Review of Basecamp Terlingua at Big Bend National Park

Casa Adobe at Basecamp Terlingua near Big Bend National Park, Texas

Basecamp Terlingua is a collection of accommodations sprawled on a huge plot of land, just off highway 170. Every accommodation has plenty of space around it for privacy, although you never feel 100% alone which is kind of a good thing, honestly. I’m not sure how alone I would care to find myself in the wide open desert.

Beautiful views of Big Bend from Basecamp Terlingua
Basecamp Terlingua felt private, but not spooky private.

At the turnoff from highway 170, there is a cool coffee shop called Venga. This is a good landmark to spot the turn as the road itself is a dusty caliche affair that is easy to miss.

The road leading to Basecamp Terlingua
Basecamp Terlingua is on a wide open plot of land, just off highway 170.

Basecamp Terlingua has several different accommodation types. You can camp in a tent on one of their sites. Or you can stay in a bubble, which looks like a big beach ball, or a lotus tent, which is basically a yurt. You can also stay in a teepee (they spell it tipi, but I’m going to stick with teepee; my blog, my spelling!) or a casita, which is just a little cabin and probably the least camping-style of them all. That’s where we stayed. 🙂

Casa Adobe at Basecamp Terlingua.

Casa Adobe at Basecamp Terlingua

Our casita was called Casa Adobe and it had indoor plumbing, a full kitchen, and even an outdoor shower! Most of the other accommodations have shared bathrooms and partial kitchens (microwave and keurig). Casa Adobe also had a firepit and a grill with outside seating.

Casa Adobe at Basecamp Terlingua
There was a bubble across from our casa, but the privacy wall kept it well hidden.

We were able to access the casita via a door code that was emailed to us a day before arrival. Despite other accommodations around us, Casa Adobe felt very private. It did face one of the bubbles but there was a privacy wall around the bubble that really helped. The other side of the casa was at the bottom of a low hill. Behind the hill, in a shallow valley, were the teepees and the lotus tents so we couldn’t see them at all from our place.

Casa Adobe had a well-stocked kitchen including a large water filter.

The inside of the cabin was comfortable, with a king sized bed and a pullout couch. The kitchen had most things to cook with, although we were missing a can opener and had to have bean-less breakfast tacos on the first morning. They brought one over promptly after I sent an email the next day. There were ants in the kitchen, and they got into our bag of jalapeño chips which made us sad but the ants seemed happy at least.

The adobe walls and concrete floor gave a rustic feel to hotel-quality accommodations.

The absolute best part of the cabin was the outdoor shower. We never once used the shower inside. That alone should tell you something about how good the privacy at Basecamp Terlingua was.

We’d almost come back here just for the outdoor shower.

While propane for the grill is provided, you will need to bring your own firewood for the fire pit. We roasted marshmallows, and enjoyed a perfect view of the night sky looking toward Big Bend. Even after our fire had gone out, we didn’t get to see many stars because the moon was pretty bright. We did see a shooting star though, and a lunar halo.

Mediocre photo of an amazing lunar halo. We saw a solar halo the next day, which is more rare.

Basecamp Terlingua is about an hour’s drive into Big Bend, which isn’t ideal. But a climate-controlled place to rest our heads, and a full kitchen to make meals after a full day of hiking, made the long drive a trade-off we were willing to take.

Terlingua Ghost Town

While far from Big Bend, Basecamp Terlingua is just around the corner from Terlingua ghost town. I thought we’d spend more time there, but it is very small. It is less like a town and more like a long gravel driveway leading to that one neighbor’s house who keeps just a little too much lawn decor, and has a few broken down RV’s in his front yard.

Terlingua ghost town
This is about the entirety of Terlingua ghost town.

It is fun for what it is – an actual ghost town with a few little eateries and campsites. But if you come all the way out to Big Bend and don’t make it to Terlingua ghost town, that’s probably okay.

We heard good things about the food at Starlight Theatre but at 7pm on Saturday there was a 1.5 hour wait. We ate at their limited-menu outdoor cantina instead. Our queso, guacamole, and salsa badly needed salt. We split an impossible burger which was either cooked amazingly to taste like real meat, or was in fact, a real meat hamburger.

Starlight Cantina had nice outdoor vibes, and no wait!

Groceries near Basecamp Terlingua

You can buy almost any groceries or sundries you need at Cottonwood General, including firewood. The store is just about 6 miles away from Basecamp Terlingua on highway 118. Whatever you buy here will cost you a pretty penny, of course, but it’s nice to have the option!

They have a good grocery selection but no meat alternatives. If you’re a vegetarian and want something like smart dogs or beyond meat, you will not find it here. I’d recommend grocery shopping in a bigger town and bringing as much with you as you can.

Final Thoughts About Basecamp Terlingua

Overall, we were happy with our accommodations at Casa Adobe in Basecamp Terlingua. If you’re looking for comfort and privacy, and don’t mind a long drive into Big Bend, this is the place for you. Communication both before our stay and responsiveness during our stay was top notch.

The two biggest drawbacks were how far it is from Big Bend and the price. Other accommodations here were more reasonably priced, but Casa Adobe itself wasn’t particularly cheap. However, given the level of comfort we enjoyed in the middle of the desert, it was a pretty fair value, especially compared to the accommodations I experienced in another desert land much, much further away.

Dawn at Casa Adobe in Basecamp Terlingua
It doesn’t get much better than a pre-dawn cup of coffee with mountain views.

Anything else you want to know about Big Bend accommodations? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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