Where to Stay in Big Bend → 4 TOP Towns

Big Bend National Park is one of the most scenic places in Texas offering spectacular views, diverse wildlife, and incredible hikes.

This outdoor paradise, named after the shape of Rio Grande, extends along the Mexican border and includes the entire Chisos mountains and a large part of the Chihuahuan Desert. If you want to make the best out of your adventure in the park, it is important to know where to stay in Big Bend!

To help you with that, I’ve already done the job for you and researched the best towns to stay near Big Bend National Park, including several lodging options for different tastes and budgets. There aren’t a lot of regular hotels in the area so while I have included all the good ones in this list, the majority of your options are going to be holiday home rentals like VRBO’s and Airbnbs.

You can choose from the towns of Terlingua and Lajitas to have the best park access, Alpine for family-friendly activities, or Chisos Basin for some real adventures!

I am sure this guide will help you find the perfect Big Bend accommodation for your holiday, you just need to keep reading and take some notes! If you want an honest tip, make sure you book your favorite hotel as soon as you can… it will assure you a spot and some good deals!

Let’s go!

If you are in a hurry

If you don’t have time to read the whole article and you need to book immediately, check out the best of the best Big Bend accommodation options:

luxury hotel

Lajitas Golf Resort

Best luxury hotel

airbnb

La Vista 4 bedroom

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

mid-range hotel

Big Bend Lodging

Best value for money

budget hotel

Maverick Ranch RV Park

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Here’s a map with the best town where to stay in Big Bend, divided by interest:

Terlingua
for first-timers
Lajitas
the local area
Alpine
for families
Chisos Basin
inside Big Bend

1. Terlingua – where to stay in Big Bend for the first time

The tiny ghost town of Terlingua, located in the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert, is THE  gateway to Big Bend National Park, just 9 miles (14 km) to the western entrance.

In fact, being the most touristic town in the area, Terlingua is the main starting point of the best tours through Big Bend National Park, and at the same time is well connected to all the other areas mentioned in this guide.

The cool thing about Terlingua ghost town is that, even if developed and modern, it still preserves the Wild West Texas culture, so it’s nice to explore it when you’re not adventuring in the Big Bend State Park.

And talking about lodging, you’ll be just spoiled of choice here: the town offers a wide range of accommodation options for any price and comfort level, from hotels to home rentals and motels… check them out and make sure you nook them some months in advance!

Luxury hotel

If you want to enjoy the best skies of your life while staying in luxurious glamping close to Big Bend. At The Summit at Big Bend, you’ll have over 1,000 acres of raw dessert at your disposal! Here you’ll have a unique experience and reconnection with nature, having easy access to great hikes, off-roading trails, and stargazing. Perfect for a romantic weekend getaway, a team-building retreat, or a family reunion!

Other accommodation options in Terlingua

Mid-Range

Enjoy private hotel rooms with air conditioning, wifi, and a private bathroom with an old West Texas theme.

Budget

Try something different and stay in these retro accommodations near Big Bend National Park

Airbnb

Go back in time to this mining ruin in the heart of the ghost town, with the best view of the Chisos Mountains!

Things to do in Terlingua

  • Discover the town’s mining history while you stroll around the city!
  • Descend the many canyons of the Rio Grande by boat
  • Have the best barbecues at Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe
  • Shop for some souvenirs at Terlingua Springs Market
  • Check out Big Bend Ranch State Park, close to Big Bend national park

2. Lajitas – a locals area to stay near Big Bend

The town of Lajitas is located slightly further west of Terlingua, but still quite close to the Park (just 21 miles / 34 km).

Contrary to the town of Terlingua, Lajita hasn’t been as influenced by the tourism industry, so it is the right place if you want to explore a more authentic side of Texas while you’re not exploring the Big Bend National Park!

Apart from a local vibe, Tarlingua also offers many outdoor activities thanks to its location right next to the Rio Grande: be ready to go rafting and kayaking in the river, but even in some family-friendly activities like horse riding or hiking!

