Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

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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Back road conditions

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Back road conditions
« on: November 11, 2010, 12:10:37 PM »
Has anyone been recently that would be able to give an update?

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Offline badknees

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2010, 02:39:12 PM »
Has anyone been recently that would be able to give an update?

Oct - 1

RR east to Mariscal Mtn - Good

Glenn Spring Rd - Good
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline Doc Savage

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 10:35:42 AM »
We did river road east to west Oct. 4th. It wasn't too bad. Pretty rocky in places, more so than most other times I've been down. Nothing requireing 4wd though. It was GREEN when we were there. Lots of tall grass in places also. The growth was encroaching on the road more than typical, so pinstriping is a possiability.

Robert
Enjoying the Texas life!

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WayneR

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 04:40:49 PM »
I was in the park last week;

Glenn Springs - good
Pine Canyon - good
RR East to Talley - very washboarded in places, otherwise good

Wayne

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Offline Raoul Duke

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2010, 08:55:39 AM »
I was on RR East to Talley Oct. 15-16, and it wasn't too bad.  There was soft sand in the washes, but nothing that required 4wd.  Talley Road was fairly bad and did require 4WD in places. 

My old man road off-road motorcycles on all of River Road last weekend.  He said RR West was pretty bad.  Their bikes got bogged down in soft sand and gravel a few times.  He said 4WD would be necessary on that section.
"Getting bored with your neurosis?  Drop you analyst--drop him/her like a cold potato--and make tracks for the nearest river." -Edward Abbey

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Offline jim2

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 11:37:36 AM »
i drove the old ore road from north to south in early october.everyone who loves big bend should have the chance to see the chisos from the o.o.road. the roughest part of the road is the descent into and the ascent out of  mckinney springs. uneven layers of limestone, and the steep climb made this the toughest part. my tacoma handled it just fine, never engaged the 4wd. i did talk to a couple of guys in a suv who were not having fun, their street tires and soft suspension were not ideal for the old ore road. they were stressed out. too bad because it is a beautiful drive.  there are long sections that are pretty easy then not so easy.  overall the road is rough, narrow, slow going and worthy of respect.

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Offline MilesOfTexas

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 07:47:35 PM »
Thanks for the info everyone!  I plan to put my FJ to the test on several of those roads pretty soon.  I will report back my findings as well.
"I have an excellent profession, but I don't enjoy it near as much as I do when I am in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by marvelous creations, and efforting to capture what I see and feel so I may share it with others."

-Me 09/12/2011

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Offline Tars Tarkas

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 11:43:43 PM »
  Left BiBe this morning; in San Antonio now.  Took my FJ on all of River Road, Old Ore, Glenn Spring, Black Gap (S to N), Old Maverick, and probably a few more... Didn't have a bit of trouble.  All dry, of course.  I don't know that doing some of those in an Accord would have  been advisable.  There were some rocks, sand, and washes that would have slowed most folks down.  But that's the problem: it's all relative.  Me getting through all those roads in an FJ doesn't mean someone else could in an FJ, or in an F-150 (not that I'm that great at off-roading, but I do have a bit of experience and take it slow).  In fact, a ranger tried to talk me out of doing Black Gap, and that road is certainly not for everyone.  But someone in an FJ made it through the day before me, so I went ahead.  Ran into the same ranger a couple of days later and he then told me that someone in an FJ had rolled his vehicle and totalled it on Black Gap a couple of weeks ago.

  Black Gap takes 4WD and a lot of care, common sense and maybe even some luck, or else just a lot of luck.  High clearance will probably get almost anyone through the rest of the roads right now. 

  I did 60 miles on RR and side roads yesterday from Castolon to RGV and saw one guy and his dog and a couple fo Border Patrol agents -- 2 vehicles all day!

  TT

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Offline jim2

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2010, 06:04:18 PM »
i am interested in driving the black gap road, my truck is a 2010 tacoma trd 4wd. i drove the old ore road with no problem, some aprehension. at first i didn't enjoy back country driving in big bend , it was just to get to the trail head. now now that my confidence has grown i enjoy the drive much more. i even bought my first 4wd so i could drive all the roads in the national park .when my tires were out i'll buy some mickey thompsons and check out the state park. i know some people say you don't need 4wd in the national park. did the ranger say where or give some indication as to why they rolled their fj ?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 06:52:30 PM by jim2 »

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Offline Al

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2010, 08:13:21 PM »
The only way I can see anyone rolling a vehicle on one of Big Bend's back roads is by going too fast and running off the road in the wrong place.  Easily avoided by not going too fast and not running off the road.

