No its not just a mirage, those really are pit toilets! Ok we know you’re excited, but simmer down. Seriously you’re at like a 9.5 right now and we need you to be at more of a 6. Well, since you’re so excited about pit toilets, who knows what will happen once you find out there are grills, water and wait for it… PICNIC TABLES! Your enthusiasm for campsite amenities aside, this calm, forested 24-site desert oasis really is a great place to spend a night (or two!). Call ahead to reserve Cottonwood’s only group campground, which is walk-in with a max. capacity of 25.
Campsite area
Tent sites
31 sites
Up to 25 guests per site
Up to 6 vehicles
No wheelchair access
No picnic table


Offered near the campground.

Horseback riding
Wildlife watching
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19 Reviews

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Hipcamper michelle
Michelle F.
didn't provide a recommendation.
April 19th, 2017

I liked the quiet of this campground, it's more secluded as its at the far reaches of the park. It is closer to Santa Elena canyon, but expect another 40 minutes of scenic driving before you reach it past Chisos Basin. Fresh water, and vault toilets is all you will find, but shade trees over each camping spot ( that I can remember). Bear boxes too. No reservations, but doesn't fill up unless its a holiday weekend. Camped in early August and found the nights cool enough to be comfortable. This is my go-to campground for this park!

Hipcamper Peter
Peter D.
didn't provide a recommendation.
April 6th, 2015

Hiking up to the Santa Elena Canyon entrance is a must-do if you are in the area. Watching the canyon rise up 1500 feet off the desert floor (or watching it drop off into nothing, if you're coming from the opposite direction) is mind-blowing.

Hipcamper Texas
Texas V.
didn't provide a recommendation.
January 21st, 2015

Beautiful campsites with close access to Santa Elena Canyon which is a must see if visiting the park! Cottonwood is less crowded than some of the other campsites. We went in November and there was only one other camper in the campground. Be advised that the park waters the campground at night and you must pitch tents on high ground. If you happen to be out of your tent at night, it's best to keep a lamp with you and stay on the camp roads.

Hipcamper James
James H.
didn't provide a recommendation.
January 19th, 2015

They water the campground by flooding the area. We did not see a schedule, just a sign that said pitch you tent on high ground. We only stayed one night and weren't sure if we where on high ground or not, but they did not water while we where there so we were good. We had a great night stargazing! The nights where cool and the days hot. The winter time is the busy season for this area. Make sure you have everything you need because there are not any major stores in the area. The best you can do is a couple of gas station, one in Study Butte out side the park and one on Panther Jct Rd near Main Park Rd. Both stores do have gas!

Hipcamper Jessica M.
recommends this listing.
July 23rd, 2019
Hipcamper Kristen M.
doesn't recommend this listing.
August 26th, 2019
Hipcamper Will  H.
recommends this listing.
September 9th, 2018
Hipcamper Mikala S.
recommends this listing.
November 17th, 2018
Hipcamper Angie R.
recommends this listing.
January 17th, 2019
Hipcamper Erica E.
recommends this listing.
April 8th, 2018
Hipcamper Ben M.
recommends this listing.
March 18th, 2018
Hipcamper Lane G.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
February 26th, 2018
Hipcamper Elizabeth R.
recommends this listing.
May 17th, 2017
Hipcamper Meg M.
recommends this listing.
May 15th, 2017
Hipcamper Michelle F.
recommends this listing.
April 19th, 2017
Hipcamper Scarlett L.
recommends this listing.
March 30th, 2017
Hipcamper Jennifer S.
recommends this listing.
March 27th, 2017
Hipcamper Alex C.
recommends this listing.
March 11th, 2017
Hipcamper Alex A.
recommends this listing.
February 17th, 2017
Big Bend National Park
United States
Phone Number
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Official Website
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29.133° N, 103.52° W
Tent Only - Group: 31 Sites
(Up to 25 people per site)