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Is this your first time in the park? If so then the Outer Mountain Loop is the best choice. Get there before the visitor center closes at 5 so you can get your permit. You won't get much or any hiking done that first day but you can get an early start the next.Welcome to BBC!Sent from my Nexus 6P using Big Bend Chat mobile app
Gray,study the OML FAQ thoroughly. With your basically 2 night backcountry schedule and with a rookie hiker I would consider a modified loop starting at Homer Wilson and going counter clockwise. First day across the Dodson (water at Fresno), second day up Juniper (get water in Boot canyon) and stay the night on the rim. Last day down Blue Creek to the car and out. What are you driving? If high clearance you could start at Juniper canyon/Dodson trail head and Go up Juniper to the Rim, second day down Blue Creek (pick up your water at Homer Wilson box) and on down the Dodson a bit, last day out to truck. Either way you are looking at 27 miles vs. the 32 of the NPS itinerary and you get the South Rim, way better than the Basin.The first night you get in you can camp in the Basin and drive to Homer Wilson or one of the backcountry road sites like Croton Springs, Paint Gap or Grapevine Hills. If starting at Juniper I would camp at Twisted Shoe for a really early start.
You could definitely do that but you will need high clearance to get to Juniper and it is a 2 hour round trip from Panther Junction. As to hiking in a ways from Homer Wilson you will want to stop before the first big climb so you will only get about a mile but there are some campsites along there. If you go up the big climb then it is like 3 miles to a campsite. Sunset is around 6:20 and it will be light enough to see almost until 7:00. I assume you do have water filter/purification for Fresno and Boot Canyon.
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