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“Beautiful place, at a mountain, in the middle of the desert”

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Chisos Basin Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
68 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Beautiful place, at a mountain, in the middle of the desert”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2013

I always loved the desert, and this phenomenal park offers you everything, but make sure to plan your visit during Fall, or Winter, because at Summer is TOO HOT! And there are a lot of rattlesnakes on every path you walk. The hotel is so peaceful, a perfect place to RELAX, and forget about the city. The last time I was there, there were no Wi-Fi, nor TVs, nothing! It was perfect! No contact of any kind, just you and nature!! Ahhh! Paradise.... I am not sure if its still the same nowadays, last time I visited it was the year 2000

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
Helpful?
1 Thank The_Darth_Fruit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    5
    0
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I just spent 4 nights and enjoyed it so much! I would recommend it for some hiking during the day and great nights observing the night sky!! We stayed here in Chisos Basin since its still pretty warm and wanted the cooler nights. Of course, being surrounded by mountains are always a plus!

We stayed at campsite #17. There wasn't much shade but we wanted a non-obstructed view of the night sky since we wanted to do some astrophotography.

The bathrooms were pretty clean. It's true there are no showers. We used the body wipes purchased from REI and they got us by fine. One day we did take a drive down to Rio Grande Village store and took advantage of the shower facilities there. They were pretty clean and there is a $1.50 charge for 5 minutes.

Also, unless we you want to eat at the lodge, be sure to bring your food supplies. There is a little store for little things you may forget but like anything else, there is quite a mark-up. There is a storage locker for food there. We kept ours in bags and cooler in our vehicle since we drove all over and wanted to have them handy. cooler in our vehicle since we drove all over and wanted to have them handy.

The camp host was nice and informative when we first showed up after 7pm. We wouldn't mind going back!! That's for sure!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank Cdhargis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baguio, Philippines
Level Contributor
118 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013

We went on a holiday weekend and the place was advertised as FULL as we drove inside the park. Luckily, it was about "check-out" time (12nn) and a lot of camp areas freed up. We set up our tent and then self-paid by the entrance to the campground. You take note of the campsite number, go back to the camp entrance which is near the park volunteer's RV at that time. It's a shed with some posters, a box containing the envelope to hold your payment ($14/night) and the drop-box. Complete the information in the form, keep your receipt/stub, add your payment in the envelope, seal and drop it in the box. A clip is provided in your campsite to hang the receipt. A volunteer will go around to check it and mark your "check-out" date.

Our campsite had a storage locker, a picnic shed and a clean ground for the tent. A few rocks were kept on the side to help secure the tent (it can be quite windy in the area). The ground had clean bathrooms, no showers, a drinking water faucet and a sink for washing dishes. I was impressed with how clean the area was.

Park volunteers helped us with the directions to the hiking trail we wanted to trek (Emory peak!). They directed us to go by Chisos mountain lodge and we found signs pointing us to the right direction. The trail was well-marked and clean.

It got windy at night when we were there and it slammed on our tent which woke us multiple times. Clear skies showed plenty of stars though - no light pollution in this area! Noise was not a problem since there was a 10pm quiet time rule.

Bring a strong flashlight for dinner and walking to the restroom. Bring something to keep you warm at night since the temperature drops significantly when the sun sets. When planning to hike, bring lots of water! Park ranger volunteers stay on-site for any questions.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank noleaveswilltravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
75 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2013

There are a few important things to know about camping in Big Bend during the summer:
1.) Chisos Basin Campground is really the only camp ground worth trying to camp in during the summer months. The Rio Grand Valley and the Cottonwood campground are both every pretty, but it is just too hot to camp there in the summer. The elevation in the Chisos mountains allows it to stay cool enough to survive.
2.) There are no reservations for camp grounds. We were nervous about this because we were traveling on the week of Memorial Day, but not all of the sites were full during the week after the holiday and we easily found a site. (The holiday weekend was very busy and I think all of the sites were full.)
3.) It is extremely windy in the Chisos Basin at night. Bring a strong tent that is fairly low to the ground for good camping. Your tent is not strong you will end up sleeping in your car.
4.) After dark there is little to do because it is so dark. Be prepared to be back at your site to cook dinner before the sun goes down.
5.) Come prepared for rain. The park ranger who has lived there for 30 years says the park received a total of 2 inches of rain in 2012 and 12 inches of rain in 2011. It rained both nights we were there. Make sure you have a rain fly just in case.

This campground is very quite and well maintained. There is a well stocked convenience store in the basin and a fairly good restaurant and bar. The trails in the area are very pretty. There is a lot of bird watching available. The bathrooms and the washing stations are always clean and stocked. There are no public showers that we saw any where in the park. Some of the sites have a patio cover. All sites have a small grill, concrete slab, table, and bear locker. There are no ground fires permitted in the park.

If you are not a fan of the heat or if you are like me and might want to just rest from the heat for a few hours during the day and take a shower, you might consider the big bend lodge in the basin. We have camped at several different National parks, but this trip was the most difficult because of the lack of showers and the lack of places to rest from the heat.

Another suggestion, if you are trying to plan a short trip, buy some easy breakfast items, buy water and drinks, pack a lunch, buy snacks, but buy dinner at the restaurant. It is cheaper, healthier, yummier, and easier to just eat a few dinners at the lodge restaurant than buy dinner for two at the grocery store for a few nights.

If you have a choice of camp ground, get a camp ground where your tenant will be shielded by plants or rocks from the wind.

Chisos Basin camping is beautiful and very manageable with the right equipment. Happy Camping.

Room Tip: Choose a location for you tent that will be shielded by the wind by surrounding plants or rocks.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank vjack0887
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2013 via mobile

Tent camping here was really good, although was a bit chillier than we would have liked one of the nights (but that comes with the 5500 ft elevation territory). We liked spot #39, though I think there are other good sites as well that may be more private. Easy access to the window trail, and up to the pinnacles, boot canyon and south rim, which I totally recommend. Great new LED lighting in the bathrooms and dishes cleaning sink, and at the lodge, which is a 0.5-1 mi walk up the hill for food (or the store for supplies). Views are good from the restaurant there, or from the outside deck. Also some well-places picnic tables around the lodge and other buildings.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank birdwatcher5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
110 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013

Well this place was way cooler than I thought it would be. It is up in the mountains, so it is cool in the evenings. The whole place is very beautiful. The campsites are plentiful and spacious. There are several very nice places within the national park to drive to during the day. You can even go down by the Rio Grande and throw rocks across the river into Mexico which is pretty fun. We saw a couple different black bears there, which was totally awesome. They have a convenience store and gift shop close to the campground, and I think a restaurant, too.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2013

We actually just camped in our car here, but it was the perfect location for our priority activity-- hiking Emory Peak.

We also dined at the Chisos Mountain Lodge after our hikes, which was perfect if you don't want to put the work into cooking your own food when you're that tired, and a great location, which was so nearby to these campgrounds.

The campgrounds were full of people but quiet at night, with a great view of the Chisos Mountains all around and the beautiful stars at night. A great value if you want to enjoy Big Bend National Park and not pay all that money for a bed at the Lodge.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Erin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chisos Basin Campground

Property: Chisos Basin Campground
Address: Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
Location: United States > Texas > Big Bend National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Big Bend National Park
Number of rooms: 65
Also Known As:
Chisos Basin Campground Hotel Big Bend National Park
Chisos Basin Campground Big Bend National Park, Texas

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