Activities and Amenities
|Within 10 Miles|
|Greater Than 10 Miles|
COTTONWOOD (TX), TX
part ofBig Bend National Park, National Park Service
Status: Open year round. Season Dates
OverviewCottonwood Campground is a quiet desert oasis in the southwestern corner of Big Bend National Park. Conveniently located between the Castolon Historic District, the scenic Santa Elena Canyon and the tail end of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, this small, 31-site campground is one of the least-known and typically least-occupied campgrounds in the park. The group site is the only reservable campsite in the facility and is tent-only; individual campsites are first-come, first-served year-round.
Cottonwood gets its name from the cottonwood trees that surround and provide shade for the facility nearby the Rio Grande River. A general store and visitor center -- a converted former military outpost -- are also nearby.
The campground is at an elevation of 1,900 ft. It is relatively cool in the peak seasons of fall and winter due to cold air sinking into the lower elevations.
The national park is named for a curve in the Rio Grande River called the "big bend." For 1,250 miles, the river is an International Boundary between the United States and Mexico.
Particularly popular with bird watchers, Cottonwood Campground is a haven for those wishing to study the abundant bird life in Big Bend while also escaping the more crowded areas in the park. Because of its diverse ecosystems and plant life, the park provides habitats for many rare and unique birds, including the Mexican mallard, Lucifer hummingbird, Mexican jay, black-capped and gray vireos, and Varied Bunting. Visitors are often the eyes and ears of birding in the park and are encouraged to report sightings at the visitor center.
The group campsite is a walk-in, tent-only site; no RVs or trailers are allowed. The campground has pit toilets, potable water, picnic tables and grills. There are no hookups or dump stations, and the use of generators is not allowed. Vehicle parking is restricted to an adjacent parking area.
Activities and Amenities
Know Before You Go
Getting There:GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
From Interstate 10, take State Highway 385 south to Fort Stockton and onto Marathon. From Marathon, drive 40 miles south on State Highway 385 to the north entrance of Big Bend National Park. Drive straight for 26 miles to Park Headquarters at Panther Junction. Turn right at the intersection and go 13 miles west. Take a left at the Santa Elena Canyon turn-off and drive 23 miles to Cottonwood Campground.
Mailing Address:COTTONWOOD (TX)
PO BOX 129
BIG BEND NAT. PARK TX 79834
Phone Number:Information: (432)477-1121