I have camped in many national parks. From Denali and Kenai Fjords in Alaska, to Yosemite, Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon (among many others). I enjoy visiting the parks, camping and photographing each of them.
However, if someone was to ask me what is my favorite park campground, I have to say Cottonwood Campground in Big Bend National Park is the best. Yes, better than any of the campgrounds in the other parks. It is not that the parks are bad, but most of the other parks are so crowded that the camping there is tough. Want to stay in a Yellowstone campground? Make a reservation weeks or months in advance.
Cottonwood is different. It is a much more quiet and relaxed experience in a great park in the middle of some of the best photography spots.
It is shady from the namesake cottonwood trees. The sites are spaced out so you do not have the next camper right on top of you. It is isolated from the rest of the park. So isolated that you are less than 100 yards from Mexico. It is quiet here as there are no generators allowed which keeps out the big RV's. Finally it is close to some great photography locations.
All of that adds up to a fantastic place to camp.
It is my home away from home in the desert and I always look forward to staying here.
I arrived in February to find my favorite site was available and set up my tent.
Here is a view of the campground as twilight fades into night. A few fellow campers enjoying the cool quiet of the desert in the best campground in the entire NPS.