Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => The Backroads => Topic started by: MarkB on January 20, 2006, 02:43:16 PM

Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: MarkB on January 20, 2006, 02:43:16 PM
In your opinion which are the best and worst primitive roadside campsites in the park (desert only as there are none in the chisos) and why?
Title: roadside camp sites
Post by: dave2 on January 20, 2006, 03:10:15 PM
I don't much like K Bar because of the power line that is visible from the camp site.  There are a lot of good sites, Rice Tank is one because of its shelter from the north wind and for its view of the Chisos and Elphant Tusk.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Casa Grande on January 20, 2006, 06:03:35 PM
Desert Roadside campsites in order of shear perfection (well, maybe not perfection):

1. Juniper Canyon 1 (excellent view of NE Rim and Sierra Del Carmen)
2. Elephant Tusk 1 (because of it's pure openness and remotness)
3. Roy's Peak (seclusion and cool stuff to look at)
4. Chimney's (forget the number)
5. Glenn Springs 2
6. Nine Point Draw
7. Willow Tank

Least favorite:

Any site that is adjacent to another or on a busy road; ie., grapevine
Don't particularly like any of the ones along the river....
Title: River Sites
Post by: woodrow on January 20, 2006, 07:57:03 PM
Why not the river sites ??
Title: IMHO
Post by: SHANEA on January 21, 2006, 09:32:45 AM
1.  Too close to Ole Mexico and there have always been reports of camps being raided and things stolen.  Don't know for sure, might even be worse now that we have closed all of the "illegal" border crossings and ruined the economy over there.  2.  Generally, being camped along the river is usually a long ways from places I want to visit and hikes I want to do - and at 45mph on paved roads it takes forever.  3.  Me and my hiking/camping buddy have decided that we need to be "closer" to the hot springs at the close of each day so that we can chat with the Benders and locals and relax tired bones and watch the sun go away. - What a way to end the day!  Gosh darn it, I wish I was there right now!  We had a black Friday at work - layed off about 40 people including some good friends - one who had been there over thirty years.  Work Sux, I'm going to Big Bend...   8)
Title: Skurred...
Post by: chisos_muse on January 21, 2006, 02:43:24 PM
Yes when we even did the short Boquillas Canyon hike last spring there were alot of questionable peeps along the river that were yelling at us wanting to buy the walking sticks, but some other weird peeps that I'm sure weren't selling anything........I personally would not camp along the river either.

Shane, sorry about your workplace :(
When I'm having a bad day I always say out loud "I wanna go play in the park with the roadrunners and the kitties! Wah-Wah!"
Title: Re: River Sites
Post by: Casa Grande on January 22, 2006, 07:49:29 PM
Quote from: "woodrow"
Why not the river sites ??


 :oops:
Title: Thanks
Post by: MarkB on February 02, 2006, 12:38:15 PM
Guys and gals for your replies so far. Any more?
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Lemming_of_the_BDA on February 04, 2006, 07:18:06 AM
Pine Canyon 3 is my favorite. It's about 5 miles from the paved road, so you don't get much traffic, but it's close enough to the center of the park that everything is convenient (relatively speaking). And the views are spectacular.

Didn't care for Pine Canyon 4 until they moved it. Prior to the move, it was like camping in a parking lot. That was the jump off for the Pine Canyon trail.

I won't stay along the river. The potential to have violence committed upon oneself is too great.


By the way, does anyone know if PC1 & PC2 have been split up yet?? I talked to  a Ranger a while back and she said that was the plan.
Title: 99%
Post by: SHANEA on February 04, 2006, 09:37:43 AM
I'm 99% sure when we drove by there, December 2005, they had not been split up because we remarked how "close" they were.  We had been given the opportunity of camping there or La Noria - and fortunately we took La Noria.
Title: Pine Canyon sites
Post by: JeffB on February 08, 2006, 01:22:27 PM
The last Pine Canyon sites are very good.  The first couple are too close together and have a "parking lot" feel.  I prefer PC #4 because it is nearest one of the best hiking trailheads at the park.  Its a bit of a roungh drive in, I would recommend at least a high clearance vehicle and preferably 4WD.
Title: sites
Post by: billh on February 08, 2006, 01:47:46 PM
we camped for many years at K Bar and really liked it actually. Several years ago they moved the site, however and divided into 2 sites, one of which was in the old parking area, where it was very difficult to drive stakes for tents.

