Big Bend Conservancy
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Hi folks - I am new to the big bend chat and have been attempting to go through the numerous outstanding information posts that have been provided by hiking and camping experts and adventureous folks.I have been interested in getting to Big Bend for the past year.However, several friends that I routinely hike with are very concerned about the recent border activity - (the cartel to be specific) and are very hesitant to go any where near Big Bend in general.So guys, can you help me out by telling me where a good place to backpack in, hike around and experience at least a bit of Big Bend would be??Any information, suggestions and advice is really appreciated.
However, several friends that I routinely hike with are very concerned about the recent border activity - (the cartel to be specific) and are very hesitant to go any where near Big Bend in general.
So guys, can you help me out by telling me where a good place to backpack in, hike around and experience at least a bit of Big Bend would be?
What time of year are you talking about? Heat dictates where one would pack in and that is dependent on season and elevation. Are you interested in well maintained trails, less maintained trails or no trails? What length of duration are you talking about?Give us a bit to work with and I'm sure we can help.
The people in funny hats are a greater danger to enjoying your time there.
When driving near the river or camping by the river I have seen a number of Mexicans who have crossed over into the park. They were in no way threatening. A few years ago I saw a couple of guys with pack mules bring back forage to Mexico during the drought and when camped at a primitive site on the river I watched a Mexican cowboy and his dog cross the river several times in the course of several days to herd his cattle back into Mexico. If a ranger catches a cow in the park they will take it off rather than return it to Mexico. Again, in the over 40 years I have been hiking and camping there, I have never felt threatened by anyone from Mexico. Having said that, if you camp by the river at certain locations I would be concerned about the potential for theft if you leave your stuff unattended.
KD, Get your friends up and away from the tv. Sounds like they need a good hike. Big Bend is safe. The Texas border is safe. "Don't leave valuables in your car", "secure your belongings" is all good advice. It's good advice for people in my neighborhood too. Common sense is the best thing. Border violence is rare ( it does happen, yes, the jet skier shot on Falcon Lake). Being victimized by some petty crime ( your car broke into) is more likely at some border areas, but there's a good chance of that happening in an apartment complex in YOUR neighborhood if you leave your laptop in your car, again, common sense. Don't plan for a "similar to Bibe experience" when you can safely have the real thing.
I'll respond to the OP in two ways.(1) Yes, YES, YESSSSSSSSSSS! The Bend is a terribly unsafe place for visitors, especially those who were in front of me in the long back country permit line a few spring breaks back. Those unaccustomed to the terrors and risks should remain on Interstate 20 and should never venture south of US 90. There are plenty of things to keep you safely busy and entertained at Five Flags over Texas.(2) No, the Bend and the circumstances bordering the Bend represent very little risk to visitors. I'd be surprised of the Border incidents to sprained ankles ratio is higher than 1:100,000.DISCLAIMER: sooner or later, there will be a significant incident. I'm not a prophet, I just know that stuff happens and stuff will happen.
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