Primitive Campsites (Drive-in | River District)

  • People per Site: 8

Sites are along the River Road. Up to eight people are allowed per site. Make reservations for these sites on the Barton Warnock reservation page. Click "More" below to learn more about camping here.

  • Picnic table
  • Fire ring

You must have a permit to camp at Big Bend Ranch State Park. If you plan to use the 4X4 unmaintained road, pick up and sign an Acknowledgement of Use of Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles and Motorcycles.

Get park information and permits daily, in person, at two locations:

Camping information

Highway-access camping areas are along River Road (FM 170) at Arenosa, Lower and Upper Madera (Monilla) Canyon, La Cuesta, and Grassy Banks. One campground is on the north side of FM 170 at the Contrabando West Trailhead; it does not have river access or a toilet facility.

Place tents in designated areas only. Desert resources are fragile.

You must haul out both your human waste and trash. Buy a portable privy at all permit-issuing stations. Self-composting toilets are at Colorado Canyon, Madera Canyon, Grassy Banks and the Contrabando Movie Set site.

Downed wood is critical to desert ecology. Gathering firewood is prohibited; you must bring your own. Charcoal cooking fires and containerized fuel stoves are allowed. Pack out your ashes or deposit them in the fire ring.

The maximum stay per permit is 14 nights. Campsites have an eight-person and two-vehicle limit. Park excess vehicles at one of our visitor centers with a valid permit displayed. 

No other facilities, water/electrical hookups, or dump stations are available. Due to road conditions, motor homes and large recreational vehicles may not be able to enter backcountry park areas. 




Plus daily
entrance fee


Information and prices can change. Parks charge a daily entrance fee in addition to any facility fees, unless otherwise stated.

Purchase a Texas State Park Pass to enjoy free entry to more than 80 state parks for you and your guests for one year.

You may bring pets to most state parks, but they cannot enter Texas State Park buildings. Learn about rules for pets at state parks. For park-specific pet restrictions, contact the park.

Call the park or the Customer Service Center (512) 389-8900 for more information.