We've camped at Croton Springs, but it's close to highway, so people drive through which made me a bit concerned about theft, but never had a problem.

We have camped at Govt Springs, but there's a stable there, so flies could be an issue. Liked Paint Gap.
Title: Old Ore Road Places
Post by: gmonroe on February 08, 2006, 05:24:32 PM
Anyone ever camped at Carlota Tinaja?  I probably shouldn’t give away one of my secrete hiding places, but we used to camp there all the time when on the old ore road and exploring the east side of the park.  You can drive right by it an never see it if your not looking.  A beautiful little rock shelf overlooks Tornillo Creek and makes a fine place to set up camp (if you don’t mind hauling your stuff around the mall ledge along the Tinaja, which is almost always filled with water).  You can’t beat the sunset there…from most anywhere in the park.  My first experience with Ouzo was at Carlota.  I found out why they call it Ouzo…your brains ooze out of your ears.  I found myself plastered to a flat rock the next morning.  Oh for the old days when my body would put up with such nonsense.  :wink:
Title: Re: Old Ore Road Places
Post by: Casa Grande on February 08, 2006, 06:14:40 PM
Quote from: "gmonroe"
Anyone ever camped at Carlota Tinaja?  I probably shouldn’t give away one of my secrete hiding places, but we used to camp there all the time when on the old ore road and exploring the east side of the park.  You can drive right by it an never see it if your not looking.  A beautiful little rock shelf overlooks Tornillo Creek and makes a fine place to set up camp (if you don’t mind hauling your stuff around the mall ledge along the Tinaja, which is almost always filled with water).  You can’t beat the sunset there…from most anywhere in the park.  My first experience with Ouzo was at Carlota.  I found out why they call it Ouzo…your brains ooze out of your ears.  I found myself plastered to a flat rock the next morning.  Oh for the old days when my body would put up with such nonsense.  :wink:


carlota tinaja...never done that one...perhaps i'll try this time.  Ouzo, my favorite college drink!  haven't had it in a while.....for a reason.... :-&
Title: Ted
Post by: SHANEA on February 08, 2006, 06:36:03 PM
What's Nugent camping spot like - over by Pine Canyon?
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Lemming_of_the_BDA on February 08, 2006, 08:57:20 PM
Nugent Mtn #1 and #2 are side by side sites. Suited for a large party or someone with horses. Not a lot of shelter there. Plus, it's pretty close to the main road. Lot's of traffic. Don't much care for it, but that's just me.

It is a decent spot if you're towing a small trailer, though.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Roy on February 09, 2006, 05:19:08 PM
Driven by it a number of times;  it's on the south side of the mountain, good views to the south and west.  Right on Glenn Springs road;  traffic looked like a problem to me.

My favorite is La Noria #2.  Off the road a ways;  a short walk takes you to the bluffs over Tornillo Creek.   Near the old cemetery so don't camp there if the ghosties bother you.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: SHANEA on February 09, 2006, 06:20:19 PM
Quote from: "Roy"
Near the old cemetery so don't camp there if the ghosties bother you.


