Big Bend Chat

Random Bits from the Outside World => 4x4 => Topic started by: BlindWilly on August 20, 2014, 09:20:08 AM

Title: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on August 20, 2014, 09:20:08 AM
Hi Folks,
I'm joining a group from the FJ forums for a week between Xmas and New years in BBNP and BBRSP.
It'll be my first time out that way and I'm curious as to what some of the more challenging roads are out there.
I've heard of Black Gap and I think we are planning on doing that one of the days.
The Road to nowhere sounds intruiging as does Cerro de Burras.
How would y'all rate those?
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: ds9writer on August 20, 2014, 03:18:38 PM
The first few miles of Black Gap Road have some interesting rough spots - you may have to be guided a couple times.  Nothing major though.

The famous canyon has been mostly concreted over (not sure when), so it's not as bad as the other spots, IMO.  After that section, it's smooth sailing all the way to where it joins River Road.

(http://i650.photobucket.com/albums/uu230/ds9writer/Big%20Bend%20NP%20Spring%202013/IMG_7341-1.jpg) (http://s650.photobucket.com/user/ds9writer/media/Big%20Bend%20NP%20Spring%202013/IMG_7341-1.jpg.html)
Jeep is on the concrete - only a few boulders left to climb...

We're actually traveling south to north in this picture, so you'd have to climb the boulders going the other way -- but still not so bad...

Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: DuneYeti on August 21, 2014, 09:42:14 AM
Seems like I read last year the Road to Nowhere was washed out and you couldn’t get to the other side of nowhere. Even with that there is plenty to keep you busy in BBRSP.  Check out some you-tube on it. 
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: Jonathan Sadow on September 29, 2014, 03:06:16 AM
You might be referring to the trip report that I made for my trip to BBRSP in April 2013.  The main part of the Road to Nowhere is actually not that bad.  It is, however, quite narrow and in some places has a steep drop-off.  There are two spur roads that go northward from the mostly east-west path of the main road and join about 0.2 miles away.  The east one is indeed washed out and essentially gone, but the west one remains, although it is very steep and rocky.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on November 11, 2014, 12:50:03 PM
Looks like we will be camping in Rancho Topanga in about 6 more weeks :)
The person coordinating the trip has said Black Gap is one of the runs and maybe Christmas Mountain?
I'm seriously looking forward to this trip as I've never been out this way before.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: Bluedog on November 11, 2014, 05:20:52 PM
We did the Road to Nowhere early in October. The road had not been traversed for a long time as the roadway was covered in grass. There are a couple of spots where you need to be careful, but overall, it was not a problem. We camped at Los Papalotes as well and if you have four wheel drive and good tires, minimum of Load range "D", you should not have any problems.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: The Scorpion on November 11, 2014, 06:43:02 PM
I did Black Gap in my wifes FJ and had zero problems or issues.  I am NOT a off roader either. LIke ds9writer said, there are a few spots, but going slow and easy will get you through.

One area in particular not too far after you pass the Glenn Spring 1 Camp site going south/West there is bit of a drop off to the left so you have to hug high right and then you get to look straight down. Well not really, but thats the only place I puckered. After that it was a breeze. Then again, it had not rained in a while when I was there so it was dry and fairly flat
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on December 12, 2014, 01:39:47 PM
2 Weeks from right now I will hopefully be at least 3/4 of the way there from Arlington!
All that's left to do is shop for food, pack up the FJ before Xmas and stop driving my wife crazy about my trip. HAHA
I found out there will be more than FJ's in our group. We'll have a few Jeeps and one Nissan Pathfinder Armada.
Should be a fun group to visit the parks this year.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: ds9writer on December 12, 2014, 01:53:39 PM
Quote
One area in particular not too far after you pass the Glenn Spring 1 Camp site going south/West there is bit of a drop off to the left so you have to hug high right and then you get to look straight down.

I posted a video of this particular section (I think it's what you were talking about) in another thread, but posting it here again so you don't have to hunt for it...

http://youtu.be/INEP8Qly2Eg

That part starts at around 0:36

very shaky, but my son was trying to video, guide me and not trip over boulders all at the same time   :icon_lol:
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on December 19, 2014, 04:36:16 PM
You weren't kidding! That is shakey! lol
Still, looks like fun! I  can't wait :)
Wife got me a go pro hero and a roof rack mount, so i'll have some video of  our group.
This is what I'll be driving.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on January 05, 2015, 02:57:01 PM
Well I have to say what an AMAZING time I had out in Big Bend!
I hit everything on my offroading wish list and more!
The Road to Nowhere is a fantastic trip. Although the drop offs were there, I only had 1 or 2 spots that put a hole in my seat covers. One was a washout on a sharp turn that I swore my back tire was heading into... I went too far left and scraped my rock slider on the rocks!  haha. Otherwise a highly recommended trail!
Black Gap was a great ride through the park. We went North to South and there were a few washouts and narrow points on the trail. Nothing I couldn't handle. Great Views of the park for sure. We ended up taking River Road East back up to Glenn Springs then up to the main road. We stopped at Mariscal Mines too... I climbed to the top of that ridge!
My last Day we drove up to the top of Christmas Mountain from Terlingua Ranch. Another amazing trail for sure!!!  Again, a few spots that ripped holes in the seat cover but coming down those same spots were nothing. That is a trail you need to do if you haven't done so.
Nowhere and Christmas Mountain are definitely short wheelbase vehicle trails for sure, Black Gap not so much.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on January 05, 2015, 03:01:21 PM
Here's a few video's I made of my adventure :)

