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Mariscal Canyon via River Road W to E

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Offline Big Ben

  • Kangaroo Rat
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Mariscal Canyon via River Road W to E
« on: February 14, 2013, 10:20:23 AM »
I'm in the planning stages of a trip to Big Bend NP that would take place in late March and I have a few questions for you pros.  We have 4-6 people and 2-3 Jeeps. The plan is to stay at Chiso Basin Campground on the first night in the park then get up and fuel up at Panther Junction Service Station. After that, we would travel West to Grapevine Hills Trail then South via Maxwell Scenic Drive to Santa Elena Canyon and probably stay at Cottonwood Campground.

My questions begin here... Would we have enough daylight to travel from Cottonwood to Talley Rd, drop off canoes and gear, set up our own shuttle by taking a vehicle to Solis Landing, return to Talley and then floating the 10mile canyon? Our plans would then be to drive to Rio Grande Village to the next service station.

I'm running a few other scenarios through my head as well. One is to drive out to Talley and camping there to eliminate that drive time (1.5-2hrs?) from our river time.  The other would be to drive to Rio Grande Village and camp there the night before and approach it from the East side instead of driving the entire length of the River Road. This option would reduce my other fear of running out of gas. (Personally I would like to drive the entire length of the River Road for the experience if possible)

Besides daylight or lack thereof, my other concern is fuel. I plan on carrying at least a 3 or 4gal jerrycan with extra fuel for the trip. However, nothing would be worse than running out of gas on this stretch of road. Assuming the original plan and remembering that the last place we fueled up was Panther Junction, is it reasonable to make this trip and arrive safely at Rio Grande Village to refuel?

I've been reading quite a few of the forums here and they have been extremely helpful. I cannot thank you guys enough for sharing your knowledge and experience.

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Offline Jimbow

  • Black Bear
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Mariscal Canyon via River Road W to E
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 10:46:07 AM »
When in March? If it is during Spring Break prepare with plans a, b, and c. Especially for a Chiso Basin campsite.

What is the mileage range of the jeeps? I would be surprised if you ran out of fuel in a day. The pumps are 24/7 btw.

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Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

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Offline Big Ben

  • Kangaroo Rat
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Re: Mariscal Canyon via River Road W to E
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 10:54:38 AM »
We would be staying at Chiso Basin Camp on March 28th. I believe most of the Spring Breakers should be returning to classes by then but I'm not completely sure. I've been checking the reserved sites too and so far so good but we do need to set down plans and make a reservation as soon as we can.

With the modifications to my Jeep I typically get about 220-250miles per tank but that is city and highway driving. I guess my concern boils down to the pace of the road whether it be 5mph vs 25mph.

Thank you for your response.

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Offline Jimbow

  • Black Bear
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Mariscal Canyon via River Road W to E
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 11:02:59 AM »
You are correct, Texas Spring Break is 11-15 so you are in excellent luck. I prefer RGV campsites to the Basin, and would make an easy take out point. Cottonwood would be my last choice.

I have not floated the river, there are a couple posters here who have. You may also wish to call Far Flung Adventures, I have heard they offer solid advice without a sales pitch.

I have been at the Hot Springs when the outfitters have stopped for lunch and a quick soak. You may wish to add that to your plans.


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Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

 


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