Is there "remains" of a cemetary still there?  We last camped @ La Noria #1 and  really liked it.  Liked the hill behind our site for observations - were closer to the stars too.  Stars were much brighter up on the hill than down below. :lol:

Think we are going to try and use #2 next time as it is the end of the road, don't have to climb the hill to see the basin, and has more room for swinging a trailer.  Of course, #1 does offer somewhat of a wind break. 8)
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Roy on February 09, 2006, 08:09:40 PM
It can be windy on the bluffs, especially if you've got a NW wind coming down the creek bed.  Lots of dust.  Never tried to do any stargazing there;  the view across Tornillo Creek and the Chisos with a full moon is outstanding.
The little trail from the site to the creek goes right past the cemetery and some old foundations, etc.
Title: Nugent
Post by: JeffB on February 13, 2006, 01:35:31 AM
Nugent is nothing too spectacular.  Very similar to the first Pine Canyon sites but it is closer to the main road.  Its flat and open and the sites are kind of close together with a common parking area.  Great night sky from that site due to the unobstructed view to the south.  No shade in the morning & hard to dig a hole anywhere nearby.

I wouldn't recommend it unless the Pine Canyon sites are full or your vehicle has trouble getting deep into the unimproved roads.  The road gets much worse after you pass Nugent #1&2.
Title: Paint Gap
Post by: JeffB on February 13, 2006, 01:44:13 AM
My favorite is the last Paint Gap.  The road is not too difficult for my Ford Ranger and the hills and valleys give a closed-in feel.  In the morning the bird calls really echo down in the "saddle".  No shade though.  And the sunset is obscured because you are down in the saddle between hills.

No traffic whatsoever since you are at the far end of the primitive road.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: 01ACRViper on February 19, 2006, 11:19:00 PM
how are the Glenn Springs sites? i'm going with a group of 7 friends that haven't been to BB before, and i want to get away from the basin campground. I've driven by the sites a number of times on my way to the ET trail, but have yet to stop. each time there wsa water in the creek, which is always nice :) for the second night i've narrowed it down to there or Rice Tanks, and PC for the last night.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Lemming_of_the_BDA on February 20, 2006, 09:06:12 AM
Quote from: "01ACRViper"
how are the Glenn Springs sites? i'm going with a group of 7 friends that haven't been to BB before, and i want to get away from the basin campground. I've driven by the sites a number of times on my way to the ET trail, but have yet to stop. each time there wsa water in the creek, which is always nice :) for the second night i've narrowed it down to there or Rice Tanks, and PC for the last night.


I prefer Glenn Springs 1. (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/backcountry/bccamps/roadsides/glennsprgroad/glennspr.htm) It has a secluded feel, and is large enough for your guests. Don't care for GS 2 at all. It's like camping in a parking lot.

FWIW, the Black Gap Road warnings are a little over stated. GS 1 is at the bottom of a small hill, just off the main road. It's not like you have to go 4X4 for miles and miles. My only concern would be if a storm was coming. Might be tough to cross the creek and climb the hill.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: 01ACRViper on February 20, 2006, 12:21:23 PM
Quote from: "Lemming_of_the_BDA"
Quote from: "01ACRViper"
how are the Glenn Springs sites? i'm going with a group of 7 friends that haven't been to BB before, and i want to get away from the basin campground. I've driven by the sites a number of times on my way to the ET trail, but have yet to stop. each time there wsa water in the creek, which is always nice :) for the second night i've narrowed it down to there or Rice Tanks, and PC for the last night.


I prefer Glenn Springs 1. (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/backcountry/bccamps/roadsides/glennsprgroad/glennspr.htm) It has a secluded feel, and is large enough for your guests. Don't care for GS 2 at all. It's like camping in a parking lot.

