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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Spring Break West Texas?

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DougE

New Braunfels, Texas USA

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Posted: 02/19/21 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was looking to make a west Texas loop during spring break. March 14 - March 20 time frame. Carlsbad Caverns, McDonald Observatory (Fort Davis stay), Big Bend National Park. Are there restrictions in place due to the pandemic? At the current time, Big Bend seems to be limiting visits to groups of 8 (not an issue for me - must be for the group campgrounds) and they presently have the Hot Springs closed (bummer, its one of the best places to visit, they don't say why). Is there any information concerning restrictions that will be in place during this time frame?


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PawPaw_n_Gram

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Posted: 02/19/21 12:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were campground hosts at Chiso Basin CG at Big Bend from Apr to Aug 2014, and at Davis Mountains SP from Oct 2014 - Jan 2015.

Both places told me that Spring Break was their busiest time of year, with every reservation taken, and lines of people waiting for non-reserved campsites to empty each day.

We experienced that happen on Memorial Day weekend 2014 in the Basin CG.

I do NOT expect COVID restrictions to lift until late spring/ early summer for National Parks. For one thing, I'm seeing much fewer than normal volunteer positions open in federal campground locations. If they are not scheduling the volunteers, they won't have the staff to handle lifting restrictions.

The Hot Springs are closed IMHO because that tends to be a gathering place. Unless they post a ranger as a guard to monitor the number of people at the place. Over crowding there did cause some issues while we were at the park.


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TexasShadow

Spring Branch, TX USA

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Posted: 02/19/21 02:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

since all three of your choices usually generate large crowds, all you can do is call and ask about availability and services.
or you can try looking them up on the internet and see if they are keeping current on their websites.


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Posted: 02/19/21 03:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did Big Bend at Spring Break one year before COVID - never again! The place was packed with college students. Almost no sites were available.

Always do Big Bend over Christmas and this year it was showing "full" on both the web site and on entrance to the park, but over half the spaces were unoccupied because of the requirement for "social distancing" I guess. They've also pretty much eliminated the non-reservation sites so a reservation is needed and unless you book about six months ahead of time you'll probably be out of luck. We did book our Christmas reservations as soon as we could but weren't able to get the spots we normally get every year because there was such a crowd waiting to hit the "send" button on their computers when reservations opened up.

BTW, Davis Mountains State Park is a nice place to stay if visiting the McDonald Observatory, but some of the same problems getting into State Parks because of COVID. Need reservations, need to be made WAY ahead of time, and the parks are usually almost empty because of the COVID restriction hysteria.

DougE

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Posted: 02/19/21 06:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Normally I avoid spring break and Easter but I have a student that wants to see west Texas. I was hoping with the pandemic that there would be fewer travelers this spring.

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Posted: 02/19/21 09:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe stay at Lajitas and a day trip to the park.

Lost Alaskan at Alpine is a good base. If you can get reservations for Carlsbad, I understand it is not crowded.

Yes, there will be fewer travelers, but they will overwhelm the available spots at the National Park, state parks at Fort Davis and Balmorhea. Might check on Monahans SP. I found the dunes interesting.

My experience with NM state parks this past summer was unpleasant, them being closed suddenly, and the reservation fee that they kept for each reservation. Not sure staying in NM would be a good idea.

wapiticountry

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Posted: 02/20/21 08:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DougE wrote:

Normally I avoid spring break and Easter but I have a student that wants to see west Texas. I was hoping with the pandemic that there would be fewer travelers this spring.
Could very well be more travelers than usual since travel out of the country is still very much limited and people want to go somewhere.

LindaAnn

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Posted: 03/05/21 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know about restrictions, but Big Bend is one of our favorite places to visit.

We have stayed at an RV park at the junction of Hwys 118 and 170...I think they are listed with Big Bend Resort and Adventures. 170 goes to Terlingua. On hwy 118, south of the RV park is Cottonwood General Store...you can find almost all grocery items.

This RV park is a short drive from the entrance to Big Bend park.

The last time we went, we took a little trip to Boquillas, Mexico...crossed the Rio Grande in boats, rode donkeys the 1 mile to the village. We ate lunch at one of the 2 restaurants...great Mexican food, friendly people selling handmade trinkets. Of course, passports are required. Really great experience.





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