Nowhere:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RTjpX-SVzo

Black Gap Road
https://youtu.be/ObjX0-sLrXw


Christmas Mountain (Going up)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyTz0QmfXbQ&list=UUHuPsOE_xwxwDCgCwFLA2Fw

Going down is almost done! I just need to finish editing and uploading it.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: Apache on January 05, 2015, 03:08:11 PM
BlindWilly,

In that bottom photo, is that the top of Christmas Mtn? (Or Nowhere?).  And also, is the road to the top of Christmas Mountain private or public?
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: steelfrog on January 05, 2015, 03:28:02 PM
You have to do a short hike to the top of Christmas Mountain from the end of the road.  It is private; operated I think by the Nature Conservancy through Terlingua Ranch; there's a gate and lock; one party at a time up there; go to TR, pay like $5 or something; get the key to the gate; drive up there.  You can always hike the road, which I have done.  Also, while at TR, Bad Rabbit Cafe has the best breakfast and some of the best food in the area
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: Apache on January 05, 2015, 03:37:52 PM
Thanks Steelfrog, and i saw the video that corresponds to the bottom picture Blindwilly, thanks for posting.

I've done roads at BBRSP and always thought Road to Nowhere was more difficult than that, but it didn't look that bad in the video.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on January 30, 2015, 02:22:09 PM
BlindWilly,

In that bottom photo, is that the top of Christmas Mtn? (Or Nowhere?).  And also, is the road to the top of Christmas Mountain private or public?
Apache, it is the top of Christmas Mountain. The road is private. Our group coordinater went through the folks at Terlingua Ranch to get us access. I believe they allow drives up there as long as the trail is in decent shape. They wouldn't allow a lifted Chevy Tahoe and a Nissan Armada up there, as they were "too wide".
I think they both would have done just fine that day.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on January 30, 2015, 02:28:28 PM
Here's the "Down Christmas Mountain" I mentioned earlier.
I mounted the camera on a friends FJ and he took off like a bat out of hell, HAHA. Had to radio him and remind him to slow down.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zySnyPIW_u4

EDIT: I have since fixed the link to the correct video. This is Glenn Springs Rd heading back north-ish.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrYzlXF6D00


And Lastly, a short vid from the Mariscal Mine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYP_aubu2N4
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: tusker on January 30, 2015, 05:23:44 PM
Great Christmas tunes, Willy!
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on February 04, 2015, 10:27:05 AM
Great Christmas tunes, Willy!
Thank you, thank you :)
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on September 11, 2015, 01:16:56 PM
About a month ago I re-edited a couple of my videos.
The first one is Black Gap Road (1 complete video instead of 2 parts now)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NhNMm6I-5A
The other is a "Highlights" of BBRSP offroading
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmkaHuQdnZs
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: horns93 on August 28, 2017, 01:10:57 PM
I just picked this up last week. I can't wait to introduce it to Big Bend NP!

Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on August 28, 2017, 02:02:47 PM
That's a good looking FJ!
It's the perfect vehicle for that part of the state.
Title: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: Slimkitty on August 28, 2017, 02:23:17 PM
I just picked this up last week. I can't wait to introduce it to Big Bend NP!

Boy, those FJs really have some grip !


Sent from the future.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: iCe on August 29, 2017, 07:19:41 PM
Nice! I almost bought an FJ but went with a 100 series instead. I'm glad that you put the videos out. I was wondering what the difficulty of Black Gap is for a long time. Not bad at all. I expected something like the alpine loop in Colorado.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: rocketman on August 29, 2017, 08:52:06 PM
I was wondering what the difficulty of Black Gap is for a long time. Not bad at all. I expected something like the alpine loop in Colorado.
Heavens no. Black Gap is basically a single obstacle - a very short semi-steep drop (or step depending on direction), with a few nice turns and rocky bits. Nothing at all like the numerous crossings, gullies, and switchbacks offered on the Loop.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: iCe on August 29, 2017, 09:07:14 PM
I was wondering what the difficulty of Black Gap is for a long time. Not bad at all. I expected something like the alpine loop in Colorado.
Heavens no. Black Gap is basically a single obstacle - a very short semi-steep drop (or step depending on direction), with a few nice turns and rocky bits. Nothing at all like the numerous crossings, gullies, and switchbacks offered on the Loop.


Yeah, It's been a few years but I went over Ophir Pass in my '08 Silverado 4WD. There was some snow so it was a little interesting. Prior to that I started up Engineer Pass but it had rained a lot earlier in the month and the silt between the rocks was gone. So after picking my way rock to rock for 45m and not even getting a mile into it I bailed and went back. A year later I had my LC and this time the snow was more like ice crust from the constant freeze thaw cycles it had endured. We didn't get to do the loop that year either. This year I will be there all of September so some weekend I'll get to do the loop.


