Interior Campsites

Big Bend Ranch State Park

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Big Bend Sp Main Rd.
Redford, TX 79846
432-358-4444
Reservations: 512-389-8919
Official Website

GPS: 29.481, -104.041

Last Price Paid: $8
Pad Type: dirt
Reservations: Yes
Elevation: 4222 ft
Tent Camping: Yes

2 people have reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise
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Teddi & Roger
Kent, WA
33 National Trop-i-cal T330
2007 Honda CRV
119 reviews
Nightly rate: $8
Days stayed: 13
Site Number: Upper Madera 1

Teddi & Roger would stay here again

“5-star views of the canyon and Rio Grande, incredible night skies, quiet, and no close neighbors – all for just $8 a night! Did we like it here? Oh yeah. But there are some caveats. ”

Reviewed Mar 01, 2017

Overall Rating

We extended our stay twice and ended up in Site #1 in Upper Madera Canyon for 13 nights. I cannot begin to describe the amazing views, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, incredible starry skies, how wonderfully quiet and peaceful it was.

Upper Madera has only 4 sites - #1 is a pull-through fairly close to the entrance. It is large, level and could accommodate any size rig. There is a covered picnic table and firepit. Site #2 was small and hadn’t even been graded – didn’t seem usable at all. Sites #3 and #4 were down a hill and at the end of the road. The gravel road was doable, but neither site would be ideal for a large rig (over 30 ft). Each site has a covered picnic table and firepit. No campsites in the state park have hookups.

Upper Madera sites are along the top of a bluff, but the price for those fantastic unobstructed views is no protection from the winds. A couple of times we pulled in the slides when things got to rockin’. So add a few extra rocks to the patio mat.

The easy access to Site #1 means you are fairly close to the road, although FM170 is not heavily trafficked, you do get some road noise and people driving into the camping area several times a day to check out the view. Lower Madera camping area and river access has a separate entrance, although folks were frequently confused and pulled into Upper Madera by mistake. Lower Madera has about 17 sites of various sizes.

There is so much to see and do at Big Bend Ranch State Park! We did several hikes (Closed Canyon and Fresno Canyon Overlook were favorites), visited both the Warnock and the Sauceda Ranch Visitor Centers, floated 9 miles of the Rio Grande, and checked out Presidio and Terlingua. One of the International Mountain Bike Association’s “Epic” rides is within the park and Rog rode several sections of the 60-mile Epic route. (You can check out our blog - several posts have more description and pictures from Big Bend Ranch State Park.)

The reservation system at Big Bend Ranch State Park is somewhat tricky to navigate. The visitor center can only do same day reservations, everything else goes through a central reservation call center. The information from the call center is not always accurate, especially regarding which areas have sites that can accommodate larger rigs. To complicate matters no reservation (advance or same day) is for a specific site – only the area. So if you want site #1 in Upper Madera and there is someone camped in Upper Madera they cannot tell you if #1 is open or occupied. A bit challenging when you may not fit elsewhere and since the campsites may be 20 miles or more from the visitors center you can put in some miles getting it figured out.

Note: the $8 is the camping fee. Big Bend Ranch State park also charges a daily entrance fee of $5 per person which is waived if you purchase the $70 annual pass.

We were in a virtual dead zone – no Verizon cell service at all. There is some wifi at the visitor’s center, but it was marginal at best.

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com


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Nathan @ Wand'rly

14 Volkswagen Bus, Champagne Edition, Riviera Campwagen
293 reviews
Nightly rate: $8
Days stayed: 2
Site Number: Upper Madera 1

Nathan @ Wand'rly would stay here again

Reviewed Apr 06, 2015

Overall Rating

"I think the state park is even better than the national," became a bit of my mantra as we've been touring around Big Bend for a few months.

We've spent a ton of time in this area, every small town, every hidden swimming hole, every dive bar and mountain peak, and I'm going to stand by this. The River Road winding along the Rio Grande, the "more stuffed with good stuff" atmosphere, the coloration, the plants, the trails...it's not that the National Park is in anyway lacking, there is just so much beauty and it's all so close together here in the State Park.

Upper Madera is one of two campgrounds right next to one another, but Upper Madera is up a couple of hundred feet so the views are that much better. Lower Madera has more sites, which are significantly shorter. Spot #1 in Upper Madera is large enough for any length rig because the road splits into three separate ones, and you can just take one of them up.

However, you're a drive away from the primitive toilet and there are no hookups anywhere in the park, so you'll need to be completely self-contained. Oh and there is no AT&T or Verizon service out here at all.

Sunsets, hovering vultures, and with a good strong toss you could pitch a rock to Mexico.

I'd much prefer staying here to Rio Grande Village in the national park, too. Give it a look, and check out Closed Canyon if you want a truly gorgeous hike.

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com


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Go Around the Bend: Flip-Flopping our Big Bend Plans, a Slot Canyon, Hoodoos, and a Desert Valentine

Stupid Pet Tricks Ok, so you all are probably way ahead of me on this one. But I just figured out that if you click on one of the pictures you will see all the pictures in that post as a sort of "...

Hookups:
  • dry camping
Site Amenities:
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
Pets:
  • pets

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