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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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general info on December in Big Bend

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Offline Wilkinsonus

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general info on December in Big Bend
« on: October 02, 2014, 08:43:30 PM »
Hey y'all,
I'm trying to head down to the OML in the first week of December for 4 or 5 nights. I'd like some info on how the weather generally is. Highs? Lows? Rain? How much water for  filtering is there usually? Are there any good sites to up to date weather/trail reports? Is 4 nights sufficient? I'm sure we would like to stare at the abundant beauty for a bit, so we don't plan on just hiking from morning to night.
Any advice on backcountry campsites is welcome. Also, any advice on clothing or gear is very welcome.
Thanks in advance!!!


Offline Flash

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  • 2097
Re: general info on December in Big Bend
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 08:47:28 PM »
Check out the trip reports for the OML at the following link:

Reading 3 or 4 of those should answer most of your questions, then fire away with any others.  :icon_smile:


Offline dprather

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  • 2519
Re: general info on December in Big Bend
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 09:19:21 PM »
I've done the OML in December with 90++-degree temps; I've gone out there in December to do the OML and been snowed in.

This site is great for continuing to get info. 

My wife checks accuweather and wetherunderground and has prettygood "I told you so" luck.

Many do the OML in three days and two nights.  I very much prefer the 4 day/three night approach to better enjoy the experience:

Day 1 - Begin at the Basin, go up Pinnacles, go across Boot Canyon and down Juniper Canyon until you hit the Juniper flats.

Day 2 - the Juniper flats to 2/3rds of the way across the Dodson.

Day 3 - from your Dodson campsite to up Blue Creek Canyon to a point below the final Blue Creek wall.

Day 4 - from your Blue Creek camp up the wall and down Laguna Meadows.

Order a good OML map from the BiBe bookstore to familiarize yourself with the trail.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 09:06:33 AM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.


Offline mule ears

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  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: general info on December in Big Bend
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 06:50:44 AM »
The OML is the perfect introduction to the park and all of it's plant zones.  As others have said while the weather can get hot or a quick snow (I have had low 20's to high 80's) December is a great month on average and I have done many trips then.  The days will be short with 13-14 hour nights so bring a comfortable pad.  This is the best site for current information on water and trail info.  You will be there after Thanksgiving, when many people go, so there should be some up to date info.  Sometimes it is hard to get info early in the fall and late in the spring.  The long waterless stretch is Blue Creek and the western Dodson from Fresno creek but you will leave water at the box at Homer Wilson ranch to break that up.  With the rains this fall there should be water in Boot canyon, if not from the pipe at the spring certainly in the pools up canyon.  There is almost always water at Upper Juniper Spring and Fresno creek.  The chance of rain is usually very low Dec. averages about a half an inch down at Panther Jct. but more in the mountains.  This being an El Nino year it might be more.

The basic OML is only 30 miles so you have plenty of time, with 4 nights it would allow you to spend one on the South Rim and have time to climb Emory Peak it you want.  I usually think that doing the Chisos night the first night works best because sometimes when you climb back up Blue Creek after 3 or 4 days the temptation is to just head the easy 3 miles back to the Basin and a shower and beer.   :icon_biggrin:  But you could watch the weather and do it as the last night if it works out better.  Another night could be spent down at Fresno creek and day hiking down Fresno exploring.  Also consider a counter clockwise walk, there are several in the trip reports.

As Flash said read some of the OML trail reports and then we can fill in with more info.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 09:34:06 AM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water



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