The main accommodation option here is the luxurious Lajitas Golf Resort, a luxurious oasis in the middle of the desert offering anything from the award-winning golf course to restaurants to heaps of excursions! Otherwise, there are other more affordable options with great value for price… check them out:

Luxury hotel

Have a luxurious stay in Lajitas Golf Resort, located just outside the scenic Big Bend State Park! This Big Bend lodging offers fully equipped rooms, a full-service spa, and many dining options where to taste gourmet West Texas cuisine. On top of that, in Lajitas Resort you’ll have access to so many activities such as golfing, hiking, horseback riding, and fossil explorations!

Other accommodation options in Lajitas

Mid-Range

Check out this beautiful lodging, only minutes away from the natural beauty of the Big Bend National Park

Budget

Meet your fellow travelers at the swimming pool, and enjoy mountain bike trails, and the beast skies in Big Bend!

Airbnb

This is the only lodging for rent with a river view: the best place in the Big Bend to feel at home away from home

Things to do in Lajitas

  • Do some water activities in the Rio Grande, like rafting or Kayaking!
  • Check out the Lajitas Trading Post
  • Try some delicious Tex-Mex at Candelilla Café!
  • Enjoy budget-friendly beers with locals at the Thirsty Goat Saloon

3. Alpine – where to stay in Big Bend for families

An alternative to the gateway towns of Lajitas and Terlingua is the big town of Alpine, further north in Texas, about 2 hours drive from the Big Bend National Park.

Even if it doesn’t have the most convenient location to access the park daily, Alpine is a good getaway if you’re traveling to and from other cities in the west like Los Angeles, Austin, or San Antonio.

With its many exciting attractions, tourism facilities, the best hotel chains in the area, and a bigger selection of places to eat, Alpine is the perfect place to stay in Big Bend for families (it is also one of the safest places to stay in the region)!

If you’re looking for the comfort of having everything you need at your fingertips, Alpine is a great choice for you.

In fact, in addition to the regular outdoor activities, here you can enjoy rides in hot air balloons from the nearby airport or explore the local art scene in Gallery on the Square and the Kokernot Park street art.

Luxury hotel

Have all the comforts you need in this great hotel near Big Bend! Offering a complimentary continental breakfast every day, an indoor pool and hot tub, a business center, and even a fitness center where to stay in shape… What else can you ask for? The hotel is conveniently located to explore the Big Bend National Park!

Other accommodation options in Alpine

Mid-Range

Enjoy the fitness room and spa of this hotel with great value, one of the best places to stay near Big Bend!

Budget

Welcoming and cozy air-conditioned apartment, perfect for families with a four-legged friend

Airbnb

Cozy and unique adobe, for the best holiday in total privacy and comfort for you and your family!

Things to do in Alpine

  • Listen to some good live music at Old Gringo and Railroad Blues!
  • Check out the artworks at the Gallery on the Square
  • Take some cool pictures at the graffitis in Kokernot Park
  • Bring the family to eat at Penny’s Diner, offering a kid-friendly menu
  • Check out the galaxies in the sky from the McDonald Observatory

4. Chisos Basin – where to stay inside Big Bend National Park

If you’re looking for some real adventure in the Big Bend National Park, The Chisos Mountains is definitely for you as it’s located inside the national park!

Here you’ll be lucky to witness the most beautiful natural sceneries, from the sunset through the famous “window” to views of the Casa Grande and Emory Peak!

One of the most scenic parts of the national park, the Chisos Basin area is right in the middle of pure wilderness: this means you won’t find many accommodation options (most of them are campsites and lodges).

Chisos Basin has the only accommodation choices for visitors who want to stay inside the Big Bend National Park itself.  Being right in the heart of the park and close to the visitor center, here you can get some useful information on the best hikes in the area and not waste time on transport!

