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.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


BBNP roads history?

  • 15 Replies
  • 7502 Views
*

Offline hikerbikerdriver

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 2
BBNP roads history?
« on: January 06, 2015, 09:01:26 PM »
Can anyone point me in the direction of some history of the roads in BBNP? Were the dirt roads originally ranch and mine service roads, or were some of them built specifically by the NPS? Were Old Maverick and Old Ore always called "old?" What roads did the Wilsons and the Nails take to travel north? Inquiring minds...

*

Offline presidio

  • Soaptree Yucca
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3503
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 10:17:28 PM »
Can anyone point me in the direction of some history of the roads in BBNP? Were the dirt roads originally ranch and mine service roads, or were some of them built specifically by the NPS? Were Old Maverick and Old Ore always called "old?" What roads did the Wilsons and the Nails take to travel north? Inquiring minds...

I would think you could get this stuff from the NPS.
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

*

Offline elhombre

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1162
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 08:52:39 AM »
First Russian Collusion, then Obstruction, then illegal payment to Stormy Daniels, then tax returns subpoenaed. Now no formal vote on impeachment for a 30 min. phone call to Ukraine

No crime. No evidence, just more secret investigations

Drain the Swamp.  America will survive.  God Bless America

*

Offline Don H

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 379
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 09:09:52 AM »
Elephant Tusk used to be called Indianola Peak- Interesting!
"Rugged isolation in a Jeep with the top down, doors off, sweaty, dusty, listening to your flavor of tunes, immersed in the most beautiful and beguiling desert mountains in all of the Southwest, the Sierra Quemada. Nothing short of spiritual cleansing. " D. Locke

*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6251
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 10:02:43 AM »
What is intriguing about that map is recognizing where some of those old "ghost" roads lead that you may have seen on your journeys through the backroads.

www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!

*

Offline ds9writer

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 450
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 10:11:45 AM »
What is intriguing about that map is recognizing where some of those old "ghost" roads lead that you may have seen on your journeys through the backroads.

And some roads that no longer exist, and some that exist now that are not on the map (Old Ore in not in this pic, and the road marked isn't there now (is it?))

You don't travel to see different things,
You travel to see things differently.

*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6251
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 10:34:02 AM »
I very quickly and sloppily superimposed a modern map of the area over the old map to get a ball park image of where the roads are.  It is by no means exact, but it will give you an idea of where those ghost roads are.

www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!


*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6251
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 10:58:17 AM »

And some roads that no longer exist, and some that exist now that are not on the map (Old Ore in not in this pic, and the road marked isn't there now (is it?))



To answer that question, no.  It doesn't seem to be, but what is even more interesting is the fact that the old road seems to go down into the Tornillo flats area, which is pretty steep, from the top of McKinney Spring.  I've been exploring down there several times and never noticed any ghost roads there.


www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!


*

Offline ds9writer

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 450
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 11:49:58 AM »

And some roads that no longer exist, and some that exist now that are not on the map (Old Ore in not in this pic, and the road marked isn't there now (is it?))



To answer that question, no.  It doesn't seem to be, but what is even more interesting is the fact that the old road seems to go down into the Tornillo flats area, which is pretty steep, from the top of McKinney Spring.  I've been exploring down there several times and never noticed any ghost roads there.

It is very steep - the last half mile or so of OOR before you get to McKinney Spring is a huge dropoff on the western side... don't see how a road got there, unless it went up the creek drainage...??
You don't travel to see different things,
You travel to see things differently.

*

Offline Lance

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 867
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 12:36:44 PM »
Can anyone point me in the direction of some history of the roads in BBNP? Were the dirt roads originally ranch and mine service roads, or were some of them built specifically by the NPS? Were Old Maverick and Old Ore always called "old?" What roads did the Wilsons and the Nails take to travel north? Inquiring minds...

The old roads are a mixture of several things.  Oldest roads were foot trails, like the Comanche Trail come to mind.  Then in the 1800s there were horse and wagon/freighter roads.  A lot these followed washes and flat areas in the terrain.  Some of these turned into paved roads, some are still dirt roads that are used today and some abandoned to be slowly reclaimed by the desert.  There are literally old roads and trails all over the place in Big Bend.

If you are a Google Earth user, download the link in my signature (Big Bend Google Earth Project) and open it in Google Earth.  All of the dark purple roads are 'old roads' or 'old trails'.   Also, I've taken all the old US topographical maps from 1886-1930 in Big Bend and overlayed them on the 3D terrain in Google Earth.  If you open these two files together you can get a really good idea of how the old roads relate to today's roads and trails.  Personally, I plan on hiking some of these old roads in the future. 

Big Bend Google Earth Project (2015)
Big Bend Historical Topograpic Overlay (1896-1930) - 198MB

For more old maps, check out this post. Or if you would like recent USGS topographical overlays for Google Earth, check out this post..
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 01:56:52 PM by Lance »

*

Offline kevint

  • Golden Eagle
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 648
    • Pictures
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 01:01:49 PM »
The road from La Noria to Dugout wells has interested me.  When we camped at La Noria a couple of years ago, we stumbled across the road (not hard to do) and tracked it the short distance from La Noria to Tornillo Creek.  I've never had time to cross the creek bed and try to pick it up again.
 
When I first saw the 1903 map I was thrilled to see the road.  I've also read about people travelling from all over the country to Dugout wells to see plays put on at the school there.  I assume that exploring these type of roads will lead to some interesting and undocumented discoveries.
By the way, the 1903 map is now available in geopdf format so it can be loaded into Avenza PDF Maps and tracked real time on a smart phone or tablet.
-- Kevin (W5KLT)

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6251
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 02:10:04 PM »
By the way, the 1903 map is now available in geopdf format so it can be loaded into Avenza PDF Maps and tracked real time on a smart phone or tablet.

No kiddin?

www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!


*

Offline kevint

  • Golden Eagle
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 648
    • Pictures
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2015, 05:46:24 PM »

By the way, the 1903 map is now available in geopdf format so it can be loaded into Avenza PDF Maps and tracked real time on a smart phone or tablet.

No kiddin?

www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!

No kiddin'.



Kevint
-- Kevin (W5KLT)

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

*

Offline Imre

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 397
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2015, 06:52:53 PM »
Lance,
Thank you for the link to the Google Earth map.  :great: That's really an amazing view of the park and the old roads.  :willynilly:
Imre
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

*

Offline Geezer

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 668
Re: BBNP roads history?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2015, 11:17:29 PM »
It's also interesting to scrutinize the 1903 map for disused trails. For example, there's a trail shown that runs up Juniper Canyon past the current turnoff to Boot Canyon and on up to cross the Chinese Wall east of Casa Grande, whence it runs on down into Green Gulch. I've wanted to hike it for years but never managed to find anyone crazy enough to go along.

(Steelfrog?)

Geezer

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments