Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Backcountry Camping => Topic started by: puzzlejug on October 31, 2016, 05:54:23 PM

Title: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: puzzlejug on October 31, 2016, 05:54:23 PM
Hi there.  I'm looking for recommendations for one of the better primitive roadside camps in the park.  I'm planning on doing some backpacking Wednesday-Friday, and on my last night, i'd like to change venues and do one of these primitive car campsites, so I can be close to my cooler, and get on the road early the next morning.

anyone have any suggestions?  Ideally, I'd like a spot as secluded as possible.  I don't have a 4x4 vehicle, but I drive a 2WD ford escape, so I can get through most stuff.
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: Jalco on October 31, 2016, 06:18:48 PM
"Secluded" and "on the road early" might be mutually exclusive terms - at least they would be for me.  Terlingua Abajo might meet both those requirements.
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: Keepa on October 31, 2016, 07:30:27 PM
K-Bar, Terlingua Abaja, any of the sites on Old Ore Road, any of the sites in the Sierra Quemada (Juniper, Pine, Talley, Dominguez).

Every place in Big Bend is magical!

If the roads are dry you should have no problem with the backroads with a 2-wheel drive (except Black Gap).
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: Al on October 31, 2016, 07:34:02 PM
If you are heading out toward Marathon, Stillwell is a nice alternative.  Showers, ground fires allowed, lots of campsites that are well spread out with very few campers and it will give you a significant head start on getting home.
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: puzzlejug on November 01, 2016, 06:12:59 AM

"Secluded" and "on the road early" might be mutually exclusive terms - at least they would be for me.  Terlingua Abajo might meet both those requirements.
by "on the road early" I mean just not having to hike back in the morning really.  I don't mind a drive


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Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: Hang10er on November 01, 2016, 06:49:49 AM
I liked Rice Tank.  You camp right next to the tank wall and pieces of an old pen.  4 or 5 miles off the paved road. Wind is pretty blocked in there.  Nice place to have a beverage in the evening and watch the sun set over the Chisos and then watch it light them up the next morning.
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: badknees on November 01, 2016, 07:02:24 AM
I don't have a 4x4 vehicle, but I drive a 2WD ford escape, so I can get through most stuff.

What year is the Escape?
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: puzzlejug on November 01, 2016, 07:07:44 AM

[/quote]

What year is the Escape?
[/quote]

2011, why?


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Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: badknees on November 01, 2016, 07:25:58 AM

Quote

What year is the Escape?

2011, why?



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Because my daughter has a 2013 and there is no way that vehicle should go off road in Big Bend.  The 2011 is the older body style...should be better. Still, check your clearance.....

Add these....
Paint Gap 1 ( not so secluded), but good road as long as you don't go to to PG 3 and PG 4. The road is real rough through the gap
Nugent Mtn - Close to the black top.
Grapevine Hills - Multiple campsites so you may not be alone
Croton Springs -Multiple campsites so you may not be alone
Candellia - Road is a bit rough
 
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: puzzlejug on November 01, 2016, 08:30:11 AM

Quote

What year is the Escape?

2011, why?



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Because my daughter has a 2013 and there is no way that vehicle should go off road in Big Bend.  The 2011 is the older body style...should be better. Still, check your clearance.....


yeah those new escapes are like mini vans.  and they do have a lower ground clearance.  mine feels somewhat rugged.  at least I can jump curbs and stuff with no problems.  Thanks for the advice on the other camps too.  you guys are awesome
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: Jalco on November 01, 2016, 07:46:22 PM
It's a bit of a drive, but I like Fresno.  You have Mariscal Mines staring you in the face, just to the west.  Elephant Tusk and Chisos Mts to the north.  Sierra del Carmen to the east.  There's a whole lot of wide open out there.
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: SergeantFunk on November 01, 2016, 08:40:16 PM
2nd the Ore Rd...Telephone Canyon site is my fave.  Great backdrop and palette of colors late/early.  Day hike up into Telephone canyon (as far as you feel like), cool spots to investigate in the desert all over.  And the 'praying hands' cut in the side of Alto Relex is just south.

Can easily hit Dagger Flat on the way in or out to boot.
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: Allan on February 24, 2017, 05:59:24 PM
Hey guys I had a couple of question as well. Hope you don't mind. Im going next week with a group of 5 and we are looking to go primitive car camping but we really don't know which location would be good. The only two criteria would be that its secluded, not entirely in the middle of nowhere but also to the point that we could be alone with minimal contact with other people. The second would just be a spot where star gazing would be awesome and viewable.  which would you guys chose for those criteria????????? thanks for your time to read this and answering!! (the bottom is the list of campsites available)

Primitive Roadside Campsites— Croton Springs
Primitive Roadside Campsites— Grapevine Hills
Primitive Roadside Campsite— Hannold Draw
Primitive Roadside Campsites— K-Bar
Primitive Roadside Campsite— Nine Point Draw
Primitive Roadside Campsites— Old Maverick Road
Primitive Roadside Campsites— Paint Gap
Title: Re: Primitive Roadside campgrounds? - looking for advice
Post by: RichardM on March 01, 2017, 02:17:11 PM
Hey guys I had a couple of question as well. Hope you don't mind. Im going next week with a group of 5 and we are looking to go primitive car camping but we really don't know which location would be good. The only two criteria would be that its secluded, not entirely in the middle of nowhere but also to the point that we could be alone with minimal contact with other people. The second would just be a spot where star gazing would be awesome and viewable.  which would you guys chose for those criteria????????? thanks for your time to read this and answering!! (the bottom is the list of campsites available)

Primitive Roadside Campsites— Croton Springs
Primitive Roadside Campsites— Grapevine Hills
Primitive Roadside Campsite— Hannold Draw
Primitive Roadside Campsites— K-Bar
Primitive Roadside Campsite— Nine Point Draw
Primitive Roadside Campsites— Old Maverick Road
Primitive Roadside Campsites— Paint Gap
Sorry you didn't get any responses to this before now. If you haven't left yet, here's my opinion (which probably isn't worth much as I haven't camped at any primitive roadsites).

Croton Springs is relatively close to the road and has two sites, so your chances of having a neighbor 50 feet away is high. Also, lots of day-hikers use this as a parking lot.
Grapevine Hills has lots of car traffic to the popular trail to the balanced rock. The last two sites seem fairly remote, as they're at the end of the road.
Hannold Draw is close to a main road.
K-Bar is a mile or so off the main road. Two sites (I think), but not right on top of each other like Croton Springs.
Nine Point Draw is right off the road.
Old Maverick Road, not sure which site(s) you are referring to here. Rattlesnake Mountain is a favorite of some who like to be close to Terlingua.
Paint Gap has some secluded sites the farther up you go. 4WD/high clearance required for #4 at least.

None of these sites are the best for star-gazing, as they are either close to roads or close to Terlingua. Of course, depending on what you are used to, it could still be darker skies than you've ever seen before.