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Father-son itinerary

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Offline BrntOrng

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Father-son itinerary
« on: March 10, 2014, 07:45:12 AM »
My Son (13) and I are headed out to the park for a Father-son in the coming weeks and I wanted to get some input on what I'm thinking for itinerary.  First - this site has been immensely helpful in our planning.  This will be my 3rd or 4th time to the park and his 2nd.  I wish I'd found this site before the prior trips.  We've done the area around Boquillas as well as Santa Elena Canyon trails and the easier stuff in the Basin.  This time we're coming in my Wrangler and want to do more zone or backcountry camping. We're flexible on the order of things, but there are two "musts" on this trip.  1 is a backpacking trip up to Emory Peak, ideally camping up in the area for 1 night.  We're both in good shape and have some backpacking experience with the boy scouts.

Q1: Is the trail up from the basin the best way for us to go or is there a better recommendation?

A couple of other contenders for camping is zone camping in the Mule Ears area...maybe this is for the first night as seems to be an easier hike to get us warmed up.  Ideally we would head over to hike the mountain to Emory the next two nights.

Next we plan to do part of the backroad loop starting at Glenn Spring Road, down to Black Gap Road, down to Mariscal Mine, then back out east via River Road.  I'm open to any camping along that route, but seems Pine Canyon, Glenn Spring and Elephant Tusk are the likely spots.  I don't really want to camp further south than the Mine or anywhere along river road. 

Q2: This doable loop?
Q3: How long is the drive in hours from Elephant Tusk (assuming our last camping night), thru the mine, and out to River Road?

Any suggestions for improvement or other Must-Sees are welcome.

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 10:11:20 AM »
going up the Pinnacles trail is the most direct route. However you could go up Laguna Meadow and camp at SW3 for the night, then hike along the rim, down through boot canyon, then pick up the Emory peek trail. there are bear boxes to stash your heavy packs in, so you can just carry water up the peak.
When you get up to the base, there is a short 25ft non technical scramble to get on the actual peak its self. the one on the right hand side where the radio antenna and equipment are at is the one you want to go up. you can do the other one as well, but the one on the right has the GEO marker.

Glenn Spring road down to the mine is a neat drive. you should have no troubles in your jeep. If its 4x4 you can do Black Gap. I only used 4x4 2 times. of course the road conditions were VERY dry at the time.

I have camped at Glenn Spring #2 several times. it offers wonderful 360 degree views.

there is also a site near the mine that is pretty neat as well. There are some old ruins along the Glenn Spring road, you will see them on the South/West side of the road, then you can walk across the road, to see some more neat stuff.

I cant comment on camping at Pine Canyon or Elephant Tusk, so others will need to chime in on those.

you should at least count on several hours drive in either direction to / from the Mine area out to paved road towards the east
 
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline Homer Wilson

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 10:44:00 AM »
If you're planning on taking two nights on your way to Emory, definitely swing by the rim as well (Emory can be hiked in a day, so you'll have plenty of time). I've done the Emory/rim hike both clockwise (up pinnacles, down laguna meadows), and counterclockwise. Both are good; pinnacles is steeper, but gets the uphill part out of the way in day 1. I think any campground in the high chisos is good, but I'm partial to The LW and JC sites.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 10:56:56 AM »
My Son (13) and I are headed out to the park for a Father-son in the coming weeks and I wanted to get some input on what I'm thinking for itinerary.
This current week is the busiest of the year, as it's spring break for the major schools in Texas. Next week will hopefully be slightly less crowded. It may be that none of the high Chisos campsites will be available when you get there. You will need to be flexible with your plans.

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Offline USMC Wrangler

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 06:30:42 PM »
It's been a couple months since I drove Black Gap but we haven't had any real rain since early December.  I drove it in my Jeep with the front swaybar disconnected.  That made it a much smoother drive.  As for the camping, others will have to chime in.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 12:57:43 PM by USMC Wrangler »

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Offline BrntOrng

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 09:07:50 PM »
Thanks for the specific tips Sotol vista. And know this week will be nuts down there but you go when you can, right?  And will definitely be disconnecting the sway bars, thanks!

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Online Flash

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 09:19:49 PM »
Quote
Q3: How long is the drive in hours from Elephant Tusk (assuming our last camping night), thru the mine, and out to River Road?
It took me about 2 hours to drive from the ET trailhead to the blacktop following the River Road. That's with stops here and there to gawk at things and take pictures. If pressed, I suppose one might do it in 1-1/2 hours.

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Offline USMC Wrangler

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 12:31:58 PM »
BrntOrng, if you scroll down in the following link you will see my Black Gap Update post from last night. I hope it has some helpful info for you.

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/the-backroads/first-time-driving-the-backroads/msg130724/#msg130724

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Offline BrntOrng

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 06:21:14 PM »
Thanks for the link and reply.  I see you've got a couple of stock jeeps that seemed to do ok.  I am not sure I saw the 2 ft ledge you mentioned in the other thread, but seems like we should be ok if you were, as we're proposing following the same route.  Not to turn this into a jeep thread, but any chance you'll be in Llano for the Jamboree in a couple of weeks?

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Offline BrntOrng

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 08:45:02 PM »
@homer Wilson

Thanks for the trail and site recommendations. I finally had time to sit back down with my maps. Look like definite candidates.

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Offline USMC Wrangler

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2014, 02:09:08 AM »
Thanks for the link and reply.  I see you've got a couple of stock jeeps that seemed to do ok.  I am not sure I saw the 2 ft ledge you mentioned in the other thread, but seems like we should be ok if you were, as we're proposing following the same route.  Not to turn this into a jeep thread, but any chance you'll be in Llano for the Jamboree in a couple of weeks?

If you go to about the 6:30 mark you'll see us going up the step. Then at about 12:30 mark we are going back down. 

I won't make it to Llano. I didn't learn about it until way too late. It's booked solid with a long waiting list.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 12:58:43 PM by USMC Wrangler »

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2014, 09:34:55 PM »
If the campsites in the mountains are all booked up, up Emory Peak via Pinnacles Tr. and back down is a relatively easy day hike. My 79 year old neighbor has done it three times and will do it a fourth in a few weeks. For variety, you could take Laguna Meadow Tr. back down. One of the best zone sites near Mule Ears Pks. is just past Mule Ears Spring, on the right. There are several clear, flat sites there with gorgeous views and easy access to the eminently drinkable water of ME spring. I suppose you ought to filter or otherwise purify it. Of course, it may be really hot there, if you wait too long to go. You could hike out there in later afternoon, spend the night and clear out early the next day if it starts to get hot. If not, you could do a day hike to the overlook of Smoky Creek.

Geezer

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Offline salukicolt

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Re: Father-son itinerary
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2014, 07:39:58 PM »
Hi, I did a father son trip last year. I assume you have already gone, but if not, one thing you may want to consider is to park at the Juniper Canyon trail head and hike up JC trail to the edge of zone camping, then a sunsrise day hike up and over the saddle and on to Emory/south rim.  You could be back at camp by sunset. Then you could go on to Black Gap Road. I love the ET campsite, but it is a desired remote spot. 

 


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