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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Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road

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Offline kerriM

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Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« on: August 29, 2018, 04:20:28 PM »
I just read on the parks website that the north end of Glenn Spring Road is closed. If I take the River Road to the South end of Glenn Springs are any parts of the roads particulars sandy?

I have a Yukon with 4WD but I really hate driving thorough sand. The last time I went through the River Road I was in a Jeep and I can't remember if it was sandy or not. Can anyone help me out before I go out there in a couple of weeks? I've never taken this vehicle through sand before....

Thanks!

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Offline ggowins

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 04:25:27 PM »
The east side of River Road from Rio Grande Village side is not sandy at all.  If you are coming in via the western side, there is a bit in a few wash crossings, but nothing like beach driving. 

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Offline Mesquito

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2018, 05:17:36 PM »
Iíve ridden that on a mountain bike.  Iíd certainly remember any sand.  I donít.

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2018, 05:40:04 PM »
I've done that road in Suburban with no problem.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2018, 05:44:28 PM »
I've done that road in Suburban with no problem.

2WD sedans have traveled that road.
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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)

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Offline kerriM

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 07:09:31 AM »
Exactly what I needed to know. Thank you for your help.

I've only gotten stuck once and it was in sand. I don't care to repeat the experience if I can avoid it!

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2018, 01:32:37 PM »
In sandy, muddy and rough conditions it's best to lower your tire pressure for better traction and to aid your suspension. (Not to mention spare your back and neck some pain)
Of course you'll need a way to air them back up once you get on pavement. I suggest a good portable air compressor if you don't already have one.
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Offline rocketman

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 09:01:01 PM »
If you see you're going to be going through loose sand (as in a wash) try to keep up your momentum. The idea with lowering your air pressure and keeping momentum is to float over the sand instead of digging in.
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline presidio

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2018, 09:58:20 PM »
If you see you're going to be going through loose sand (as in a wash) try to keep up your momentum. The idea with lowering your air pressure and keeping momentum is to float over the sand instead of digging in.

To each their own.

But, in more than 45 years of going to Big Bend in everything from a 2WD Datsun to 4WD trucks, I've never seen a single place where the thought of airing down tires ever occurred to me as necessary, much less desirable.

I have driven every inch of Big Bend roads, some that are no longer open to vehicles, in all seasons and weather events. The park has almost nothing that is challenging in the way of roads, save perhaps immediately after a thunderstorm and flash flooding. Even then, the areas affected generally are quite short to cross. Even the 'daunting' Black Gap road isn't all that much.

Does that mean you cannot get bogged down? Of course not. But it's a lot more about driver skill than equipment and not a lot of skill is needed either.
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<  presidio  >
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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)

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Offline rocketman

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2018, 08:22:07 AM »
I was simply responding to this statement: "I've only gotten stuck once and it was in sand. I don't care to repeat the experience if I can avoid it!" Perhaps I should have stated that it was not in the specific context of Glen Spring or the River Road. My apologies for the confusion.
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline presidio

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2018, 09:52:18 AM »
I was simply responding to this statement: "I've only gotten stuck once and it was in sand. I don't care to repeat the experience if I can avoid it!" Perhaps I should have stated that it was not in the specific context of Glen Spring or the River Road. My apologies for the confusion.

I only was commenting about the broader recurring theme some folks advance that Big Bend roads are challenging to drive and extraordinary measures such as airing down are necessary. Comments which cause others to worry about traveling those roads.

It's much more about skill and experience. It even IS possible to drive in sand dunes on regular tires without lowering pressure. I've seen it done in California dune fields; pickups with LT tires. Certainly, in blow sand of great extent, low pressure tires do work better, But, in Big Bend it's completely unnecessary.
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<  presidio  >
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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)

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Offline rocketman

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Re: Question about Glen Spring Road and River Road
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2018, 07:36:12 PM »
Agree. Airing down in the Bend is not necessary.
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

 


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