Can You Fly A Drone in Big Bend National Park? (Answered)


In this blog post, we’ll explore the question, “Is drone flying allowed in Big Bend National Park?”.

So, let’s jump in and discover everything you need to know — regulations, penalties (if any) and safety tips to keep in mind!

Can You Fly A Drone in Big Bend National Park

Can You Fly a Drone in Big Bend National Park?

No, flying a drone in Big Bend National Park is not allowed without proper authorization. There are strict regulations regarding drone flights to ensure public safety and protect privacy. According to the regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), individuals must obtain specific permits and licenses to fly drones in certain areas or for commercial purposes. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal consequences. It is crucial to thoroughly understand and adhere to drone laws before attempting to fly a drone.

Overview of Drone Regulations

Let’s take a look at some of the key points for drone regulations:

Maximum Altitude Limits

The National Park Service strictly prohibits drone usage for recreational purposes, preventing aerial videography or photography, to preserve natural tranquility, protect wildlife, and ensure the safety of visitors.

Distance Restrictions

Unmanned aircraft systems, including drones, are not permitted within park boundaries due to potential disruption of wildlife, visitor experience, and safety concerns. Compliance with regulations ensures the preservation of natural and cultural resources.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

Drones, due to their potential to disturb wildlife and visitors, are outright banned. Their usage, regardless of purpose, is not permitted, ensuring the preservation of natural tranquility and preventing unwanted disturbances.

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

The National Park Service prohibits drone usage to maintain privacy, protect wildlife, and prevent potential disturbances. This rule applies universally, thereby excluding any scope for unmanned aircraft systems deployment or operation, with no exceptions.

Commercial Operations

Drones are strictly prohibited to preserve the park’s natural soundscape, protect wildlife, and to avoid potential safety hazards. This rule applies to all, including commercial operations, without any exceptions.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

If you violate drone regulations, you could be subject to some pretty hefty penalties. These can range from monetary fines to more serious consequences. Financially, you might be looking at a penalty of up to $27,500 for civil cases. However, if it’s considered a criminal offense, the fines can shoot up to $250,000.

But the penalties don’t just stop at fines. For severe violations, you might even face imprisonment. The duration can vary, but it can be as long as up to three years. It’s also important to note that these penalties can apply to both recreational and commercial drone pilots. So, adherence to the rules and regulations set by the National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration is important for anyone operating a drone.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night in Big Bend National Park?

No, you cannot fly your drone at night in Big Bend National Park. The park has a strict policy prohibiting drone use at all times, including nighttime, to protect its wildlife and preserve the tranquility of the natural environment.

Can You Bring a Drone to Big Bend National Park?

No, you cannot bring a drone to Big Bend National Park. The park prohibits the use of drones to protect wildlife and ensure the peace and tranquility for all visitors. Violators may face penalties.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Fly a Drone in Big Bend National Park?

Yes, you need a permit to fly a drone in Big Bend National Park. However, it’s important to note that drone use is generally prohibited in all national parks, including Big Bend, regardless of whether you have a license or permit.


Before you launch your drone into the Big Bend National Park skies, it’s crucial to understand the area’s drone laws and regulations.

This applies not only to Big Bend National Park but also to other destinations around the world. For example, if you’re heading to Stone Mountain Park, it’s important to know the specific rules and guidelines for drone flying there. Similarly, if you have dreams of capturing breathtaking footage of Dominican Republic or exploring drone opportunities around Jamaica, it’s essential to be aware of the local drone regulations in those locations as well.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

So, whether you’re planning a leisurely flight or engaging in commercial drone operations, make sure to fly responsibly, and stay informed.

Resources and Further Information:

Photo of author
Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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