Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => The Backroads => Topic started by: TxGypsyGal on November 07, 2019, 02:13:18 PM

Title: River Road in a Suburban
Post by: TxGypsyGal on November 07, 2019, 02:13:18 PM
What section of River Rd (if any) would be reasonable to attempt in a 2WD suburban in the spring? How does it compare to other unpaved roads in the park such as Grapevine? Is is completely not maintained or just unpaved? Thanks!
Title: Re: River Road in a Suburban
Post by: Jalco on November 07, 2019, 04:47:42 PM
I've driven the east side, from RGV to Mariscal Mines, in a Suburban and had no issues (well, I did scrape my trailer hitch coming out of a wash, but just once).
Title: Re: River Road in a Suburban
Post by: Mesquito on November 07, 2019, 05:35:55 PM
I've driven the east side, from RGV to Mariscal Mines, in a Suburban and had no issues (well, I did scrape my trailer hitch coming out of a wash, but just once).

Ive driven the other half, having come in from Black Gap. I was really surprised at how good the road was.  The only potential issues would be loose sand or mud.  There was none two years ago but conditions change.
Title: Re: River Road in a Suburban
Post by: Al on November 07, 2019, 05:55:55 PM
I've driven the east side, from RGV to Mariscal Mines, in a Suburban and had no issues (well, I did scrape my trailer hitch coming out of a wash, but just once).

We have done that portion of River Rd. in subcompact cars numerous times with no problem.  As long as there's been no rain recently it shouldn't be a problem.  The park is good about shutting it down when it's too wet.
Title: Re: River Road in a Suburban
Post by: iCe on November 15, 2019, 05:12:49 PM
I've always taken a 4WD (Silverado and 2000 Landcruiser) but I don't think of the River Road as being much of a challenge BUT


Do not drive the River Road without 2 good spare tires, a good jack, and knowledge of how to change a tire. If you have a tire plug kit and know how to use it plus an air compressor then that might be good enough. My LC has onboard air under the hood, a tire plug kit, 4 gallons of water in a Rotopax, 4 gallons of fuel in a Rotopax, a full sized spare tire mounted on a swing out tire carrier, and numerous other pieces of gear. I still don't want a flat... but I'm ready for a flat. I received this advice many times before I had a flat.


Yes you can make it without any of the above. I've done it a bunch. Until the time that a friend and I went in on Glenn Springs Road to get to Mariscal Mine. Just as we got to the River Road he said " what's that noise". I said "I don't hear nothing, what does it sound like?". He said, "air... air leaking out of something  :o  Then my tire pressure warning came on. The BRAND NEW right front BFG KOA2 was at 20 psig and falling. The thermometer said 106. I had one spare that had never seen the ground in 120,000 miles. A rock had penetrated the outer lug (thickest part) of a brand new tire. Glenn Springs road is pretty cool but it can be rough. It can be hard on tires. That said, not too far in there's Pine Canyon road and that is a nice drive. Rice Tank is interesting. Black Gap is interesting but I wouldn't take the Suburban down into the Black Gap road. It's an easy walk to the cemetery.