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Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...

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Offline andrwtzel

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Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« on: March 02, 2017, 08:35:05 AM »
Looking for some input on Black Gap road...As a background, I drive a 4x4 Nissan Frontier Pro4-x (off road edition). I have driven Old Ore road with no issues.

Specifically, I am planning on going to Mariscal Mine and camping at Elephant Tusk 1. Taking this approach (south to north), is this route possible? It seems that most travel north to south down Black Gap. Is that just preference, or is it not possible to travel Black Gap south to north?

Also – what is the general consensus on Black Gap? Harder than expected? Overstated?

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 08:59:49 AM »
There are only a few tricky spots on black gap road. The biggest obstacle is what many call the "pinch". There is a short steep climb requiring 4x4, but you should be able to do this either way. Will be tougher going from north to south, starting at Glenn spring road, but as long as you get out and inspect the area before the climb you should be good. Can't really see the obstacle in this video, but this is the "pinch"



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Offline andrwtzel

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Re: Black Gap Road Inquiry...
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 11:24:15 AM »
Thanks for the response and video.

So if I am mapping this out correctly in my head - "the pinch" is the same thing as "the step"...and if you travel north to south drop down "the pinch". And if you travel south to north - you step UP "the pinch"

Correct?

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 01:29:54 PM »
Yes they are the same thing, if you go north to south you will have to climb up.  That is the only section where clearance might be an issue. There is one spot where one side of the vehicle will be up on a slope while the other is on the road, and just before or after that spot depending on which direction you go, there is a ridge you drive along, feels like only inches on either side of your tires, but it's easily passable, just feels weird. You might have to engage 4x4 in a few spots to climb out of a wash and that's only because of the gravel in the wash bed. As long as it's dry back there you should have no problems.

Only other spot for concern is right by Glenn spring #1 camp site, it's narrow and rutted, just go slow and easy with 4x4.
In this video I'm leaving Glenn spring #1 camp site, going south to north ( or west to east). It's a tight hairpin turn at the end of the video. I have a super crew long bed f150 4x4



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Offline Jalco

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 02:23:28 PM »
The only issue my son and I experienced on Black Gap (north to south) was just after we left Glen Springs.  We weren't paying attention to the road, oohing and ahhing over the views, and we allowed our two front tires to slip into ruts, "turtling" our front end.  No biggy, just backed out and re-routed.  You can bet we paid attention after that.  The actual maneuvering of the "pinch" was underwhelming compared to the anticipation/dread/worry we had built up in our minds.  We were in a Trooper.

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Offline rocketman

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 05:57:24 PM »
If you have any experience off-roading in TX, you will not come upon anything that should make you pucker (much). The pinch/step thingy is overrated IMO. Kudos to Mr. Scorpion for doing it in a giant truck with street tires!
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Offline VivaTerlingua

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2017, 10:19:31 AM »
Just did that exact same route yesterday.  Drove to Solis and hiked the cross canyon trail, then drove to Elephant Tusk and camped.  Hiked part of Elephant Tusk trail in the morning and drove out via Black Gap road.  Did it in a Toyota Sequoia.  Saw a Suburban go past that way the night before when I was at camp.


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Offline Reece

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 11:07:40 AM »
The easiest way to get to EL1 is from the south -- Rio Grande Village Road - River Road East - Talley Road - Black Gap. Then you can explore Black Gap to the north (the rougher part) if you want.


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Offline Student4Life

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2018, 06:12:59 PM »
Hello everyone!
Sorry to bump up an old thread BUT I am planning to drive Black Gap Road next weekend.  I was wondering if anyone has been on that road recently and how were the conditions?
Thanks in advance for the intel!

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Online 01ACRViper

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 12:25:37 PM »
As long as it's dry you'll be OK

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Offline JordanFiveOh

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Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 01:38:42 PM »
I was last on it in mid-December, but it was great. I went South to North that time and did it all in 2WD in an FJ Cruiser.

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Online mbender

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2018, 06:32:26 PM »
I was there, North to South, two weeks ago. It looks pretty much the same as in the videos above. I don't believe it changes much.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2018, 10:53:40 PM »
I went South to North that time and did it all in 2WD in an FJ Cruiser.

That just cannot be.  :wtf: :smiley_confused1:

Because.....

Per the OFFICIAL NPS decree

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This road is not maintained, and 4-wheel drive is required at all times.

Plus, the NPS never talks about going south to north, because, OMG, you would have to climb
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The Infamous Black Gap “Step”
rather than merely ease down over a few rocks in your path.

Clearly, the NPS never has tried this route, in either direction, otherwise they wouldn't post such drivel about "difficulty."
_____________
<  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 JordanFiveOh

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Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2018, 11:14:40 PM »
Yes, South to North has you going down the step.

My FJ isn’t an extreme offroad machine or anything, but I do have E range tires and some nice suspension with good ground clearance.

If you didn’t have those things and/or had a longer wheelbase vehicle it could be more interesting.

I haven’t tried going North to South in strictly 2WD yet, though I could likely do it as long as I am aired down to 15-20 psi or so and the road hasn’t received rain recently. Regardless, it’s still pretty easy to see why the NPS “requires” 4WD. Just because I can float over the non-obstacle parts at speed doesn’t mean everyone can!


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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Black Gap Roadd Inquiry...
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 08:04:04 PM »
Black gap is not that big of a deal. I've driven it several times in various Jeeps, 4x4s, and trucks.   All good.  The only issue would be a truck with a long wheel base.  Might make it difficult to traverse some of the washes. 

And,  Viper is right. If it's raining or going to rain don't even try, at least without 4x4.

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