Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Creeks and Washes

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Offline Cisco Kid

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Creeks and Washes
« on: November 23, 2016, 10:14:21 AM »
Anyone ever drive the creeks and washes there? I drove Alamito creek from Old Maverick south of Luna for a few miles until the creek squeezed down and was block by some good sized Moab rocks and then another trip from Study Butte to Terlingua Creek out side the park almost to the Gage Station and turned around.  You don't see much from the bottom and have to stop to climb out and look around.

Cisco
if it works don't fix it

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Offline CC

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 10:19:39 AM »
I'm pretty sure that driving the creeks and washes is not allowed.  In the national park vehicles are required to stay on the roads.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 10:29:30 AM by CC »

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Offline Robert

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 12:15:58 PM »
Not cool.
Backcountry Regulations

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Motorized vehicles and bicycles are permitted only on designated public roads.
Off-road vehicle travel causes visual and environmental damage.

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Offline Cisco Kid

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 01:00:53 PM »
Actually it is allowed.
I  ask before I did it. You cannot drive off of established roads but the creeks and washes can be driven. As they get flooded all the time no damage is done by driving them. But I will never do it alone again.
When you get to Park  HQ just ask.
if it works don't fix it

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 08:50:04 PM »
I don't think so.  If that were true I could drive my F150 down Tornillo Creek from the Fossil Bone Exhibit down to Banta Shut In and never have to hike at all.  Driving off road in the National Park is not allowed and for good reason.  What you did was wrong and you should not do it again.   It ruins the entire park experience for you to be driving cross-country down arroyo's and riverbeds both for you and for other visitors.  Get out of your jeep and get on your feet!   TWWG

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Offline Cisco Kid

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 09:23:30 PM »
Thank you all for your input, lesson learned.
if it works don't fix it

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Offline Buck

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 09:16:00 AM »
Would this fall under procedures for "parking" when zone camping?
"Hey, how 'bout a Fandango..?"

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Offline Cisco Kid

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2017, 05:59:13 PM »
I know the is an old thread, but went out in March and ask again at park HQ  if I could drive Alamito Creek south of Luna's to the Castalon-Santa Elena road and was advised that I could as it was in a creek bottom that was modified by rain fall and would leave no trace, so I did with a total of three Jeeps.
So thanks to all that replied.
if it works don't fix it

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Offline badknees

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2017, 06:59:50 PM »
While I don't doubt your word, I may doubt the response from "HQ". This goes against every published regulation I have every seen. Some of the staff have been known to relay incorrect information. Given the layered regulatory atmosphere in the park, this is a highly unusual response. I'm going to ask the next time I go.
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline Al

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2017, 04:23:54 PM »
That is in stark contrast to my understanding.

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2017, 07:14:55 PM »
So...how was the drive?

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2017, 08:48:52 PM »
That is in stark contrast to my understanding.

It's also way too logical for the NPS ...

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Offline dprather

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 11:12:28 AM »
This is an interesting thread because it stretches between common sense and the uncommon sense of some regulations: which "sense" will win?

It seems to me (drum roll) that tires churning up the bed of a watercourse might accelerate erosion or possibly redirect erosion into more destructive patterns.

Also, take a look at the fields, woods, and pastures on which free use of off-road vehicles is allowed.  Those areas are ruined.  We do not want the Bend to be ruined.  Cisco is probably very cautious and reasonable, but, obviously, many off-roaders are not.

If it's not a regulation, it ought to be.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 11:33:00 AM »
I'm sure Cisco Kid is accurately reporting what he was told and therefore wasn't intentionally violating any rules, and was in fact proceeding with the actual blessing of some subset of the BiBe personnel. But, wow, this seems like a wrongheaded activity. It's so tempting that, if legal, I could see it quickly getting out of hand with heavy 4x4 or dirt bike usage in the washes. I agree with Dprather that the longterm effects on the ecosystem would be unpredictable, but likely negative. That said, outside the park is a totally different world, and I imagine the legalities and protections are a lot looser. If anyone gets further clarification from the NPS, please post here.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline badknees

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Re: Creeks and Washes
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2017, 01:18:57 PM »
This is what has always been the written regulation from the NPS.....Looks pretty clear to me. If someone at HQ told me I could drive in a wash, I'd ask for it in writing...signed and dated. Good luck with that.

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In addition to protecting yourself, you are also responsible for protecting and preserving the resources of the park. Stay on the established roadways. Off-road vehicle travel is not allowed. Ground or wood fires are also prohibited. Collecting rocks, plants, animals, artifacts, or any other park resources is illegal.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
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