FWIW, the Black Gap Road warnings are a little over stated. GS 1 is at the bottom of a small hill, just off the main road. It's not like you have to go 4X4 for miles and miles. My only concern would be if a storm was coming. Might be tough to cross the creek and climb the hill.


thanks for the info, i'll try to get that site. yeah, i think most ratings on the roads in BB are overrated; for safety i guess. i've yet to need 4 wheel drive in all my trips out there :)
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: chisos_muse on February 20, 2006, 01:35:28 PM
Hey Roy, I can't really make out what your Avatar pic is? :?  Weren't you a raven before I left for my trip? :)
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: EdB on March 29, 2006, 10:53:17 AM
Just discovered this site - about a month too late. I went to Big Bend for a week late February, and it would have been great to have some of the info on here before then. I guess I'll have to go back. :wink:

Anyway, I camped 4 nights at 4 different roadside sites. My rankings, from favorite to least favorite are:
1) Nugent #1
2) Grapevine #4
3) Glenn Springs #2
4) Terlingua Abajo #4

I camped by myself, hiked by myself, and drove around by myself for the first 4 days I was there, moving every night to a new spot. Nugent was my last road site, and it was a nice change - the fact that there was the occasional truck going by reassured me that I wasn't completely isolated.  Plus, it had great views for sunrise/sunset. If you're looking to get away from everything for a couple days, this spot wouldn't be good. For me, at that time, it was perfect. It probably wouldn't have been so nice if someone was occupying the other site next to it, but I got lucky.
 
Grapevine was almost at the end of the road (#5 was just beyond it). It was far enough away from #5, but I could still hear the people talking (ableit quietly).

GS was, as described earlier, like camping in a parking lot. #1 looked better. It had decent views for sunrise/sunset, but that's about it.

TA was just a mistake. I wanted somewhere close to Santa Elena canyon so I could get up and not have to drive too far for sunrise photos. The campsite was pretty barren, views were blah. I would've been better off at Cottonwood, which is where I stayed a few nights later.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: randell on March 29, 2006, 11:48:31 AM
Quote from: "EdB"
Just discovered this site - about a month too late. I went to Big Bend for a week late February, and it would have been great to have some of the info on here before then. I guess I'll have to go back. :wink:

Anyway, I camped 4 nights at 4 different roadside sites. My rankings, from favorite to least favorite are:
1) Nugent #1
2) Grapevine #4
3) Glenn Springs #2
4) Terlingua Abajo #4

I camped by myself, hiked by myself, and drove around by myself for the first 4 days I was there, moving every night to a new spot. Nugent was my last road site, and it was a nice change - the fact that there was the occasional truck going by reassured me that I wasn't completely isolated.  Plus, it had great views for sunrise/sunset. If you're looking to get away from everything for a couple days, this spot wouldn't be good. For me, at that time, it was perfect. It probably wouldn't have been so nice if someone was occupying the other site next to it, but I got lucky.
 
Grapevine was almost at the end of the road (#5 was just beyond it). It was far enough away from #5, but I could still hear the people talking (ableit quietly).

GS was, as described earlier, like camping in a parking lot. #1 looked better. It had decent views for sunrise/sunset, but that's about it.

TA was just a mistake. I wanted somewhere close to Santa Elena canyon so I could get up and not have to drive too far for sunrise photos. The campsite was pretty barren, views were blah. I would've been better off at Cottonwood, which is where I stayed a few nights later.


Welcome!  Nice to have you on board.  Might we see some of these "sunrise photos" you speak of?
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Doc Savage on March 30, 2006, 02:29:38 PM
Our favorites are:

Glen Springs (not sure the number, it's the one just off Black Gap road down next to the stream). Excellent secluded location. People could drive right by and never know you were there. Not a bad hike up to the ruins. Lots of wildlife around at night. Just hope you don't mind the "night sounds".

Elephant Tusk. You are literally in the middle of nowhere there. Completely secluded (unless someone is driving on the road as you are right on the side of the road).

Robert
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Roy on March 30, 2006, 04:42:41 PM
Welcome, Doc.  With those credentials, you ought to talk to Homerboy;  was trying to find his original post about his group's trip in Mexico near Boquillas but couldn't find it;  maybe someone else can locate the thread.  He's from Piedras Negras;  had some great photos from south of the river.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Doc Savage on March 30, 2006, 04:56:33 PM
Quote from: "Roy"
Welcome, Doc.  With those credentials, you ought to talk to Homerboy;  was trying to find his original post about his group's trip in Mexico near Boquillas but couldn't find it;  maybe someone else can locate the thread.  He's from Piedras Negras;  had some great photos from south of the river.


