Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => The Backroads => Topic started by: ds9writer on July 27, 2014, 08:31:39 AM

Title: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: ds9writer on July 27, 2014, 08:31:39 AM
Anyone have any pics of the "pinch canyon" portion (as I saw it called in another post) of Black Gap Road before the concrete?  I'd heard how hairy that road was, and when we went, it didn't seem like much at all because of said concrete...

(http://i650.photobucket.com/albums/uu230/ds9writer/Big%20Bend%20NP%20Spring%202013/IMG_7341-1.jpg) (http://s650.photobucket.com/user/ds9writer/media/Big%20Bend%20NP%20Spring%202013/IMG_7341-1.jpg.html)

Just wondering what it was like in the raw...
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: The Scorpion on July 27, 2014, 10:34:31 AM
I would like to see it also. it was not near as bad as I thought it would have been.  I took it the other way in my wife's FJ and was pretty easy. Im pretty sure in dry conditions I could have taken my 2wd trailblazer down black gap road.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB-DOWs7M50 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB-DOWs7M50)
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Damdifino on September 01, 2014, 07:48:59 AM
Sorry, I don't have pics of the "Black Gap" of Black Gap Road because the last time I passed through in February 2014 there were a couple of dirt-bikers blasting repeatedly through it and I just wanted to stay clear of them. However, at the time there were no concrete "improvements," nor have there ever been previously, to my knowledge.

At the time I passed through, it was pretty gnarly, with large uneven protruding boulders as well as many sizeable loose rocks. I managed to sustain some noticeable gouges to my front and rear rocker panels under the bumpers. Of course, whatever else its considerable merits, the LC 200 series is not known for its approach and departure angles.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/26823246@N08/15104567412/

Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: ds9writer on September 02, 2014, 08:53:08 AM
You can see the concrete under the Jeep in the top post...

BTW, looked at your flickr pics and very jealous of your San Juan pics - on what trail(s) were these taken (I see Mr. Sneffels, so I know some are around Ouray)?  Looking for some good dirt and off-road trails up there...
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: kevint on September 02, 2014, 09:51:15 AM
BTW, looked at your flickr pics and very jealous...
Ditto...
Ditto...
Ditto...
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Damdifino on September 09, 2014, 02:49:54 PM
I just got back from an eight week trip to southern Utah and the San Juans. That pic is probably from Yankee Boy Basin. I also did Clear Lake, Ophir Pass,  California Pass, Hurricane Pass, Last Dollar Road and a few others. In Utah the highlights were White Rim Road, Gemini Bridges Road and Hells Revenge. Some of these not recommended for stock vehicle, which is what I have. It was great fun!
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: ds9writer on September 09, 2014, 03:06:55 PM
Quote
That pic is probably from Yankee Boy Basin. I also did Clear Lake, Ophir Pass,  California Pass, Hurricane Pass, Last Dollar Road and a few others.

Wonderful!  Thanks for the info!

I'm familiar with that area, but from my long-passed backpacking days, not from an off-road point of view... hope to head up there and take some of those roads very soon!
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: kevint on September 09, 2014, 07:58:39 PM

I just got back from an eight week trip to southern Utah and the San Juans. That pic is probably from Yankee Boy Basin. I also did Clear Lake, Ophir Pass,  California Pass, Hurricane Pass, Last Dollar Road and a few others. In Utah the highlights were White Rim Road, Gemini Bridges Road and Hells Revenge. Some of these not recommended for stock vehicle, which is what I have. It was great fun!

Last Dollar has been on my list for a while.


Kevint
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Jalco on October 26, 2014, 05:29:58 PM
Im pretty sure in dry conditions I could have taken my 2wd trailblazer down black gap road.

I'm considering doing this road in November.  My vehicle is a stock '98 Suburban, 4WD, with decent off-road tires.  From what I've seen on YouTube, my only concern is the "pinch canyon".

Is my Burb too long to make the turn and will my tail end drag when I go down the "steps".  I'm not worried about scratches and minor dents, but I don't want to to come out the other side leaking essentials fluids - gas, oil, transmission, etc.

Any input is appreciated.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: jim2 on October 26, 2014, 06:00:32 PM
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/upload/Black%20Gap%20Road%20poster-2.pdf
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: kevint on October 26, 2014, 07:08:24 PM
Just located this on YouTube.  Uploaded Sep 22, 2014.  I don't know when it was shot.


