As if Austinites need another reason to visit West Texas, a new glamping experience is bubbling up just outside of Big Bend National Park. Located in the small town of Terlingua, Basecamp Terlingua offers luxury vacation rentals that are far from typical accommodations.
When planning a visit to Basecamp Terlingua, choose from one of four types of rooms: a Lotus tent, tipi, casita, or bubble, which are the real showstoppers.
From the outside, the 225-square-foot inflatable bubble rooms may look otherworldly, but on the inside, it’s all luxury. Each bubble has a queen-size bed, air conditioning and heat, WiFi, a mini-fridge, and a coffee maker. Plus, they come with an attached indoor bathroom for ultimate convenience.
By far the best feature of the bubbles, however, is the transparent material, which means guests can get amazing views of the wide-open West Texas skies from the comfort of their own bed. But don't worry about privacy. While the bubbles are see-through, they’re positioned out of sight of the other dwellings on the property.
“Our goal is to create a unique lodging experience for visitors to the area,” says Jeff Leach, owner of Basecamp Terlingua. “Our lodging options are designed to maximize our stunning sunrises and sunsets.”
Different in size and amenities, the Lotus tents and tipis offer their own special glamping experiences. Reaching 16 feet in height, the 202-square-foot Lotus tents also come furnished with a queen-size bed.
The 400-square-foot tipis are a bit more spacious, with a king-size bed as well as a couch that folds out to a double bed. The most rustic tipi, the 180-square foot Nomad, offers a double bed and a private detached bathhouse.
Along with the bubbles, all of the other accommodation types at Basecamp Terlingua also have internet service to keep guests connected — even all the way out there in the expansive Chihuahuan Desert.
Rounding out the experience are hiking, walking, and Jeep tours provided by Basecamp Terlingua. Tours are led by guides certified by the National Park Service and with Wilderness Advanced First Aid training.
One of the most popular tours is the four-hour Santa Elena Canyon tour, which takes hikers around “some of the ‘must-see’ spots.” The three-hour Terlingua Ghost Town and Indian Head tour, a family-friendly option that showcases the Native American petroglyphs and pictographs in the area along with the town’s mining history, is also a favorite.
Those looking for something more off-the-beaten-path (literally) may be interested in the Ernst Tinaja and Historic Old Ore Road tour. This four-hour excursion bounds along on an unpaved road mostly inaccessible to tourists (it requires a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle) and into the backcountry where guests will find a large waterhole surrounded by picturesque rock formations.
When discussing why Basecamp Terlingua is the ultimate way to experience West Texas, Leach explains, “It’s about being outdoors. It’s about connecting with the landscape. And that’s what we try and do at Basecamp.”
Another bubble is set to be added by the end of this year. Referred to as Bubble X, this structure will have its own living room module, shaded exterior seating, and private hot tub. Bubble X bookings for December 1 onward are now available on the website.