Found the thread. many of the pics were missing but the ones left were cool. I'll have to pass that on to our International VP, we have clubs from New Zeland, Australia, South Africia, and Canada in United.

Robert
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: EdB on March 30, 2006, 05:26:13 PM
Quote from: "Randell"
Welcome!  Nice to have you on board.  Might we see some of these "sunrise photos" you speak of?


I'm working on uploading photos from a bunch of my trips right now. When I get my most recent Big Bend trip done (it's the first one I'm doing), I'll throw the link out here.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: MarkB on March 30, 2006, 07:09:35 PM
Welcome EdB. If you get the photos ready fairly soon you can also join the Big Bend Photos MSN group and have them entered into the photo contest which ends 4-8-06. Go here for more info: http://groups.msn.com/bigbendphotos/general.msn
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: EdB on March 30, 2006, 08:36:07 PM
Some photos are up now. I just posted the link to the album on the photo forum : http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/index.php?topic=603.0
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: chisos_muse on March 30, 2006, 08:43:07 PM
Great photos Ed! :D  Thanks for posting them.....Hope you enjoyed your trip as well 8)
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: MarkB on March 30, 2006, 09:26:57 PM
Some really great shots! Congrats!
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: tjavery on March 31, 2006, 03:41:01 PM
I've been on two trips so far, but I've had some awesome experiences!

The Pine Canyon campsite #4 is awesome. I spent my very first night in BB there. This was at the new location (away from the trailhead). I wished the damn map had been updated because my wife and I thought we were camped right next to the trailhead. Note that the map we were given at HQ (Sept. 2004) showed the campsite AT the trailhead. We begain our hike of Pine Canyon from the campsite, and it's probably almost 1 mile from the trailhead! (i.e. our fabulous Pine Canyon hike was about an extra 2 miles longer than necessary!).

Anyway, PC4 has amazing views and provides much peace and isolation from the world. Sunset and sunrise there was awesome because of the long distances you can see and all the mountains that pretty much ring the horizon.
http://www.texbrick.com/photo/bb/bb_pic03.jpg

Ernst Tinaja #1 is great. It's in close proximity to the trailhead (could be a bad thing during busy times) so you can hike into the canyon directly from the camp. There's a small hill to the west that once climbed, offers awesome views of the Chisos.

We had a nice visit here, despite getting a flat tire and then being surprized by a very stealthy park ranger. We were eating dinner after sunset and all of a sudden became aware of a man walking towards us! I nearly choked on my food, which was a good thing becuase it prevented me from screaming like a little girl. But he was friendly and just wanted to check on us and look at our permit.
http://www.texbrick.com/photo/bb_trip_plan/et_8.jpg

The Elephant Tusk primitive site looks pretty nice, but I didn't stay there. I parked near there to start an overnight hike to the peak. Here's a shot that's somewhat close to the campsite:
http://www.texbrick.com/photo/big_bend2/details_text/bb2_dt_04.jpg

The campsite is right across the road from the trailhead, so it was a little busy because of people who parked there to go hike up to the peak. The campsite reminded me some of PC#4- it's in a very open, flat stretch of country with mountians off in the distance 360?.

