Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => The Backroads => Topic started by: championbaum on October 13, 2009, 10:42:31 AM

Title: new jeep!
Post by: championbaum on October 13, 2009, 10:42:31 AM
hey I just bought a jeep wrangler and i have never driven any of the backroads but i would like to know which roads you guys would recommend cruising for my first trip in a few weeks. The only one i am slightly familiar with is the river road. I would like to check out mariscal mines and a few springs, but what should i make a priority for a weekend trip?
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: Casa Grande on October 13, 2009, 10:47:23 AM
Firstly, congrats and welcome to the Jeep community! 

1. Black Gap
2. Old Ore

Black Gap, of course, is the "Rubicon" of the Park and Old Ore is a nice long ride in the middle of the Eastern Backcountry. Be sure to check out Roy's Peak while on Old Ore.  And just after the "pinch canyon" (you'll know where I'm talking about when you get there), on Black Gap when coming from the Glenn Springs area, stop and do some wondering around there.  You'll find all kinds of neat stuff laying around.

Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: TexasAggieHiker on October 13, 2009, 10:49:56 AM
Congrats on the jeep!!   :eusa_clap:
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: Vince T on October 13, 2009, 11:42:07 AM
I would second the Old Ore and Black Gap roads.

Doing Old Ore from north to south, then meeting up with the Black Gap via River Rd would make for an excellent day of it off with a night at Pine Canyon #4 and you will be golden.

Make sure your spare is in good shape...and your jack is decent.  2 flat tires out there over the years has taught me that.

Congrats on the new Jeep.
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: championbaum on October 13, 2009, 11:57:44 AM
i have really wanted to see glenn spring so that is a great idea. ya i am excited, the spare is in good shape, i need to check the jack. pine canyon# 4 sounds good!
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: Matador on October 13, 2009, 01:34:27 PM
Welcome to the Jeep addiction!  Be prepared for some "pinstriping" that is unavoidable on Black Gap and Old Ore.  River Road West usually has some challenging deep mud spots.  Good Luck!
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: Casa Grande on October 13, 2009, 09:21:34 PM
I'll second the flat situation.....carry plugs, and even more important, the tools to plug!  Nothing like being stranded in the middle of nowhere on Old Ore  :willynilly:  Not that that's ever happened to me  :eusa_shifty:
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: dkerr24 on October 13, 2009, 10:39:30 PM
It is pretty amazing what places you can get to with a Jeep Wrangler.  My Dad's totally stock '05 Wrangler (with street tires, no less) has gotten us out to some amazing places.  Can't speak for the 'Hummerized' new ones with the underpowered V6 engine.
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: elhombre on October 14, 2009, 11:25:27 AM
Decide early on if you care about pin stripping the side of your jeep now.  If you can drive that thing with the attitude that it is simply a means to an end with a great view, then you are going to be better off mentally.  BB state park has the best public roads in the area for wheeling.  Buy yourself a plastic "Spector" 20 liter gas can for insurance and hit the trails.  Buy plastic because the metal cans rust and ruin your gas. 

The hardest part of black gap is the part of the road between the campsite at glenn springs up to the graves on top of the hill above the campsite.  The road has a deep rut across it.   It is a nice place for figuring out a little about how your 4 wheel (actually only 2 wheel) drive works.  If you got a rubicon edition with lockers, then see how much easier it is with them on.  If your concerned with this part of the road,then drive the trail from west to east so you are going down the hill when you drive through the rut.  Much easier!

Now, because I love you like a Big Bend brother, I have to plant the seed in your mind about a place that true desert lovers must visit.  If you already have visited or know about it, then my guess is you are already planning to take your jeep there in the future.  Canyonlands NP - all three districts ( the Needles is my favorite, then the Maze district), San Rafael Swell, and the Grand Gulch area.

Congrats on your purchase.  Your wallet will never be the same.     Please checkout the Blueribbon Coalition @ (
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: Doc Savage on October 15, 2009, 04:26:18 PM
I'll offer my congrats on the jeep. A bone stock jeep will provide lots of fun in BIBE (Canyonlands was a blast too, gotta second that, Death Valley also). I've only once used 4wd in my jeep in BIBE and that was pulling my popup trailer on the River Road around July after some fairly heavy rains (we actually lost the road a few times).

