Trek Southwest - Hiking and Camping the Desert Southwest

Backcountry Camping – Juniper Canyon Road – Big Bend

in Big Bend National Park Backcountry Camping

Juniper Canyon Road is a great spot for some backcountry camping in Big Bend National Park. The road traffic is very light due to it being remote and the road being so rough. Just make sure that you are in a high clearance vehicle with good all-terrain tires before heading out there.

Juniper Canyon Small Topo

Jump Straight to Campsites

Click here for a larger topographic map of the area.

To get to Juniper Canyon Road take a right out of the Big Bend National Park Headquarters at Panther Junction and drive approximately 4.5 miles until you see the Glenn Spring Road turn-off on the right. Once you’re on Glenn Spring Road, drive just under seven miles and you’ll see a stone marker on the right marking the entrance to Juniper Canyon Road (29.191957, -103.171372).

Juniper Canyon Road

Don’t forget, before heading out there, you need to get a backcountry use permit prior to using these sites.

Although this road is not that long, it can take quite a bit of time to get to the end. You’ll likely not want to drive more than 5 – 10 miles per hour. Its one of the rougher unimproved roads in big bend.

Rough Road

While you’re creeping along the rough road, keep your eyes out for Peregrine Falcons high in the brush. We saw several while we were passing through here.

Peregrine Falcon

Robber’s Roost Campsite

Accommodates 2 vehicles and 8 people

(29.206439, -103.206687)

This campsite is the larger of the two sites on Juniper Canyon Road. There are three cleared sites for tents and plenty of room to park. Highly recommended for larger parties.

It’ll be the first campsite you see on your left. Approximately three miles after the turn-off on Juniper Canyon Road.

Robbers Roost

Twisted Shoe Campsite

Accommodates 1 vehicle and 4 people

(29.218551, -103.233367)

Twisted Shoe is about a mile further down the road from Robber’s Roost. This site only has one cleared pad for a tent, so its good for small parties, but would be a bit tight for more. It has an interesting boulder sitting right next to the tent site.

Twisted Shoe

Juniper Canyon Road runs a little over five miles total and dead-ends at the trailheads for Juniper Canyon Trail and Dodson Trail (29.223874, -103.241127), both long and strenuous hikes. Neither trail is recommended for inexperienced hikers, but are highly recommended for the fit and experienced.

Related Posts:

Hiking Big BendPrior to heading out to the backcountry in Big Bend, we recommend throwing a copy of the Trails Illustrated Big Bend Map in your backpack. The map provided at the entrance station is helpful, but not detailed enough for getting off the pavement and out into the boonies. It’s also helpful to have a copy of Hiking Big Bend, by Laurence Parent, if you plan to do any hiking while you’re out there.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jared D. February 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm

What car did you drive Juniper Canyon Road? The National Park website says 4×4 is required but I have never heard anyone give a description of how rough the road actually is. I drive a 2014 Subaru Outback which has AWD and was wondering if I would have any problems on the road.


Admin February 21, 2018 at 1:57 pm

A 4×4 is recommended. I think at a minimum you need high clearance and good quality all-terrain tires. The road can be very rough with quite a few large rocks and thorns that could do some damage to street tires (any tire if you’re not careful) and potentially the undercarriage of a low clearance vehicle. If you have any doubts, I would recommend NOT driving down this road. It can be very rough (one of the roughest, behind Black Gap and the far end of Paint Gap) and its very remote. A flat tire can be changed, but a punctured oil pan will put you out of business and it could be well over a day until the next vehicle comes by.

We have a Jeep Rubicon with large off-road tires and it was a bumpy, slow drive.

Pine Canyon and Glenn Spring Roads are good alternatives that are in the same general area.


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