Of course you can always haul your stuff about 4 miles down the trail and camp close to the peak  :D
http://www.texbrick.com/photo/big_bend2/details_text/bb2_dt_13.jpg

I go to Big Bend for the scenery mainly, but also for the peace, quiet, and solitude (hey, who doesn't?  :D ) I think that any backcountry site that is remote and tough to get to will be a pretty good site. I'd like to try the campsites at Telephone Canyon, Willow Tank/Ernst Basin, Glenn Spring, Juniper Canyon, and Dominguez Trailhead. Of course with Zone camping rules, you can camp just about anywhere outside the Chisos!
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: trailblazer on February 09, 2007, 07:10:21 PM
My top  car camping sites are as follows:

1. chimney"s  
2. ernst tinaja 2
3. pine canyon 3
4. juniper canyon 2
5. paint gap 1

want to do list

elephant's tusk
fresno
rice tank
Title: No Brainer
Post by: Al on February 09, 2007, 10:46:23 PM
Any backroad campsite is better then, dare I say, any of the grouped campsites . . .  Go for it!

Al
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: kevint on January 28, 2012, 04:54:21 PM
If it is OK, I'll breathe a little life into this thread.


Are there any of these primitive roadside campsites with anything remotely resembling shade--a small bluff, a single cottonwood tree or anything of the sort.


I know it is unlikely but you dont' know if you don't ask.
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: jim2 on January 28, 2012, 07:01:49 PM
kevin, paint gap 4 is surrounded by hills, it is in the shade early evening. all the others i've seen have no shade, i take some. we've used a popup out there with good results, it didn't blow away! the sun sets earlier at the sites on the east side of the chisos. 
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Al on January 28, 2012, 07:28:44 PM
The last Grapevine Hills site, I think it's 5,  is surrounded by brush and if you laid down in the right spot might even have some limited shade at noon.
Title: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Casa Grande on January 29, 2012, 10:51:09 AM
If you want shade, stay out of the desert and opt for the upper Chisos.
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: kevint on January 29, 2012, 01:38:51 PM
Yep.  That's what I thought.  The closest thing I could think of that is automobile accessible is Twisted Shoe.
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: jim2 on January 29, 2012, 02:22:55 PM
twisted shoe, robbers roost, pine canyon 5 are three of my favorite campsites. robbers roost has two or three tent  spaces, it's the largest of the three.
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Homer67 on January 30, 2012, 12:32:33 PM
Last April we camped at PC4...there wasn't any shade, but there were two nice sotol stalks at the camp site.  I put an awning on the old Coleman using my siltarp and shocked the tie downs over the tent with some small bungees, which worked well in the high wind.  It worked nicely as a wind block when cooking dinner and provided enough shade for us to relax and enjoy a cold one from the cooler. 

This was our first trip to take advantage of the primitive road sites; we camped at Terlingua Abajo and Grapevine Hills as well. Somehow it felt like we were cheating.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7164/6790675855_caf42293ec.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74789137@N07/6790675855/)
PC4  April 2011 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74789137@N07/6790675855/) by Superhomer670 (http://www.flickr.com/people/74789137@N07/), on Flickr

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7011/6790686037_43a265d0d5.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74789137@N07/6790686037/)
My Girl always rocks the food!  April 2011 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74789137@N07/6790686037/) by Superhomer670 (http://www.flickr.com/people/74789137@N07/), on Flickr

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7145/6790699609_0b463330a9.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74789137@N07/6790699609/)
Very convenient!  April 2011 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/74789137@N07/6790699609/) by Superhomer670 (http://www.flickr.com/people/74789137@N07/), on Flickr

It was nice to break out the cots and the big thermarest...why not cadillac-it when car camping?
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Al on January 30, 2012, 11:55:40 PM
The short version of having shade while primitive camping is to bring your own shade.  Over the years we have relied mainly on the angle of the parked vehicle and occasional moving as necessary to follow the shade.  I think Bdann and friends posted a fine example of the craft a couple of years ago.  It's pretty intuitive.

Al
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: ds9writer on March 14, 2013, 10:50:05 AM
We went during Spring Break (we know, the worst time to go, but no choice this year) -- and when we got there, there were only 3-4 sites left.  All but one was on the river, so we chose that one - Dominguez Trailhead.  At first, we thought we'd missed something, as there is a large, open parking area for the trial.  But then we noticed a very hidden and narrow steep road down, and the campsite is a couple hundred yards down that hill.  It's in a small bowl with views to the southeast but sheltered on 3 sides.  It's far enough away from the trailhead parking lot that no one will see you or your gear there.  Really nice, peaceful, but it's 2 hours from anywhere in the park - that's the only drawback.