My recommendations would be to learn how to drive it off road first, and then come prepared. Shovels, chains, tow straps, tire plugs, water, gas, radios, first aid, etc. About the time you say you won't need something you will.

Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: alexrex20 on October 22, 2009, 07:05:38 PM
metal gas cans that are designed to hold fuel do not rust.

they've add a Pine Canyon #5 campsite and it's got an even better view than PC4.

if you're there during/after some rain, be sure to check out Cat Tail Falls ( and the falls at the end of Pine Canyon Trail.
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: elhombre on October 22, 2009, 09:56:26 PM
The metal cans from Academy rust.  Seen it; Done it; Lived it,  Bought the plastic. They DO make good shooting targets for .45, .40. and 9 mms  Not so good for an AR-15 because the bullet goes through so fast, it won't even make it move  :icon_eek:.  The "scepter" ones are NATO approved (I know, big whoop), but a lot of places sell them and they do fit inside the metal can holders quite nicely.  I guess you could find stainless steel ones that won't rust, but the plastic ones are lighter.
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: sandersmr on October 23, 2009, 09:53:58 AM
metal gas cans that are designed to hold fuel do not rust.

Beg to differ - DBF had a 5 gal metal gas can (and yes, designed for gas) at the front of the garage.  I kept smelling a hydrocarbon odor in the house by the garage door.  The gas can had rusted through on the side of the can - not at a weld - and fumes filled the garage.  I'm just glad we don't have natural gas anything.
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: Doc Savage on October 23, 2009, 02:54:27 PM
Personally prefer a good metal can to a plastic. I like the NATO style metal cans. They seal much better than the US cans. I've never had any issues laying mine on the side for storage. No drips. I've had issues with plastic cans wearing thru from rattling around and hitting bolt heads and such. Course a good coat of POR-15 inside takes care of rust well.

Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: championbaum on October 23, 2009, 03:06:47 PM
ya i just got new tires, replaced all the fluids, greased all the joints and changed the spark plugs and wires, and am waiting to get a little money together to get everything else i think i will need (tow straps, radio, etc). i drove it off road a few times already and it is really fun. Any tips for engaging into 4L and out of it, I can get it to go when i am going real slow, which is how you are supposed to i guess, but disengaging takes a few tries, i am not real sure about the propper way to disengage it honestly. I know i probably won't need it but i would like to know how so i don't cause any damage just in case.

Also do you guys carry a few gas cans inside or have something mounted to carry them on the outside?
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: elhombre on October 23, 2009, 10:12:12 PM
I carry the gas can outside so that when someone hits me from behind, we will both experience the ball of fire.  To the best of my knowledge (now I have opened myself up for abuse) there are not any stock transfer cases made with synchronized gears.  This means the truck should be at a standstill when moving the lever from High to Low.  This is different than 2H to 4H.  For both my Fords and one Toyota I put the truck in neutral and ease the lever between H and L.  If it won't go into gear easily, I let my foot off the brake and the small roll will get it there.

Just for more info, the NATO plastic cans that I have actually have indentations on the bottom where the bolts from the can holder sit so that they don't come in contact with the bottom of the can.  The holder I use is from Academy and I originally bought them for use with the metal cans.
Title: Re: new jeep!
Post by: 04LJ on November 13, 2009, 04:16:05 PM
Specifically Which year and model?????   2000 and up, to go to 4H you can shift at speed. I recomend getting it in 4 before you have a problem. If you putting a long at 10 mph or so. just ease off the gas until you are not loading the drive line. not coasting or accelerating. then grab your T-Case handle and jerk it into 4H. It WILL make noise!! :icon_eek:  to go to 4L you must be in 4H. do the easing along thing. place tranny in N move T-Case from H to L and put tranny back in drive. This does take some practice ( that's what beaches are for).  You can shift at a stop but it's not pleasant and you Jeep won't like it. :eusa_doh: