Well, it finally happened… Aaron and I camped in the backcountry of Big Bend National Park. I know that I’ve shared my experiences with camping before, (you know, that one time in my living room) and I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m not crazy about it. But, and I know this is going to come as a real shock, I was totally wrong.
Okay, maybe not “totally” wrong, because there were bugs. But, we had an awesome time anyway. Fine, there were very few bugs and they weren’t the kind that bite you.
I’m sure that sleeping on a memory foam pad in our rooftop tent, rather than laying on the ground played a huge part in my positive experience. Plus, there’s just something better about camping in the desert. Could be the lack of rain (Michigan is great for camping in the rain), or it could be the beautiful, never ending, views and sunsets. Who’s to say.
We camped in the backcountry site Talley 2. To get there, you’ll start out at the main park office (Panther Junction) where you can get your camping permit for $12. Make a right out of the parking area, and drive almost 16 miles to River Road (the East entrance) on your right.
This is about the time that Verizon cut out on us and I had to say adios to social media. 👋
You will end up passing four other camping areas, as well as Mariscal Mine, on your way back to Talley. It might seem a little excessive at first, but it’s so worth it. The drive is beautiful and we ended up with no neighbors anywhere in sight.
After passing Talley 1, I’m glad we ended up where we did. Our location was so much better, in terms of traffic and for views.
Talley 2 is a smaller site, but it accommodated us just fine. It’s also situated on top of a hill, so we woke up overlooking a wide spreading valley. As you can see, the views are truly beautiful and open, but I was thankful to find that there’s still a little area with some privacy for “bathroom” use off to the side.
As an added bonus, all of the backcountry sites offer a bear box to keep your trash and food inside. Safety first! 😉
In addition to the awesome backcountry camping, there are lots of hikes and things to see in Big Bend. Besides the fact that it’s just frickin’ cool, waking up inside the park gives you the ability to comfortably get your day started before all of the other tourists crowd in.
Y’all know, there’s nothing I enjoy better than the illusion of being the last couple of people on Earth.
With it being the desert, one of the major issues to combat is the heat.
You need to get that early start if you want to beat the rising temperatures, even in November. We had to make it a priority to get up early enough to beat the heat and check out Mariscal Mine. And, I’m really glad that we did. It was an easy hike from the parking area and there was so much to see.
Once it got too warm, we took a break from the sunshine and headed to check out the new dinosaur and fossil exhibit. The space is open air but still completely covered. It was a pretty interesting exhibit and nice to get out of the glaring sun for a few minutes. Plus, I’m always down to see fossils.
In closing, I would like to remind you how high maintenance I am. If I enjoyed camping in Big Bend, then anyone is going to love it. Just trust me on this.
Do you like backwoods camping or do you prefer some amenities?