There are links in the notes to specific portions of the road.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egTKTWtxz8g



Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: steelfrog on October 27, 2014, 08:48:43 AM
You'll be fine Jalco
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Buck on October 27, 2014, 08:49:03 AM
Here's my '93 Suburban pulling a Ben Hur trailer going through the pinch last Thanksgiving:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1poOSp3x4TBRWjN46YXA7KuyF_x9iaa06x_xA_iYdaI?feat=directlink (https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1poOSp3x4TBRWjN46YXA7KuyF_x9iaa06x_xA_iYdaI?feat=directlink)

It's a stock 2500 4x4 running with 265/75's.
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: ds9writer on October 27, 2014, 09:33:02 AM
Is my Burb too long to make the turn and will my tail end drag when I go down the "steps".  I'm not worried about scratches and minor dents, but I don't want to to come out the other side leaking essentials fluids - gas, oil, transmission, etc.

Here's a video we put together running a Jeep with a 2 1/2" lift... at the end you can see what it looks like coming down the steps...  admittedly the Jeep is much shorter and probably a little bit higher, but you can probably get a good idea how your vehicle will be...

http://youtu.be/_yoLEb2HIrU

Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Jalco on October 27, 2014, 10:05:30 AM
Thanks for all the replies.  After looking at a few of the links (nice trailer,Buck), I realize we'll do fine.  We'll be running the road north to south (up the steps rather than down) w/ Elephant Tusk as our intended destination.  That's a whole 'nother topic to research.

Great forum.

Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: kevint on October 27, 2014, 10:18:54 AM
Just located this on YouTube.  Uploaded Sep 22, 2014.  I don't know when it was shot.

There are links in the notes to specific portions of the road.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egTKTWtxz8g (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egTKTWtxz8g)


Having reviewed this video, I was more concerned about the washes than the step.  I guess on this day mud was a factor but climbing up out of one of the washes near the end (1:49:00) was pretty steep and loose.  Any thoughts?
 
I'm considering the same trip. 
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: ds9writer on October 27, 2014, 10:29:53 AM
As long as you have a spotter, you're probably ok... I know we got out of the Jeep 2-3 times between Glenn Spring and the "pinch" - some deep ruts, but if you have someone guiding where your tires go, it should be ok...
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Buck on October 28, 2014, 08:59:00 AM
The washes near the Glen Springs end were pretty bad.  We had the burb on three wheels through one area and I was briefly worried about tipping over - unfounded, but it gave me that momentary 'but clench' feeling!  :icon_eek:
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Lance on October 28, 2014, 09:11:43 AM
Having reviewed this video, I was more concerned about the washes than the step.  I guess on this day mud was a factor but climbing up out of one of the washes near the end (1:49:00) was pretty steep and loose.  Any thoughts?
 
I'm considering the same trip.

I've always considered that spot crossing Fresno Creek near ET1 camp more difficult than the "pinch"..
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: ds9writer on October 28, 2014, 10:15:59 AM
Having reviewed this video, I was more concerned about the washes than the step.

Here's a video we shot of some of those washes and rough spots... the last segment is REALLY shaky, but my son was trying to spot me, shoot the video, walk backward and not trip all at the same time   :icon_lol:

http://youtu.be/INEP8Qly2Eg
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: SureNSteady on January 27, 2015, 02:50:00 PM
I drove South to North in a stock Subaru Outback on Dec. 29th, 2014 and came out fine.  A few cosmetic scratches on the front bumper and the tailpipe as well as some light desert pinstriping on the brand new vehicle were worth the experience.
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Jalco on January 27, 2015, 04:43:53 PM
I drove South to North in a stock Subaru Outback on Dec. 29th, 2014 and came out fine.  A few cosmetic scratches on the front bumper and the tailpipe as well as some light desert pinstriping on the brand new vehicle were worth the experience.

Did you manage to get the kayak wet on that trip?  I have three in my backyard that are extremely thirsty at this point...
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: SureNSteady on January 28, 2015, 09:03:00 AM
Did you manage to get the kayak wet on that trip?  I have three in my backyard that are extremely thirsty at this point...

Yup..did the Santa Elena canyon upstream to Fern Valley and back (about 5 miles one way).  Could have also floated up through Mariscal Canyon from Solis, but I didn't know that until it was too late.  Castalon gauge was 3.5 ft and about 175cfs.  I had a couple of spots where it was too shallow to paddle and I had to get out and pull the yak 50 feet or so. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgaGnbdFejI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-93Y3nPKjrA
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Apache on January 28, 2015, 04:50:49 PM
I drove South to North in a stock Subaru Outback on Dec. 29th, 2014 and came out fine.  A few cosmetic scratches on the front bumper and the tailpipe as well as some light desert pinstriping on the brand new vehicle were worth the experience.

