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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps

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Offline jay

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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« on: March 28, 2007, 12:39:13 PM »
I'm heading to BIBE this Friday for about a week with the wife and two toddlers.  We would like to camp in a backcountry site with a VW Passat, and would like to find a site with as low as possible daytime temps.  I'm thinking either Paint Gap, Grapevine Hills, or Croton Spring.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
Jay

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Offline KDann

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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2007, 12:54:12 PM »
Me and my brother camped in Croton Springs the first of March, the weather was very nice. The temps during the day were about 75-80, and at night it was around 35-40. Croton springs sees alot of traffic though.

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SHANEA

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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2007, 01:07:06 PM »
You should be able to easily get to most of the Grapevine sites.

I'd steer clear of anything on the old ore road, Pine Canyon, and unless the river road is still in as pristine shape as my last whirlwind trip there - avoid it.  River road was in such good shape last trip that Edward Abbey and his caddy could have easily made it down there...   :D   the whole way...

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 01:17:59 PM »
Quote from: "jay"
I'm heading to BIBE this Friday for about a week with the wife and two toddlers.  We would like to camp in a backcountry site with a VW Passat, and would like to find a site with as low as possible daytime temps.  I'm thinking either Paint Gap, Grapevine Hills, or Croton Spring.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
Jay


give nine point draw a go...private, secluded, nearby hikes, easy to get to from road

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 02:49:28 PM »
Daytime temperatures at the backcountry drive-up sites won't vary too much across the park. The general rule of "higher elevation = lower daytime temperature" generally holds, but the difference probably won't be too noticeable. The backcountry sites do not have shade as most of us think of it, although there may be low hills and/or ground cover that can provide some relief from the setting sun. Generally, the sites are out in the open desert.

Nine Point Draw in particular has low hills to the west. The higher-numbered Grapevine sites are also partially protected by hillsides (as I recall). Paint Gap 4 is located in the Gap and is surrounded by hills.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline jay

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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 04:46:15 PM »
I was thinking of the "higher elevation = lower temp" rule when looking at sites.  It seems that the temps at RGV are usually higher than anywhere else, so was assuming the same all along the Rio.

I didn't consider nine-point draw because I was in the park 2 years ago in late april, planning on hiking Dog Canyon / Devils Den, but the ranger I talked to strongly suggested not to, due to the hot open desert hiking.  So we did two nights in the Chisos instead.  The rangers concern could have been because I had an 8-month old with.  Anyhow, while hiking the kids are in Kelty carriers with nice shade covers, and when we break we try to find a spot with shade.

If there is no noticable difference in temp between most sites, maybe I'll give nine-point draw a shot this time.  I'll have to convince my wife who is leary about it after what the ranger said.

I did just get a Kelty cartarp for shade at the campsite - looking forward to trying it out.

Thanks for the replies! - Jay

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Offline Roy

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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 06:36:05 PM »
I think Cottonwood Campground stays consistently cooler than RGV;  not sure why.  It's also normally less crowded than RGV or Chisos.  Not the same as a back country site, but might be worth a look if the heat gets to you.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2007, 09:45:42 PM »
I would try to get the Government Spring site off the Grapevine Hills Road.  This site has a pen for horses but it's rarely used for livestock these days and the metal railing could be used to help support a shade awning.  It's also close (but out of earshot) of the paved road and has some cover but nothing that could be called shade.    Some of the Grapevine Springs sites have shade nearby but not at the sites themselves.   I think 9-Point Draw would be relatively hotter and it's in a much less central portion of the Park.   With very small children like yours I think maybe it would be prudent to have a backup plan to camp in the Chisos Basin (much cooler and with good amenities) or at Cottonwood (shade but isolated and few amenities).   The wife and kids would probably prefer the Chisos Basin - try to get site #46 (my favorite).. TWWG

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Offline jay

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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2007, 08:44:01 AM »
TWWG - Your idea for a backup plan is wise, thanks for the hint on a good site in the basin.  After discussion with my wife (Stephanie) we're going to see what the rangers have to say when we get there.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2007, 10:07:56 AM »
Quote from: "jay"
I didn't consider nine-point draw because I was in the park 2 years ago in late april, planning on hiking Dog Canyon / Devils Den, but the ranger I talked to strongly suggested not to, due to the hot open desert hiking.


9 point isn't any more or less dangerous than any other desert campsite in the park.  You should always use some common sense when camping out in the desert, especially during summer time.  There are a few campsites that are better shaded, but those campsites usually have no view to speak of either as you're down in a ditch, ie., McKinney Spring.  You'd better stick to the Chisos Campgrounds if you're worried about the heat and are unable to do any kind of packing in.  And I will agree with TWWG....46 is a sweet site.

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Offline jay

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Best Backcountry Car Sites for Low Temps
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 04:55:49 PM »
I usually don't worry about myself out in the heat, I strictly follow the desert hiking "rules".  But I do worry about the kids, but probably only if the heat is above 90 - 95.  But in the 80s, if in the shade of the cartarp - that was about the conditions in my house yesterday in SA...

I know myself, and my limitations, but don't want to test their limitations.  Plus if I did, my wife would probably not allow me to take them to the desert ever again. :cry:

We'll see what happens, I'm still pushing for a backcountry site if the highs are in the 80s.  Otherwise we can try for basin #46.  I'll let ya'll know what happens.

 


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