We also stayed in McKinney Springs - again, very nice, sheltered on 3 sides, 3 minute walk to the springs, miles from anyone, but the Old Ore Road into it is 4x4 and it took us an hour and 15 minutes to travel the 8-ish miles to the campground.  It's ok if you're just going to chill there, but a pain if you are using it as a base camp to go elsewhere in the park.

All in all, though, we were very pleased with both (except for the 1-2 hour bumpy drives to get elsewhere in the park)
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: catz on March 14, 2013, 11:07:23 AM
Yeah, the Dominguez camp site is kind of hidden.  The sign for it should be up where the access road to it leaves the main parking area.

Like most of the primitive camp sites, there is zero shade; that's the only downside (but we were there in the summer).
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: ds9writer on April 16, 2014, 04:37:42 PM
The short version of having shade while primitive camping is to bring your own shade.  Over the years we have relied mainly on the angle of the parked vehicle and occasional moving as necessary to follow the shade.  I think Bdann and friends posted a fine example of the craft a couple of years ago.  It's pretty intuitive.

Al

Yep, that's the easiest way...

(http://i650.photobucket.com/albums/uu230/ds9writer/Big%20Bend%20NP%20Spring%202013/IMG_7403-1.jpg) (http://s650.photobucket.com/user/ds9writer/media/Big%20Bend%20NP%20Spring%202013/IMG_7403-1.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: badknees on April 22, 2014, 07:50:48 PM
The short version of having shade while primitive camping is to bring your own shade.  Over the years we have relied mainly on the angle of the parked vehicle and occasional moving as necessary to follow the shade.  I think Bdann and friends posted a fine example of the craft a couple of years ago.  It's pretty intuitive.

Al

Yep, that's the easiest way...

(http://i650.photobucket.com/albums/uu230/ds9writer/Big%20Bend%20NP%20Spring%202013/IMG_7403-1.jpg) (http://s650.photobucket.com/user/ds9writer/media/Big%20Bend%20NP%20Spring%202013/IMG_7403-1.jpg.html)

Except at high noon...........
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: Al on April 22, 2014, 11:39:57 PM
Yup, but don't forget the shade around winter solstice.
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: andrwtzel on February 07, 2017, 08:09:38 AM
Hope everyone is okay with me bumping this old post up. The information is just too good to warrant a new thread.

So far my rankings....
1. Pine Canyon 4.
         Great views of the Chisos, centrally located.
         No real complaints here
2. Grapevine Hills 4.
          Nice view of the mountain range opposite the Chisos (Christmas Mts I believe?)
          There's a little hill just beside the tent pad that is perfect for setting up chairs and stargazing
          Only drawback is GH5 is close by, but as long as the negihbors are respectful, it's no problem
3. Candelila
          Not much in the way of views, but certainly isolated. Close enough to the road to be a good spot after a day at the Hot Springs and Mexico
4. Paint Gap 4
         A fan favorite here, but not mine. Hills on both sides provide opportunity for some shade. No notable views.


Are Roy's Peak and Chimneys still campsites? Looking at my topo, I don't see them listed.
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: elhombre on February 07, 2017, 08:20:20 AM
Paint Gap 5 does not exist.  Do you mean #4?
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: badknees on February 07, 2017, 08:24:45 AM
Paint Gap 5 does not exist.  Do you mean #4?

Yep, no #5.

#4 is a good site, except the road to it is really rough going through the gap.
Title: Re: Best and Worst primitive roadside campsites?
Post by: andrwtzel on February 07, 2017, 09:04:57 AM
Yep...PG4, edited my original post.

Thanks for catching