Al

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Offline jim2

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2010, 08:30:22 PM »
both great answers! thanks .

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Offline Tars Tarkas

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2010, 09:11:58 PM »
The only way I can see anyone rolling a vehicle on one of Big Bend's back roads is by going too fast and running off the road in the wrong place.  Easily avoided by not going too fast and not running off the road.

  I agree completely.  Inattention or immaturity are the only excuses I can see for rolling your vehicle on Black Gap or any of the roads I drove.   That said, there are two or three places on Black Gap where you'd best pay attention to what you're doing and exactly where you are going.  If you don't pay attention or act like an idiot, there are a million places in the park to wreck your truck.

  The washout on Black Gap, for me, was a matter of moving by inches and getting out to check tire placement and to move a rock or two.  Not everyone would care to do the wash out.

  Still not home, but just barely out of Texas.

  TT

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Offline MilesOfTexas

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2010, 09:12:10 PM »
  Left BiBe this morning; in San Antonio now.  Took my FJ on all of River Road, Old Ore, Glenn Spring, Black Gap (S to N), Old Maverick, and probably a few more... Didn't have a bit of trouble.  All dry, of course.  I don't know that doing some of those in an Accord would have  been advisable.  There were some rocks, sand, and washes that would have slowed most folks down.  But that's the problem: it's all relative.  Me getting through all those roads in an FJ doesn't mean someone else could in an FJ, or in an F-150 (not that I'm that great at off-roading, but I do have a bit of experience and take it slow).  In fact, a ranger tried to talk me out of doing Black Gap, and that road is certainly not for everyone.  But someone in an FJ made it through the day before me, so I went ahead.  Ran into the same ranger a couple of days later and he then told me that someone in an FJ had rolled his vehicle and totalled it on Black Gap a couple of weeks ago.

  Black Gap takes 4WD and a lot of care, common sense and maybe even some luck, or else just a lot of luck.  High clearance will probably get almost anyone through the rest of the roads right now. 

  I did 60 miles on RR and side roads yesterday from Castolon to RGV and saw one guy and his dog and a couple fo Border Patrol agents -- 2 vehicles all day!

  TT

I will be taking my FJ on Black Gap road in late December.  Have you made any mods to your FJ?  Did you ever need to engage the rear lockers?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 09:25:37 PM by MilesOfTexas »
"I have an excellent profession, but I don't enjoy it near as much as I do when I am in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by marvelous creations, and efforting to capture what I see and feel so I may share it with others."

-Me 09/12/2011

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Offline MilesOfTexas

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2010, 09:22:24 PM »
Me getting through all those roads in an FJ doesn't mean someone else could in an FJ, or in an F-150 (not that I'm that great at off-roading, but I do have a bit of experience and take it slow).

I agree with you, the vehicle does not make a driver!  In my case, I have a lot of experience driving offroad, and therefore feel very confident in my ability to make the right decisions when navigating the unmaintained roads.

My question about mods is only because I'm just curious if you have made any mods to your FJ that would give your FJ an advantage on Black Gap over mine.  The only mods on mine are an ARB bullbar with a winch and BFG A/T KO tires.
"I have an excellent profession, but I don't enjoy it near as much as I do when I am in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by marvelous creations, and efforting to capture what I see and feel so I may share it with others."

-Me 09/12/2011

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Offline Tars Tarkas

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Re: Back road conditions
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2010, 09:40:58 PM »
I will be taking my FJ on Black Gap road in late December.  Have you made any mods to your FJ?  Did you ever need to engage the rear lockers?

  No mods at all.  Just about exactly 10k on my 2010.  16 inch wheels with stock BFG Rugged Trail T/A tires.  No lifts.  (And I still had at least 2 to 4 inches of clearance at the wash out.)  Nothing ever touched a skid plate or anything else on the bottom.  I did take off my pintle hook that sticks way out.  I probably didn't have to do that.

  I don't know that I had to engage the locker but I did.  This was the first time I had something like an excuse to use it, so I did.  It definitely worked and helped the two times I used it.  I just hit the button to turn it on and hardly took my finger off the button until I turned it off a second later after just walking right up a little ledge.

  TT

 


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