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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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Back roads with average car

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Offline nemesis256

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Back roads with average car
« on: July 18, 2013, 07:50:31 PM »
I'm wondering if it's possible to go on these 3 back roads with an average car. I'm usually driving slow on them to not reck the (rental) car. If it's dirt/sand I might go the speed limit, but if the road has rocks that will get kicked up I might go 15mph.

1. Grapevine Hills Road to Grapevine Hills trail
2. Old Maverick Road, is it faster to go on here to get from Terlingua to Santa Elana? If I'm going 15mph because of stones, probably not.
3. Old Ore Road to Ernst Tinaja trail
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 08:10:35 PM by nemesis256 »

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 08:14:56 PM »
I'm wondering if it's possible to go on these 3 back roads with an average car. I'm usually driving slow on them to not reck the (rental) car. If it's dirt/sand I might go the speed limit, but if the road has rocks that will get kicked up I might go 15mph.

1. Grapevine Hills Road to Grapevine Hills trail
2. Old Maverick Road, is it faster to go on here to get from Terlingua to Santa Elana? If I'm going 15mph because of stones, probably not.
3. Old Ore Road to Ernst Tinaja trail

#1 -- no problem
#2 -- washboarding holding down your speed likely to be the only problem
#3 -- a bit rough, but do-able...enter from the south (obviously). Slow & steady & you should be OK.
John & Tess

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 10:27:49 PM »
Yeah, Old Ore is gonna be a bit of a stretch. I would vote against it.  Save it for another trip.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 11:03:34 PM »
I'm wondering if it's possible to go on these 3 back roads with an average car. I'm usually driving slow on them to not reck the (rental) car. If it's dirt/sand I might go the speed limit, but if the road has rocks that will get kicked up I might go 15mph.

1. Grapevine Hills Road to Grapevine Hills trail
2. Old Maverick Road, is it faster to go on here to get from Terlingua to Santa Elana? If I'm going 15mph because of stones, probably not.
3. Old Ore Road to Ernst Tinaja trail

#1 -- no problem
#2 -- washboarding holding down your speed likely to be the only problem
#3 -- a bit rough, but do-able...enter from the south (obviously). Slow & steady & you should be OK.
I've done Grapevine Hills in a sedan several times. Maverick is usually not a problem for cars. If they've had rain recently, it can get pretty bad, but they will post notices if that's the case. We did Old Ore from the South to Ernst Tinaja in a Toyota minivan, but that was about as rough as I'd ever try in a vehicle like that. You might be able to get an honest opinion based on current conditions at the visitor center, depending on whom you ask.

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Offline Desert_Dave

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 04:37:33 AM »
I attempted Old Maverick road last weekend in my high clearance 2WD F-250.  I don't know if it would be any better in a car or truck with softer suspension, but in my 3/4 ton truck the washboarding was absolutely awful.  I was only able to go about 5 MPH, any faster and it felt like my truck was going to shake into pieces.  This was going north to south, I only got maybe 2 or 3 miles down the road before I turned around and putted 5 MPH back to pavement. 

In comparison, I was able to go about 15 to 20 on grapevine hills road.  I know my truck has stiff suspension but to me Old Maverick was ridiculously washboarded.  It made Pinto Canyon feel like the autobahn.

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Offline badknees

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 12:18:49 PM »
Yeah, Old Ore is gonna be a bit of a stretch. I would vote against it.  Save it for another trip.

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I agree. There is a really rocky stretch on the south end not far from the blacktop. High clearance will save an oil pan or a tranny housing. Still it can probably be done and I have done it in a car before. I would not choose that option again. From Ernst northward is a definite high clearance road over much of the distance.
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline tx1c

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 01:02:37 PM »
I took Old Maverick south to north earlier this month.  Just as already mentioned, the washboarding kept me slow.  I stayed on for the entire length because I was enjoying driving my new (to me) truck. 

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Offline Al

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2013, 01:39:03 PM »
We have never had a problem getting to and from Ernst in a compact rent car.  There are only a couple of stretches where you need to be careful.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 04:19:39 PM »
We have never had a problem getting to and from Ernst in a compact rent car.  There are only a couple of stretches where you need to be careful.

Al this is good to hear, maybe I will try it in Dec. if there are no reports of water in Carlota tinaja
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline Al

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2013, 05:09:04 PM »
There is a hill right before Ernst that used to be a bit of challenge but it has been graded to the point that it's not that bad.  If I remember correctly there was a VW van down there less than a year ago. You're a farm boy and should have no problem!

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Back roads with average car
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 01:28:16 PM »
We camped at Candelilla a few trips back and I saw a Camry heading south toward the end of the OOR!  I bet it was a rental!
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

 


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