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Restrooms when on trails

1 post
Restrooms when on trails


We are two families travelling to Big Bend over the long weekend in May. We have two kids with us, a 2.5 year old and a 3.5 year old, We have reserved nights at Big Bend Resorts and Adventures. I have the following questions:

1) The 3.5 year old is potty trained. So what I want to know if say, if we set out on a trail to say, st elena then how is the frequency of restrooms and how is the condition of the restrooms? Or say if we take some other hike, then what is the situation of the restrooms? Are there any on every trail? Are they clean, ina usable condition and should I expect any desert critters?

2) how is the Big Bend Resorts and Adventures cafe? Can someone tell me what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner there?

3) any other tips that you all want to give us.

Thankyou so much!!

5 replies to this topic
Kingston, TN
Level Contributor
123 posts
229 reviews
1. Re: Restrooms when on trails

If you have not already read reviews on Trip Advisor, perhaps these might help concerning the Cafe and accommodations:

Trip Advisor reviews of Big Bend Resort and Adventures Cafe: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Revie…

Trip Advisor reviews of Big Bend Resort and Adventures: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g56…

Here is the link to my Review of Santa Elena Canyon: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-…

There was a restroom at the parking area for the Santa Elena Canyon Trail. Most likely a pit toilet type, although I can't remember for sure.

Tyler, Texas
Level Contributor
8,133 posts
104 reviews
2. Re: Restrooms when on trails


Level Contributor
125 posts
11 reviews
3. Re: Restrooms when on trails

As the earlier poster said, there's a restroom at the parking area at the beginning of the Santa Elena Canyon trail. It's a permanent structure with what I believe are composting toilets. So no running water, but I recall thinking they were relatively clean and well-maintained. No toilets on the trail itself, but it's pretty short anyway so as long as everyone takes care of business before you start the hike, you should be all right.

The availability of toilets varies quite a bit depending on the trail. Many trails, especially the less popular ones farther from a visitors' center, will have no facilities. For the Lost Mine trail, I don't think there are any toilets either at the parking area or on the trail so I just had to find a convenient bush. Be aware that vegetation in many parts of Big Bend can be sparse, so finding a private place to go can be challenging. On the other hand, you often have the trail all to yourself so there's that.

If you buy the National Geographic map at one of the visitors' centers or from Amazon, I believe that marks the location of every restroom. My wife found that useful when we were hiking the South Rim Loop trail.

Lake Jackson...
Level Contributor
106 posts
210 reviews
4. Re: Restrooms when on trails

Unless you are carrying the kids in packs, I'm assuming you plan very short walks. As already noted, most trails do not have toilets. The Santa Elena trailhead has a pit toilet in the parking area. I think there are portapotties at Boquillas Canyon, but don't remember for sure. S. Rim Trail has 3 toilets spaced along its route, but I don't see you doing that trail with 2/3 y/o kids. In general, if you expect an issue, be prepared to pack it out. i.e., carry Ziploc bags, toilet paper and/or wipes on your hikes.

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
4,997 posts
842 reviews
5. Re: Restrooms when on trails


As mentioned previously, there are restrooms at the parking lots for Boquillas Canyon and Santa Elena Canyon.

We hiked to the Window Trail in four hours. There was no restroom on the Window Trail.

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