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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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Old Ore Rd possible in an AWD sedan?

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Offline RockyMtnHigh

  • Kangaroo Rat
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Old Ore Rd possible in an AWD sedan?
« on: December 03, 2019, 06:15:29 PM »
Hi All.  I'm a long-time Colorado/Utah backpacker.  I visited Big Bend for the first time a few weeks ago and did the OML, and I am hooked!

I'm looking for a route for a Feb backpack trip, and am thinking about Telephone Canyon (3 days from the TC trailhead to the eastern boundary of the park and then back).  My problem is I own an AWD sedan without high clearance (not a Subaru).  I'm no stranger to rough dirt roads in my car, but I also understand its limitations.  Can anyone comment on whether a sedan can make it on Old Ore Rd from Dagger Flat Rd to Telephone Canyon?

Thx!

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Offline LinuxGeek28

  • Kangaroo Rat
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  • Cabin in Terlingua Ranch since 2011
Re: Old Ore Rd possible in an AWD sedan?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 06:49:52 PM »
I completed the route from North (Dagger Flats) to South in my Forester, but there were tricky parts and some of the steep hills were a challenge.  In a sedan, you would want to go from S to N to get to Telephone Canyon (Old Ore Road is better on the south end).  It's probably 50/50 depending on whether you run into any washouts.  The most overlooked factor is your tires.  If you don't have a decent set of all terrain tires, you are more at risk of getting a flat than you are getting stuck. 

If you have good tires, I wouldn't be afraid to give it a try. You can always turn back.  You might even be able to add a day and start farther south where the road is better.

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Offline Floundered

  • Jack Rabbit
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Re: Old Ore Rd possible in an AWD sedan?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 09:38:26 PM »
I've camped up there and Roy's Peak Vista a few times. I drive a 2WD 2004 Tahoe. There are some rough patches that I just can't imagine a sedan clearing. From the south you're good until you get a little way up the mountain, but there are 2 spots in particular that are rocky and rutted out before you reach TC. From the North, yeah I would say definite no-go. Very rocky and too much I would think. Either way good luck!

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Offline The Scorpion

  • Mountain Lion
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  • 1972
    • My Big Bend Photos
Re: Old Ore Rd possible in an AWD sedan?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 09:52:24 PM »
I would not attempt old ore road from the north in a sedan. There is a spot you could get stuck. I don't know the condition of the telephone canyon road. That is the only road I have not been on in the entire park.

The roads are not dirt roads, but Rocky and can eat up lighter weight tires.

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Offline RockyMtnHigh

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Re: Old Ore Rd possible in an AWD sedan?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 11:44:05 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone -- seems like I should come up with an alternate vehicle or plan!

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Offline VivaTerlingua

  • Coyote
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Re: Old Ore Rd possible in an AWD sedan?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 07:41:41 AM »
I don't know if the road has gotten worse, but in the past I've traversed it in a Dodge Caravan.

 


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