spots available even for that. Most are definitely set up for tent camping.

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Nightly Rate: $14.00

Days Stayed: 2

Site Number: 2

3 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
3 Site Quality
4 Noise
  • 161 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 25, 2018
Rated

If you want easy access for trailers, good cell service or showers don't camp here. If you want to unplug, have a tent or small rig and are happy to have flush toilets then drive up the mountains! Beautiful views and access to many trailheads. If you are in the mood you can walk the mile over to the lodge for a reasonable, good meal.
Lots of young hikers, but the camp hosts keep an eye on things. The upper loop allows generators, lower loop, no. Water available at faucets throughout campground. Nearest Good showers are 45min away in study butte- check at the hotel.
If you need cell access drive down the mountain to the bear sign. If you need WiFi go to the lodge and enjoy a drink on the deck.
Big Bend is not for the faint of heart. Expect to spend hours driving in the park. Plan accordingly. Bring your passport and enjoy the boat, and burro ride across to Mexico. Enjoy lunch and a beer.

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roadtripper9673822 would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $20.00

Days Stayed: 14

Site Number: 58

5 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
5 Site Quality
4 Noise
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Reviewed by
Campendium

June 22, 2019
Rated

Beautiful, but hot at the end of June. Colorful sunsets through the "window". Nice restaurant, gift shop and camp store. Tricky drive in Ford F150 and 16 foot trailer, but not bad. Forget trying to level it out as most pads are nowhere near level.

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This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $14.00

Days Stayed: 2

Site Number: 19

4 Access
4 Location
5 Cleanliness
4 Site Quality
3 Noise

Reviewed by
WalkbytheSpirit

  • 35 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
October 11, 2019
Rated

We were here a the beginning of October, so kind of a shoulder season. The nights were cool but the days warm, almost hot (mid 80s), which was pleasant enough. However, a number of the sites in this campground were closed due to the presence of fire ants. Our site wasn't affected, and we were in a pickup camper and thus didn't have to deal with them, but I wondered if any of the tent campers got bit.

The setting itself is amazing! Big Bend has such an amazing variety of landscapes to view, but the Chisos campground is maybe the prettiest location in the park. There is lots to see and do using this as a basecamp. We would stay here again.

I forgot to add one more comment. I can't remember the site number we stayed in, but it definitely was not anywhere close to level. We took the camper off the truck to that we could level the camper with the jacks. I suspect many RVs may have issues with getting level on many of the sites here.

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WalkbytheSpirit would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $14.00

Days Stayed: 1

Site Number: -

4 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
5 Site Quality
5 Noise
  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
January 12, 2020
Rated

This site is basically a pull off the road, but if you can fit. The view is awesome. A 24 foot would be tight, but our 22 foot was fine. You wouldn’t want any slides in this site as they would be hanging in the road.

Also we had good cell phone service off and on from fossil discovery to chisos basin

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roadtripper124139 would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $14.00

Days Stayed: 1

Site Number: 43

5 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
5 Site Quality
5 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

AT&T 4G

Reviewed by
susanwente

  • 20 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
February 15, 2020
Rated

Gorgeous setting with great sites. Super hosts. Only showers in park are coin operated, warn at best and located in the big Rv village.

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susanwente would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $8.00

Days Stayed: 3

Site Number: 8

3 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
5 Site Quality
5 Noise

Cell Coverage Rating

Verizon 4G

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Reviewed by
Campendium

December 21, 2020
Rated

Incredible location in the heart of Big Bend with an abundance of vistas and hiking trails. We saw a meteor shower too. We loved it but left after 5 days as we’d exhausted all family suitable hiking and driving and the showers were closed as well as the cafe.

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This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: -

Days Stayed: 5

Site Number: 13

4 Access
5 Location
4 Cleanliness
4 Site Quality
5 Noise
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Reviewed by
Campendium

January 20, 2021
Rated

We loved Chisos Basin campground!

The campground is in a perfect location to access the best hikes for your average hikers, and even some challenging hikes for more experienced hikers.

The road getting into the campground is very steep, but doable for most all vehicles, but if you’re towing a trailer, make sure your vehicle can handle steep hills.

The campground itself is simple and perfect to feel like you are truly in nature. You’re surrounded by big mountains all around with unique rock formations, and the star visibility at night is unreal!

The sites are primitive, no electric or water at your site, with a few clean drinking/filling water spouts shared among campers, clean toilets with hot water sinks, and spots 1-18 allow generators, all other spots do not. Generally speaking, it looked like camping trailers were in spots 1-18, and mostly tents or small trailers/vans used the other spots.

1/11/21-1/16/21 We stayed in spot #35 with a popup camper by the restroom and water spout, and loved it so much we booked more nights in spot #34.

The Chisos Basin visitor center is a few minute drive from the campground and is a great starting point for many hikes and views. There is also a convenience store for ice and snacks by the visitor center.

We enjoyed the “window trail”, “window view trail”, “laguna meadows trail”, and the “lost mine trail”. (*you can check out our AllTrails hiking account to see the exact foot steps we took with photos, on our home page of our website at the bottom of this review).

The camp host “Mark” was so friendly and helpful with informing campers about bears and mountain lions to make you feel safe, and shared pictures with us of a mama bear and her two cubs that visited the campground while we were on a hike.

If you enjoy Camping and Hiking Adventures, and want to see even more details about Big Bend and other National Parks, check out our travel blog website to 43 National Parks in 1yr :)

www.NationalParkAdventureGuide.com

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This reviewer would stay here again

Nightly Rate: $16.00

Days Stayed: 5

Site Number: 35

4 Access
5 Location
5 Cleanliness
4 Site Quality
4 Noise

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Chisos Basin Campground

1 Panther Junction
Texas
TX USA
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Hours

Open 24 hours today
  • Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

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  • Unavailable
    Parking
  • Check
    Pets Allowed
  • Check
    Restrooms
  • Unknown
    Wifi
  • Unavailable
    Wheelchair Accessible
  • Unknown
    Credit Cards Accepted
Check In
1:00 PM
Check Out
12:00 PM
Group Tent Sites Count
7
Last Nightly Rate
10.0
Longest Vehicle Length Reported
34.0
Lowest Nightly Rate
8.0
Max Length
24ft
Max Stay
14
Sites Count
56
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    Paved Sites
  • Unavailable
    Fifty Amp
  • Unavailable
    Full Hookup
  • Check
    Rec Facilities
  • Unavailable
    Pull Through
  • Check
    Tent Sites
  • Check
    Dump Station
  • Unavailable
    Big Rigs
  • Unavailable
    Open Seasonally
  • Unavailable
    Age Restricted
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    Boondock
  • Unavailable
    Cabin Sites
  • Unavailable
    Dispersed Sites
  • Unavailable
    Equestrian Sites
  • Unavailable
    Firewood
  • Unavailable
    Fulltime Residents
  • Check
    Group Tent Sites
  • Unavailable
    Laundry
  • Unavailable
    Mobile Homes
  • Check
    Permit Required
  • Check
    Potable Water
  • Unavailable
    Propane
  • Check
    Public Water
  • Unavailable
    Pull Through RV Sites
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    Reservations
  • Unavailable
    RV Sites
  • Unavailable
    Sewer Hookup
  • Unavailable
    Showers
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    Sites
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    Standard Tent Sites
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    Trailer Permitted
  • Unavailable
    Water Hookup
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