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Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations

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Offline puzzlejug

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Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« on: February 25, 2018, 02:09:17 PM »
hi there.  I'm looking for some ideas for trails that are good for hiking in, doing an overnight, and hiking out.  Something similar to the Marufo Vega trail.  any recommendations for this time of year?

I'm assuming the Chisos backcountry sites will be pretty packed in March so I was looking for something else.  I could also consider a two night trek as well.  I'd love to do the OML right now but i'll be solo this trip and I'd rather save that one for the fall and do it with a buddy.

Apologies if this is posted somewhere.  I did try a search but didn't find many useful results

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Offline puzzlejug

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 02:21:53 PM »
follow up question -- What about mule ears?  Im ashamed to say i've never hiked over there.  Can you zone camp over there?

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Offline congahead

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 02:24:38 PM »
Hike Mule Ears to Smoky Creek and head north. Beautiful and a decent chance of finding water.  Thatís an out-and-back; if you can get a shuttle, consider starting at Homer Wilson, taking Dodson to Smoky Creek, then heading south to Mule Ears and hiking back out Mule Ears.  Plenty of nice camping places along Smoky Creek.


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Offline puzzlejug

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2018, 02:46:54 PM »
Man I wish I could get a shuttle because that would be perfect.  I've hitch hiked back to the chisos basin parking lot before but I felt weird about it  -- I'd rather not do that again.

So are there some good zone camping spots along the smokey creek trail?


Hike Mule Ears to Smoky Creek and head north. Beautiful and a decent chance of finding water.  Thatís an out-and-back; if you can get a shuttle, consider starting at Homer Wilson, taking Dodson to Smoky Creek, then heading south to Mule Ears and hiking back out Mule Ears.  Plenty of nice camping places along Smoky Creek.


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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2018, 02:54:11 PM »
Yes, you can zone camp in the Mule Ears area. That would be my recommendation. It only takes a couple hours to get from the trailhead to a campsite near the Mule Ear Peaks. If you have extra time, I'd recommend (a) hiking around the ME peaks, (b) heading over to check out Smoky spring, or (c) checking out the many interesting washes right there in the ME area. ME spring is reliable and also worth checking out.
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

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Offline Homer Wilson

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2018, 03:10:05 PM »
I concur with what the others are saying, start on the Dodson or Mule Ears, head out (you can take the Smokey Creek Trail if you want), get as far as you can, camp, and then hike out.
You can also head out to the Marufo and do a portion, or get to around Tinaja Blanca or so on the MDA. 

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Offline alan in shreveport

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2018, 03:37:32 PM »
Haven't used it for awhile but the front desk at the lodge can/used to set up a shuttle for you. I last used it a couple of years ago and it cost $50 at that time. If you're interested you could call them and set it up.

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Offline puzzlejug

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018, 05:45:44 PM »
great advice thanks everyone.  These are the maps i've got (the nat geo map and the one from the "hiking big bend" book).  Do I need any better ones?  If so, where should I look?

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Offline jim2

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2018, 06:45:40 PM »
I'll second going north on the Smoky Creek trail from Mules Ears, the trail takes you right to one of the most beautiful canyons in the park. 

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Offline puzzlejug

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2018, 06:52:59 PM »
I'll second going north on the Smoky Creek trail from Mules Ears, the trail takes you right to one of the most beautiful canyons in the park.

Whereís that?!  I wanna go!  How far from the trail split?


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Offline Flash

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2018, 08:10:49 PM »
PuzzleJug, if you have a high clearance vehicle, you can combine some back road driving with your overnighter.  I have parked at the southern Elephant Tusk Trailhead and hiked roughly 5-miles to camp near Elegant Spring on the north side of Elephant Tusk Mountain. I have also parked a bunch of times at Juniper Canyon Trailhead and camped in four different spots, one spot near the trail just below Upper Juniper Springs and the other three various places off trail 1.5 to 2.5 miles over towards or up in the foothills below the Rim. Doesn't take much distance to go and find a lonely seldom traveled spot with a great view.

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 08:33:26 PM »
What about the hike Desert Rat Shorty just did, Sliprock Canyon?  Not far, but you could camp past the canyon where he did and explore the flats????

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2018, 08:41:09 PM »
You'll definitely want a more detailed map. Smoky Creek Trail is not a well worn trail like the Dodson, it has occasional cairns but completely fades out  in some sections. You'll need a map with 40' contour intervals and good land navigation skills. Take a look at the trip report index threads sticked at the top of the trip report board for trips in this area, and especially look at mule ears' recent report of a trip he took up Smoky Creek just a couple months ago. You can buy a custom map at mytopo.com, print your own after plotting your route on caltopo.com, or buy the relevant USGS quad maps. If you stick around the Mule Ears area, the navigation is easier but I'd still recommend a more detailed map.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 10:51:01 PM by DesertRatShorty »
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2018, 10:07:58 PM »
Just stopped by to say "thumbs-up" on the Blue Dog.  Used to have one hanging in my living room.  As far as maps, you can print your own custom ones using CalTopo. https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=29.16227,-103.39738&z=14&b=t

Good luck! Hope you have a great trip.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline puzzlejug

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Re: Looking for one night in and out trail recommendations
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2018, 05:54:19 AM »
hey thank you fellow coon ass!  good to meet you on here.  And thank you for the link!  I can print this out to scale and large format at the office.

This really is one of the best communities on the internet.  Thank you everyone on here

Just stopped by to say "thumbs-up" on the Blue Dog.  Used to have one hanging in my living room.  As far as maps, you can print your own custom ones using CalTopo. https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=29.16227,-103.39738&z=14&b=t

Good luck! Hope you have a great trip.

 


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