Big Bend National Park Hotels

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  • Basaic profile photo Basaic
  • Reviews: 7650

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Marathon Motel/El Dorado Motel: Outside the Park

I spent two nights near Big Bend National Park. One was at the Marathom Motel in Marathon, Texas. This was a motel built in the 30s and although old had some pretty nice facilities. I was in one of the separate buildings so it was very quiet too. Nice plaza where the guests sometimes gather for an outdoor fire to eat, drink, and trade stories (Very Satisfied). The other place I stayed was the El Dorado Motel in Terlingua. I did not care much for this motel (Somewhat Unsatisfied). The bar also did not have wine nor a rum and coke. Both places were relatively inexpensive. For more info see my Marathon and Terlingua Pages.

  • Opinion of Price: N/A
  • Related to: Budget Travel, National/State Park, Road Trip
  • Written November 8, 2010
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Marathon Motel

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  • KimberlyAnn profile photo KimberlyAnn
  • Reviews: 1082

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Cottonwood Campground: A Campground in the Southwest Section of the Park

Cottonwood Campground lies at a 1,900 foot elevation and has 31 campsites. There are no hookups, nor is there a dump station. No generators are allowed at the Cottonwood Campground. There are pit toilets, picnic tables, grills, and water available in the campground.

This is the closest campground to the Santa Elena Canyon, as well as being near access to the Rio Grand River.

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Related to: Camping, National/State Park
  • Written May 13, 2005
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Cottonwood Campground. Photo taken by my husband.


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  • KimberlyAnn profile photo KimberlyAnn
  • Reviews: 1082

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

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Rio Grand Village Campground: Campground in the Southeast Section of Big Bend

At a 1,850 foot elevation, and located near the RV Park is the Rio Grand Village Campground. This campground has 100 sites, and was the one that we stayed in. Operated by the National Park Service, if you have a Golden Age Pass, you will only pay half the price per night. There are open sites, sites under trees with no buffer zones between the sites, or more private sites among trees and bushes. These last, more private sites also have a nice picnic table area with a cement pad and cement table under a sun roof. We chose one of these more private sites with a roofed table. There are also non-generator use camp sites available. This campground has no hookups, however water and flush toilets are available. There is also a dump station nearby. Generator hours are 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. 43 of the sites in the Rio Grand Village may be reserved between November 15 and April 15, the remainder are available on a first come first serve basis. Call the number listed below for reservations, or reserve on line. When we visited the cost was $10 per night ($5 for people with golden Age or Golden Access Passports).

The lovely Rio Grand Village nature Trail begins within this campground. This is also a good area for birding. Roadrunners and javalinas are common in the campground.

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Related to: National/State Park, Road Trip, Camping
  • Written May 13, 2005
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Our Campsite


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  • KimberlyAnn profile photo KimberlyAnn
  • Reviews: 1082

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Rio Grand Village RV Park: The Only Campground With Hook Ups

This is the only full hookup campground in the park, and while we were there this campground was completely full the entire time. A concessionaire runs this campground, and for this reason if you have a Golden Age pass, the pass is not honored at the RV Park and you will have to pay the full price for your site. The RV Park has 25 sites and you must have your own water and electrical hookups as well as a three inch sewer connection, as there are no restrooms in this campground. You need to register at the Rio Grand Village Store. When we were there the price was $21 per night for two people, with an extra $3 charge for each additional person. There are no privacy buffer areas between the RVs in this campground, and to my tastes this was the least inviting looking campground of all those we looked at.

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Seniors, Camping, National/State Park
  • Written May 13, 2005

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  • XenoHumph profile photo XenoHumph
  • Reviews: 502

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

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Adobe Rose Inn: Bed and Breakfast in Marathon

Set in a century-old house furnished with antiques, this nice bed and breakfast is a good confortable location to visit the Big Bend region. The breakfast is served in a very nice outdoor patio and consists of burritos.

The only downside, which is valid for all of Marathon accomodations, is that it is closed to the rail-road tracks. Fret trains pass all night long about once every 2 hours and honk loudly at each passage way. The locals say you get used to it. I suggest you take ear plugs with you!! It is just too bad, because Marathon is such a nice village to stay at!

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Road Trip
  • Written October 8, 2003
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Adobe Rose Inn B&B, Marathon, Texas


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  • XenoHumph profile photo XenoHumph
  • Reviews: 502

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Marathon Motel

This is a wonderful motel, confortable and extremely pretty. The rooms are adorable and very clean, and with a little terrace with table and chairs. There is a wonderful spanish-style garden, surrounded by the double bungalows which are the motel rooms. You can have breakfast nearby at Marcie's Kitchen run by the motel owner. She also runs an RV park behind the motel.

The claim to fame of this motel is that it was used for a scene of the Wim Wenders movie "Paris, Texas" in 1984.

The only downside, which is valid for all of Marathon accomodations, is that it is closed to the rail-road tracks. Fret trains pass all night long about once every 2 hours and honk loudly at each passage way. The locals say you get used to it. The motel gives you ear plugs!! It is just too bad, because Marathon is such a nice village to stay at! I personally slept great anyway, and without using the ear plugs.

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Desert, Road Trip
  • Written September 30, 2003
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Marathon Motel, Texas


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  • XenoHumph profile photo XenoHumph
  • Reviews: 502

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Chisos Basin Lodge

Here it is complicated. There are several lodges, some ran by the park, and some by a concessionaire (The Mountain lodge showed on pict). Anyway, it is all the same price:
2003: $75 for 2 persons in one room

Great location at the beginning of most Chisos Mountain trails!

I have not been to any of these lodges.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Road Trip, National/State Park, Desert
  • Written September 30, 2003
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Chisos Basin Lodge, Big Bend NP


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  • XenoHumph profile photo XenoHumph
  • Reviews: 502

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Camping

The official campgrounds have picnic tables (with a little roof on top for most of them) and a bear-proof storage box at each site, and common toilets and sinks. The only showers (75 cents for 5 mn) and laundry facilities in the park are at Rio Grande Village (SE of the park). There are 3 campgrounds: Chisos Basin (middle of the park, RV cannot go up the road to it), Cottonwood (SW), Rio Grande Village (SE). The only RV park is at Rio Grande Village. During the hot season, it is best to camp in the Chisos Basin as the higher altitude makes the nights cooler than down in the desert.
Camping in the Chisos Basin was a wonderful experience. Very quiet, with only night bugs chirping away and breath-taking starry nights. It was a long time I hadn't seen the Milky Way that clear!!

Primitive camping on back roads or by back-backing is also available, but you need to ask for a permit at the visitor centers.

All campgrounds are available on a first come-first served basis. No reservation possible. Times where campgrounds might be full: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring (March-April).

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Related to: Road Trip, Backpacking, Hiking and Walking
  • Written September 29, 2003
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Camping in Chisos Basin, Big Bend NP


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