A Few Quick Notes On Getting to and Around the Park
Driving: You can enter the park at Persimmon Gap (from Marathon, drive 70 miles south on U.S. 385 to Panther Junction) or Study Butte (from Alpine, drive 80 miles south on Texas Hwy. 118, then follow FM 170 to Maverick Junction). An entrance pass, good for 7 days, is $20 per vehicle; an annual pass is $40. Gas up at Panther Junction or Rio Grande Village.
Camping: The campgrounds at Rio Grande Village, Chisos Basin, and Cottonwood cost $14 per night; for reservations, go to recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777. All backcountry activity, whether it’s camping or backpacking or river-tripping, requires a permit ($10), which you can buy at the visitors centers at Persimmon Gap, Panther Junction, or the Chisos Basin.
Maps: You’ll get a free basic map and a useful newsletter with suggested hikes at any of the entrances; detailed topographic maps and staff-written guides (including a Chisos Basin trails booklet and a backcountry road guide) are available at the visitors centers. Louis Aulbach’s paddling guides, also at the visitors centers, are first rate.
View a larger image of the Big Bend Field Guide here.