It’s called Big Bend for a reason.

Spring is here, and so is Spring break. In our last post, we shared our favorite West coast camping spot: Point Mugu Point Mugu is a great place to  do some family camping, or to do some long hikes and escape the hustle and bustle. The 14,000 acre Point Mugu state Park is only 30 minutes from Malibu, and 2 hours from LAX, but you feel like you are a world away. But our next park is over 50 X as big as Point Mugu, and almost 300 miles from the nearest sizable town. Big Bend is named for the “big bend” in the Rio Grande river that forms a 1,000 mile border between Texas and Mexico.

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The Rio Grande River along the US/Mexico Border

 

Big Bend National Park is not only a giant park,  it contains a wide diversity of plants and animal.  In fact 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals call the park home.  With a little luck, you’ll spot a golden eagle or a gray fox. If you are exceptionally lucky, you’ll see a cougar, or even a black bear, and you’ll almost definitely spot a javelina.

This large park contains an entire mountain range,  and borders 118 miles of the Rio Grande river. The variety of terrain offers many options, and you can choose to river raft, fish, canoe, hike, off road, and more. This is a great park to escape crowds, as the distance from any sort of populations center ( 300 miles to El Paso, almost 400 to San Antonio) makes this one of the least  visited national parks in the country. For much of the year, there are  plenty of tent camping spots where you can set up your PahaQue Promontory for the family, and RV/Camper spots where you can roll up with your R-Pod or T@B trailer, set up your side tent, and settle in for a week of adventure. But In March and April, It’s best to plan ahead.You are probably too late to reserve a spot for this spring break, but you’ll also find camping at the nearby Big Bend State Park, as well as several private campgrounds near the park.

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Within a couple of hours of the park, you can also check out the Marfa lights, the town of Lajitas, and you can even make your trip international by crossing the Rio Grande and having  lunch in the Mexican town of Boquillas. Big Bend is a long way from anywhere, but it’s definitely worth the trip.

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Resources:

Visit Big Bend  https://visitbigbend.com

Big Bend National Park   https://www.nps.gov/bibe/index.htm

Big Bend State Park  https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/big-bend-ranch

Our Favorite West Coast Camping Spot: Point Mugu

point mugu beach
photo by King of Hearts

For us, march means Spring Break, and Spring Break means camping.  So we wanted to share one of our favorite California  camping spots: Point Mugu.   Point Mugu is only 90 minutes from Donwtown Los Angeles, but it might as well be a world away.    This secluded 14,000 acre state park is just off of Highway 1, and features over 60 miles of hiking trails, as well as mountains, beaches, and amazing sunsets.     In the Winter and early Spring ( NOW!) you  can sometimes catch views of migrating whales from your beach side campsite.    Point Mugu  is a great spot where you can pull a camper like  your R-Pod or T@b trailer  right out on to the beach,  you can also tent camp on the beach sites or on more traditional parking  pads.    If  the Point Mugu State Park is full, and you can’t find any camping spots there,  an excellent backup is  Leo Carrillo State Park, only 8 miles away.   And  you’ll find plenty of supplies, along with some of the best surf in SoCal only 14 miles away in Malibu.

 For more info, check out the Ca State Parks website, and let us know your favorite beach camping spot in the comments below.