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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Road Reports?

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Offline Cass

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Road Reports?
« on: February 01, 2016, 07:20:21 AM »

Hello:

We're planning to make a trip to Big Bend next week. Are there any recent reports on road conditions?

On my last trip we hit mostly locations with paved road access, other than Croton Springs and Cattail Falls, but would like to get out further this trip.

I'll be driving a 2WD Suburban. Clearance isn't great, but I've driven a lot on rutted roads/paths. My bigger concern would be high-centering.

What recommendations do you have? Any specific spots to avoid?

Thanks,
Cass

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Offline Jalco

  • Mountain Lion
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Re: Road Reports?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 08:11:47 AM »
Cass,

In my Suburban, I've done Glen Springs Rd, River Road East (Mariscal Mines) and Maverick Rd on the west side of the park.  Never used the 4WD.  Never high-centered, though I did drag my trailer hitch one or twice coming out of a draw on the river road.

The only road that would give me pause would be Black Gap from the "pinch" north to Glenn Springs.  That's the only un-maintained road in the park.  Unless it's been raining, you should be fine on any road out there.

Although I've never needed them, a portable air compressor and set of plugs (tire, not spark) would be good insurance to have along with you.

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Offline BlindWilly

  • Overlander
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  • Exploring the world, from Texas.
    • TXpedition Offroad & Overland
Re: Road Reports?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 09:00:27 AM »
^^^^^^
Agreed.

Also, make sure you know how to use the Tire Repair Kit (Plugs) and the compressor.
I would also make sure you have at least one spare.
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

www.txpedition.com

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Offline Cass

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Re: Road Reports?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 08:44:22 PM »

Thanks, that is great info! I think I'll try on some of the ones you listed and see how it goes.

Good idea on the plug kit, I used to use those years ago. I'll pick up a kit and throw in a pump.

Thanks,
Cass


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Offline Alamo Jake

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Re: Road Reports?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 09:27:40 AM »
The River Road was in good condition when I last drove it on January 17th.  My truck is 4x4 but we didn't need it and made it entirely in 2wd.  It looked like it had been recently maintained.  If there hasn't been any significant rainfall since 01/17 (I'd recommend checking some past weather reports for data) I'd say your suburban should be fine.

On my most recent trip, we drove the River Road from RGV to Castolon, then took Ross Maxwell Drive to the Santa Elena Canyon.  From Santa Elena, we took Old Maverick Rd to Maverick Junction and then out to Terlingua.  Old Maverick Rd did not require us to use 4x4, but it was a bit rougher in some patches.  There were quite a few sections of the road with washboards that required we slow down or find a smoother section of the road to travel on.
- Jake
Twitter & Instagram: @Alamo_Jake

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Offline Alamo Jake

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Re: Road Reports?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2016, 09:45:37 AM »
Also, I know its been mentioned on here before, but this guide is great if you plan on doing backcountry driving in the park:

http://bigbendbookstore.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=103&products_id=791

It walks you through each of the backcountry roads and points out scenic areas, historical markers, etc.
- Jake
Twitter & Instagram: @Alamo_Jake

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Offline Cass

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Re: Road Reports?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 07:33:18 AM »

Jake:

Thanks for the report, I'll check the weather to see if there's been rain that would have changed things. That guide looks great, I'll pick one up when I arrive!

Thanks,
Cass

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Offline Alamo Jake

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Re: Road Reports?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 08:47:06 AM »

Jake:

Thanks for the report, I'll check the weather to see if there's been rain that would have changed things. That guide looks great, I'll pick one up when I arrive!

Thanks,
Cass

 :great:
- Jake
Twitter & Instagram: @Alamo_Jake

 


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