As I said before, there are not many accommodation options in Chisos Basin and I could only find two good lodging options for you (but they’re both great choices):

  • Mid-range: Chisos Mountains Lodge – Chisos Mountain Lodge is the only place to stay inside Big Bend National Park (besides camping), conveniently located in the basin of the majestic Chisos Mountains. Even if completely surrounded by nature and vast undisturbed wilderness, you will find accommodations with all the modern comforts! Expect stunning scenery and serenity just a quick walk from many of the park’s world-famous hiking trails!
  • Budget: Chisos Basin Campground – The Chisos Basin Campground is hidden between the trees of an open woodland within the scenic mountain basin. From your camper or tent, you will enjoy the most scenic natural views of Casa Grande, Emory Peak, and make sure to catch the sunset through the nearby “Window”. And if this wasn’t enough, some of the best park’s trails begin just nearby. Ah, and I can’t forget to mention… you’ll get all this at super-budget prices!

Go hiking in and around Big Bend National ParkHave a scenic drive on Sierra del Carmen highwaySee the most beautiful sunset from the “window” Gaze at the views from Casa Grande Peak!Challenge yourself with the trails on Emory PeakSee an unforgettable night sky from one of the scenic spots of the area!

Things to do in Chisos Basin

  • Go hiking in and around Big Bend National Park
  • Have a scenic drive on Sierra del Carmen highway
  • See the most beautiful sunset from the “window” 
  • Gaze at the views from Casa Grande Peak!
  • Challenge yourself with the trails on Emory Peak
  • See an unforgettable night sky from one of the scenic spots of the area!
👑 Luxury price:$250
💵 Mid Range:$170
🛏️ Budget:$130
🏠 Airbnb:$200
💰Accommodation prices:Medium
📍Best area:Terlingua
👪 Best area for families:Alpine
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Lajitas Golf Resort
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Big Bend Lodging
👛 Best budget hotel:Maverick Ranch RV Park

Frequently asked questions about Big Bend National Park

📍Where do people stay in Big Bend National Park?

The best places to stay near Big Bend National Park, in West Texas, are the luxurious glamping The Summit or Tin Valley Retro Rentals to save money, both located in Terlingua! Otherwise, The Chisos Mountains Lodge is the only place to stay inside the Park.

🏠 What is the closest town to Big Bend National Park?

The best places to stay near Big Bend National Park are Terlingua a small tourist town, and Lajitas, where most locals live. Stay at the luxurious Lajitas Golf Resort or the more affordable Maverick Ranch RV Park.

🔍 What are the best things to do in Big Bend?

The best things to see and do in Big Bend national park are to explore Santa Elena Canyon Trail, gaze at the views from Casa Grande Peak, hike Emory Peak, drive on the scenic Sierra del Carmen highway and see the most beautiful sunset from the “window”.

🙂 Is Big Bend worth the trip?

Yes, Big Bend national park has a lot of natural landscapes, hikes, and diverse wildlife to offer, but you should rent a car to explore them all, as public transport is basically non-existent in the area.

Conclusion

We are at the end of our adventurous journey through the best places to stay near Big Bend National park.

We saw the small towns of Terlingua and Lajitas, which offer you easy access to the park, the family-friendly Alpine, or the adventurous Chisos Basin, all of them offering hotels and other accommodations like lodging and camping.

I am sure by now you have found the perfect accommodation for your interest and budget, but if you’re still undecided, these are my 2 absolute favorites for value and position:

  • Lajitas Golf Resort – Have a luxurious stay in this Resort, located just outside the scenic Big Bend State Park
  • Big Bend Lodging – Enjoy private hotel rooms with air conditioning, wifi, and a private bathroom

I hope you found this article helpful and that after reading it you will know exactly where to stay in Big Bend!

In case you have some doubts or questions about the hotels/ towns mentioned during the post, please leave them in the comments below, I will answer you as soon as possible!

And, I will say it again, don’t forget to book your favorite hotel as soon as you can if you want to secure a spot in this outdoor paradise!

Have a wonderful trip!

Elena

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One Response

  1. Aijad Ali 06.04.2022 at 11:46

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