Traveling around the bend – Big Bend National Park

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and they weren’t kidding. Even their national park felt bigger!

On our 3-day visit to Big Bend, we set up at Rio Grande Village campground. We’d originally planned to camp for a night or so in one of the numerous backcountry sites, but alas, our visit coincided with Texas spring break and it wasn’t in the cards. So, Rio Grande it was. Not that it was a bad campground. We actually had a good site — site 62, I believe — that felt roomy, but had no hookups, and offered some shade. And we needed all the shade we could get!

It was just our luck that on day 2 of the trip, our generator died, and with no electric hookups at the campground, we had no A/C. Even in mid March, temps were in the low to mid 90s! If you’re interested, there is a nearby RV campground that does offer hookups but since we’d already set up and paid our camping fee, we decided to stay put. We soldiered on through, however, by way of driving to see sights away from the campground during the heat of the afternoon so we could enjoy the RV front cab dash A/C. 🙂

Another nice thing about the Rio Grande campground was that it’s also a half mile from a camp store — with free wifi (important to me because there was otherwise no cell signal in the park) — and a laundromat. We also explored the short nature trail that led to a boardwalk, canyon overlook, and a view of the Mexican city, Boquillas del Carmen, on the other side of the Rio Grande river. If you have your passport, you can also cross at the Boquillas Del Carmen port of entry for a day trip.

View from the canyon overlook
Nature trail from Rio Grande campground
Looking into Boquillas Del Carmen, Mexico. The small village is nestled in that green valley on the right side, just after the ridge.

The scale of the park is easily felt as you drive through. It seemed like no matter where I was, the vistas I was enjoying was part of the park for as far as my eyes could see. Because of its size, it’s definitely a driving park. It’s hard to connect and access different areas without a vehicle. A 4-wheel drive vehicle if you have one, would be especially useful as there were sights to see down gravely, washed out roads our RV just could not travel.

Santa Elena canyon


Little tidbit: vehicles leaving the park will likely be stopped by border patrol and asked a few, quick questions. They want to ensure there are no stowaways, intentional or otherwise.

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