Black Gap was my last hope for having some adventure in Texas :) Ah well... that's what Utah and Colorado are for I guess. Still worth taking a drive though
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: Jalco on August 29, 2017, 10:32:58 PM
Black Gap was my last hope for having some adventure in Texas :) Ah well... that's what Utah and Colorado are for I guess. Still worth taking a drive though

I think you'll enjoy Utah & Colorado much more.  My son and I drove Black Gap a few years back.   We're not 4-wheelers by any stretch of the imagination and we were underwhelmed.  The hike out to Elephant Tusk and back was more eventful.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: presidio on August 29, 2017, 11:39:01 PM
Black Gap was my last hope for having some adventure in Texas :) Ah well... that's what Utah and Colorado are for I guess. Still worth taking a drive though

I think you'll enjoy Utah & Colorado much more.  My son and I drove Black Gap a few years back.   We're not 4-wheelers by any stretch of the imagination and we were underwhelmed.  The hike out to Elephant Tusk and back was more eventful.

Black Gap is an over-hyped, non-event for anyone having even low-moderate 4WD skills. It is so unremarkable that it doesn't even register among the tens of thousands of other places across the west that present actual challenges to navigation. Chalk it up to the usual NPS practice of making things sound more daring than they are and blowing things out of proportion to actual conditions.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on August 30, 2017, 09:36:03 AM
Black Gap was my last hope for having some adventure in Texas :) Ah well... that's what Utah and Colorado are for I guess. Still worth taking a drive though

I think you'll enjoy Utah & Colorado much more.  My son and I drove Black Gap a few years back.   We're not 4-wheelers by any stretch of the imagination and we were underwhelmed.  The hike out to Elephant Tusk and back was more eventful.


Black Gap is an over-hyped, non-event for anyone having even low-moderate 4WD skills. It is so unremarkable that it doesn't even register among the tens of thousands of other places across the west that present actual challenges to navigation. Chalk it up to the usual NPS practice of making things sound more daring than they are and blowing things out of proportion to actual conditions.

Agreed.  While driving Black Gap I asked a buddy where the hard part was at.
He replied "You come out here for the incredible views, not the 4 wheeling".
The State Park has better trails and some of them are a little challenging.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDA2DI88_9Y&t=5s
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: horns93 on August 30, 2017, 09:45:33 AM
Nice! I almost bought an FJ but went with a 100 series instead. I'm glad that you put the videos out. I was wondering what the difficulty of Black Gap is for a long time. Not bad at all. I expected something like the alpine loop in Colorado.

Very cool! I went the opposite route. I searched high and low for a solid 60-62, then went through several 80s before I gave up.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: iCe on August 30, 2017, 10:30:16 AM

Agreed.  While driving Black Gap I asked a buddy where the hard part was at.
He replied "You come out here for the incredible views, not the 4 wheeling".
The State Park has better trails and some of them are a little challenging.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDA2DI88_9Y&t=5s


That's Big Bend... full of great views. I was in Crow and Largo canyon (east of Farmington) weekend before last. There are places in the canyons that are very similar to what I saw in your Black Gap video. I've been on parts of the Alpine loop. The views there are unrivaled :)
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: iCe on August 30, 2017, 10:35:10 AM
Nice! I almost bought an FJ but went with a 100 series instead. I'm glad that you put the videos out. I was wondering what the difficulty of Black Gap is for a long time. Not bad at all. I expected something like the alpine loop in Colorado.

Very cool! I went the opposite route. I searched high and low for a solid 60-62, then went through several 80s before I gave up.


I've got almost 200k miles on my 2000 vintage 100 series. I do oil analysis (Blackstone Labs) every time I change fluids. Every report comes back- do more miles, the oil and engine looks great. I've taken it up to 12k miles with the same result. I change it at 9-10k now. It's a solid vehicle and I can work on it when it needs something. I drove home from Farmington (to Weimar) on the Sunday after Harvey landed. 17 hours straight thru. I can take it on the Alpine loop or drive it on the highway for 17 hours. I kind of like that. I just wish it was a little bigger and... I wish my grandson would stop calling it a minivan  :icon_wink: :willynilly: :icon_lol: 
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: RichardM on August 30, 2017, 10:18:05 PM
I've got almost 200k miles on my 2000 vintage 100 series. .. I wish my grandson would stop calling it a minivan  :icon_wink: :willynilly: :icon_lol:
Pics, please.
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: BlindWilly on September 01, 2017, 09:34:03 AM
I would love a 60 or 80 Series.  Who am I kidding, I'd love a 100 or 200 series too, haha.
But I'm very happy with what I have, it works for me as my wife isn't outdoorsy.

I've yet to get to hit the Colorado trails, but it's on my bucket list to do Black Bear Pass.

Tell him you've got the coolest ( I think they say "Sickest") Mini-Van in history!
Title: Re: FJ's in Big Bend!
Post by: horns93 on September 07, 2017, 06:05:32 PM
iCe,

I don't doubt it. If you find a good one and take care of it they run like a champ.