Big Bend Chat
The Big Bend Review => Backcountry Campsites => Topic started by: RichardM on February 04, 2013, 04:34:01 PM
Five primitive campsites are located along the Grapevine Hills Road. This road is generally passable for most vehicles to the Grapevine Hills trailhead.
Site Name GH-1 GH-2 GH-3 GH-4 GH-5
Vehicles 3 2 2 2 2
Persons 20 6 6 6 6
Horses no no no no no
How to Get There
The Grapevine Hills Road begins 3.3 miles west of the Panther Junction Visitor Center along the north side of the road. Site number 1 (Government Spring) is located 100 yards from the pavement. GH-2,3 are located approximately 4 miles from the pavement. GH 4,5 are located 7.2 miles from the pavement at the very end of the Grapevine Hills Road.
Usual Road Conditions
Although there may be a few rough spots, the Grapevine Hills Road is generally accessible to all vehicles at least to GH-2,3. After the Grapevine Hills Trailhead (7 miles) the road is rough and GH-4,5 usually require a high clearance vehicles. Ask a Park Ranger for the latest road conditions.
Current road conditions...
No shade at any of these campsites. Minimal ground cover at GH-1,2,3. Moderate ground cover at GH-4 and GH-5. GH-5 is surrounded by a thicket of vegetation.
Government Spring is located near GH-1. Good views of the Grapevine Hills and distant mountains from GH-2,3,4,5. Grapevine Spring is located near GH-4,5. The Chisos Mountains can be seen from the entire length of the Grapevine Hills Road.
The road past the Grapevine Hills Trail (mile 7) usually requires high clearance.
The Grapevine Hills Trail is located approximately 7 miles from the pavement. This scenic trail covers 1.1 miles and ends at a spectacular balanced rock formation.
GH-1 (Government Spring) is a large site.
GH 2,3 are adjacent campsites with separate parking areas.
A backcountry use permit is required (available at visitor centers). Campers are responsible for regulations listed on the permit. Camping is in designated sites for minimal impact on the surrounding vegetation.
Picture from March 2012
A friend and I were camping here once. One morning we had just made our morning coffee when a bus pulled in and out poured a raft of school children. They didn't bother us, really, but it was a bit surreal. They were all on their way to Grapevine Hills; the bus either could not make it all the way to the trail head or, if it could, there was no easy place to turn it around.
The point is that this is a huge site and the reason it is so large (I'm guessing) is for the purpose of allowing buses to park and turn around.