Good for you man!  Exciting to hear about people actually taking advantage of the utility in a Subaru.  Taking the scratches and experience over the always safe route is worth it. 

And thumbs up for the kayaking as well, may bring mine and do those couple of trips you mentioned sometime.
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Jalco on January 28, 2015, 07:26:08 PM
Did you manage to get the kayak wet on that trip?  I have three in my backyard that are extremely thirsty at this point...

Yup..did the Santa Elena canyon upstream to Fern Valley and back (about 5 miles one way).  Could have also floated up through Mariscal Canyon from Solis, but I didn't know that until it was too late.  Castalon gauge was 3.5 ft and about 175cfs.  I had a couple of spots where it was too shallow to paddle and I had to get out and pull the yak 50 feet or so. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgaGnbdFejI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-93Y3nPKjrA

That is awesome.  Thanks for posting the videos.  We floated Santa Elena in rafts during college many moons ago.  Now my kids are in college and they want to make the trip.  Thanks for the nudge!
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: SureNSteady on January 29, 2015, 08:39:12 AM

Good for you man!  Exciting to hear about people actually taking advantage of the utility in a Subaru.  Taking the scratches and experience over the always safe route is worth it. 

And thumbs up for the kayaking as well, may bring mine and do those couple of trips you mentioned sometime.

Definitely need low water to paddle upstream.  It was 3.5ft and 175cfs at Castalon gauge on the day I went.. I'd estimate it would still be navigable all the way up to about 250-300cfs.  Anything below 150cfs would likely be a walk and drag most of the way.  I'd love to go farther, but the rockfall area about 7 miles in would stymie me.  It would be a hard portage (my kayak is a flat water 14').  An overnight on a sandbar up there would be killer though!

Sorry all if this got a bit off-topic. :eusa_angel:
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Casa Grande on January 29, 2015, 11:48:08 AM
"The Pinch"  isn't nearly as bad ad it used to be.  It used to have a foot or so drop off at times.   Sometimes you have to get out and rebuild the ramp with rocks.

The journey down black gap into the flats from Glenn Springs has given my ass cheeks a work out a time or two.  Once I went down and the road had a good 2 foot wide erosion gap going across the road and down the other side.  Had to straddle the edge of the cliff on the right side and pitch my jeep a few degrees to get around it.  Of course, that's when they started "unmaintaining" it.

www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!

Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: Apache on January 29, 2015, 12:35:59 PM

Good for you man!  Exciting to hear about people actually taking advantage of the utility in a Subaru.  Taking the scratches and experience over the always safe route is worth it. 

And thumbs up for the kayaking as well, may bring mine and do those couple of trips you mentioned sometime.

Definitely need low water to paddle upstream.  It was 3.5ft and 175cfs at Castalon gauge on the day I went.. I'd estimate it would still be navigable all the way up to about 250-300cfs.  Anything below 150cfs would likely be a walk and drag most of the way.  I'd love to go farther, but the rockfall area about 7 miles in would stymie me.  It would be a hard portage (my kayak is a flat water 14').  An overnight on a sandbar up there would be killer though!

Sorry all if this got a bit off-topic. :eusa_angel:

It's all good man, thanks for the info - I had never even thought about doing something like that.  I've got an 11.5 ft sit on, and don't really want to drive all the way to BiBe with it but paddling up Santa Elena a ways would make it worth it.
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: ds9writer on January 29, 2015, 02:22:42 PM
"The Pinch"  isn't nearly as bad ad it used to be.  It used to have a foot or so drop off at times.   Sometimes you have to get out and rebuild the ramp with rocks.

The journey down black gap into the flats from Glenn Springs has given my ass cheeks a work out a time or two.  Once I went down and the road had a good 2 foot wide erosion gap going across the road and down the other side.  Had to straddle the edge of the cliff on the right side and pitch my jeep a few degrees to get around it.  Of course, that's when they started "unmaintaining" it.

www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!

Yeah, was hoping to see what it was like before... and I've felt the same way on the way from Glenn Springs - that's what's in the video I posted a few posts above (reply #19) (but probably too shaky to see very well)
Title: Re: Black Gap "pinch canyon" -- BEFORE the concrete
Post by: BlindWilly on January 30, 2015, 02:52:13 PM
Howdy folks, I have a 3 part video from the North end of Black Gap to the south end.
I shot it with a new go pro and when I edited the video, I put it on 2x speed for time constraints.
Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE6RBrvXjjQ
Part2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysdi1Kbg3VA
Part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LOs5CT23sM

I didn't realize I was at the pinch until I'd driven right up to it, then I noticed the cement. The FJ went right up and over it.
What an amazing park and experience I had while there. I can't wait to visit again!