Trek Southwest - Hiking and Camping the Desert Southwest

Backcountry Camping – Pine Canyon Road – Big Bend

in Big Bend National Park Backcountry Camping

If you want to do some backcountry camping near the base of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park, but don’t want to deal with all of the traffic off of Glenn Spring Road, Pine Canyon Road or Juniper Canyon Road are good options.

Pine Canyon Road is a much better quality road than Juniper Canyon Road, so you can expect more traffic. It has far less traffic than Glenn Spring Road though. This road dead ends at the Pine Canyon Trailhead, so most of the traffic you’ll see are hikers heading to the trail, or other campers.

Pine Canyon Campsites Small Topo

Click here for a larger version of the topo map.

To get to Pine 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 about a mile and a half until you see the Pine Canyon Road turn-off on the right. A high clearance vehicle is recommended as some parts of the road can be rough.

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

Pine Canyon Road Turn OffThe first two campsites will be on your right

Pine Canyon Road Campsite #1

Accommodates 2 vehicles and 6 people

(29.254327, -103.176052)

Pine Canyon Road Campsite #1 is slightly set back from the road, so dust and noise shouldn’t be too bad here. There’s enough room for a couple of tents if you’re camping in a group.

Pine Canyon Campsite 1

Pine Canyon Road Campsite #2

Accommodates 2 vehicles and 6 people

(29.255155, -103.182630)

This is one of the larger campsites on Pine Canyon Road. The parking area is a pull through and can fit a couple of vehicles easily. This is probably the best option on Pine Canyon Road for setting up a couple of tents.Pine Canyon Campsite 2

Pine Canyon Road Campsite #3

Accommodates 1 vehicle and 4 people

(29.251524, -103.200099)

Pine Canyon Road Campsite #3 will be on your left a little ways past the first two campsites. This site is small and really only usable for one tent. Its also set just off the road, so you may get a bit of dust from passersby.

Pine Canyon Campsite 3

Pine Canyon Road Campsite #4

Accommodates 2 vehicles and 6 people

(29.254300, -103.203673)

This is our favorite site on Pine Canyon Road. It is set well back from the road, so traffic should be no issue for you. The only time you should see another person is if they actually pull into the campsite. Its not a large campsite, so its not recommended for more than one tent.

It’ll be on the right-hand side past campsite #3.

Pine Canyon Campsite 4

Pine Canyon Campsite #5

Accommodates 2 vehicles and 6 people

(29.256726, -103.212670)

Although this is the closest campsite to the trail, this was definitely our least favorite spot. It sits just off the road and is tiny. Expect a dust storm whenever somebody passes by.

Pine Canyon Campsite 5

I didn’t even get out of the Jeep to take the picture above.

Pine Canyon Trail

About half a mile past campsite five, the road will dead end at the trailhead for Pine Canyon Trail (29.267147, -103.228022), a moderate four mile round trip hike to a seasonal waterfall.

Pine Canyon Trail

If you take this hike, don’t expect to see a raging waterfall. It usually only pours after a heavy rain, but most of the year there is usually a small amount of water.

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.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike March 22, 2019 at 7:58 am

PC 5 is just fine. It is Miles off the main parks roads, and few people drive by on the way to the Pine Canyon trailhead. We saw maybe 3 cars between 4pm and 10am the next day. Beautiful spot and great Chisos views.


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