I’ve been wanting to visit Big Bend National Park for a long time. Last winter, around new years actually, I nearly made the trip but a friend convinced me to wait. A few days later, the temperatures dropped and the park froze. I doubt I would have been ready for that and my trip would have had been cut short.
As SXSW approached this year, I found myself struggling to set up my typical schedule of free parties, exciting new bands, and favorites artists that seem to come through year after year.
Impulsively, I told my dad how I wanted to drive out to Big Bend for a few days. As maybe I should have expected, he was skeptical. But his mind seemed to change when I asked him if he wanted to come too.
And so we started planning.
The month of March is the busiest time of year for Big Bend National Park. We had read that, been told that over the phone by park staff, but I still had doubts it would be, you know, full full. We arrived early afternoon midweek. The park was completely full. No campsites available.
Park Rangers assured us that we could find alternative camping at the Stillwell Ranch camp grounds, which sits just outside Big Bend. At Big Bend you can reserve campsites up to 24 hours in advance. Do that. Just call. Trust me, after 8-10 hours of driving, you’ll thank yourself that after spending all that time driving into the park, you have to drive back out to set up your camp.
Even after spending half a day traveling, once you get inside the park, the weariness of those long hours of driving disappears and the only thing you want to do is see everything. And the sun sets too fast. And you have to set your tent up in the dark.
More from Big Bend National Park to follow.