Chisos Basin is the most popular campground in Big Bend National Park…and for good reason. The thing to keep in mind is that it is, in fact, in a basin. There are mountains surrounding the campground, so no matter where your pitch your tent, the view is fantastic. The Chisos Basin is sort of a one-stop spot for exploring. It is also the center of a great deal of hiking, so you can walk to most of the trailheads, including the classics: Window, Emory Peak, and the network of trails taking you to the South Rim. Also, the popular Lost Mine Trail is only a short 5-minute drive away. There is a visitor center and small camp store about a half-mile up the hill from the campground. In addition, there is the Chisos Basin Lodge with a restaurant, so if you get tired of your own cooking, you can splurge on a meal.
The most important thing to keep in mind is this campground is not for big rigs. The park service recommends that trailers over 20 feet and RVs over 24 feet not attempt the road into the basin. It is steep and winding. Even if you were able to get a larger rig into the campground, few of the spots are level, and many of the spots are too narrow for a trailer. This campground is very tight, spots are close together, and privacy is not good. There are some sites, such as 20 or 21, that are so close to the road that you’ll have to be careful when you get out of the car or you'll end up stepping right into the road. Spots 59 and 60 are the best at the end of the lower loop, and they have great views and the least campground traffic.
There are 60 spots at $14 a night. The campground is open year round, and 26 sites are reservable during the busy season from mid-November through the end of May. There are flush toilets, running water, grills, picnic tables, and a dump station. There are no showers, and not all of the sites have a sunshade. Generators are limited to loop 1, sites 1 through 18.