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Dodson Trail???

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Offline Bubba T

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Dodson Trail???
« on: October 24, 2007, 09:15:11 AM »
What is the best way to do the Dodson trail?

Me and my Wife really want to do it the week after Christmas.

We where thinking of  parking in the Basin, Back packing to the Meadows, stay the night. Then to Homer Wilson Ranch. Then Dodson to Juniper Canyon and then back up to the Basin.

I was going to leave water at Homer Wilson and Juniper Camp site.

Thing is.......... It may be to far. And TO HARD. We will be alone so there is no one to drop us off at any one point.

We've never done Blue creek or Dodson. My wife thinks she did Juniper in high school (80's).

Any thoughts???

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 09:20:22 AM »
Along with a few others (some members of this board), I'll be doing the OML (outer mountain loop) during the new years, so I may see there.  I've never done the dodson, but I've done the rest of the OML, so I'm very excited about this trip.   It's over 30 miles of backpacking with an elevation difference about 3 or 4 thousand feet.  "Too hard?"  That's for you and your wife to decide. Personally, I've been doing some hiking around my home to try and get into some decent shape before then.....
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 09:52:28 AM by Casa Grande »

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Offline Bubba T

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Dodson Trail???
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 09:47:46 AM »
We have done 3 short back packing trips this summer around Dallas. I walk 3 miles at lunch everyday  I do stairs at work about 3 times a week  and my wife works out every morning 5 days a week. I will start Monday walking with a full pack. I know that not much but I only have an hour. I use too race off road motorcycles. I stopped in 06 and I've raced twice this year. I really miss it because it kept me in great shape. I can really fell it now. We are going at Thanksgiving for the week, we are back packing the South Rim then and a ton of day hikes.

Can you camp on the Dodson trail???

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Offline okiehiker

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2007, 09:49:15 AM »
How hard or easy this hike is depends upon your level of experience and fitness.  The hike up Juniper is long and steep, but I much prefer the view going up Juniper to going up Blue Creek.  (You will probably find plenty of people with the opposite view.)

You will find nights cool to cold, If you are out several days the probability is that you will have some below freezing nights.  Typical highs can range from the 40's on cloudy blustery days to 80's if it is warm and sunny. Oftentimes the warmer it is during the day the colder it will be at night.

On the OML there is roughly 7,400' of gross elevation gain and an equal amount of loss.  It can be done as anything from a challenging dayhike to a magnificent 7 day backpack enjoying everything that it has to offer (Emory Peak, Elephant Tusk, Pichacho, the South Rim and more.)  If you are doing it straight through plan to hike out of Wilson's Ranch with 2 gallons of water each.  If you want to spend more time below the South Rim PM someone here and you can get good information about water supplies.

Have a great trip.  I will be in the general area after Christmas as well.  I will be working at Albergue Casa Hogar in Ojinaga.  I'll probably spend the day at the park on Jan. 2.

Give us a full report!
Funny... I have a story about that...

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Offline okiehiker

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2007, 09:50:09 AM »
Yes you can camp along the Dodson, and I would highly recommend it.
Funny... I have a story about that...

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2007, 09:55:57 AM »
Can you camp on the Dodson trail???

as Okie says, yes, you can...it's called "Zone Camping."  More info Here: http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/bc-zone_camping.htm

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2007, 09:57:27 AM »
I did the OML as a 6-day backpacking loop (visiting the South Rim twice) the week of Thanksgiving 2004. It's a great trail, with several good campsites along the way. I cached food and water at Homer Wilson's ranch and pumped water at Boot Canyon and Fresno Creek. A 4-part trip report begins here and includes four custom-made topo maps marking my campsites.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline Drifter

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2007, 02:56:34 PM »
There is an option I call the outer outer mountain loop.  Cache water at the Blue Creek and then go park and base camp at the Juniper canyon site.  From the bottom of Juniper canyon to the Homer line camp is all of ten miles of up and down the east to west trail of north to south drainages.  At the junction of Dotson and the Smoky trail (actually 100 yards or so past it) going west is what I call 3 dog camp.  It is a fine little area off to the left, flat and cozy.  Then walk to your water at the Blue Creek and take off to the junction of Blue creek and the south rim or stop in the very nice wooded area north of cedar spring and before the trail turns left (west) and starts the climb to the rim trail.(Laguna meadow) .  Next day, take the south rim trail , lunch at the top, rewater at Boot, see the corral and cabin and then stroll down Juniper canyon to your vehicle.  Just a thought.
If you climb mountains, no explanation is necessary, if you don't , no explanation is possible.

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Offline Bubba T

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Dodson Trail???
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 10:57:29 AM »
 Drifter.......... That is a GREAT idea!!!!!!!!!!!

We will try and do it that way.

What do you do with your back at night?

I've always had a tree to hoist them into if there wasn't a Bear box???
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 11:15:21 AM by Bubba T »

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Offline Drifter

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2007, 11:46:49 AM »
I usually sleep on it.  My pack is usually in a garbage bag or in the vestibule of  the tent.  Most if not all of the bears are in the mountains, the cats  generally stay in the mountains and sometimes at the top of canyons (Pine)  and in 20 or so years on the desert floor I have never run into a skunk.  I have never had a critter in my food in the morning but I have had run in's with scorpions under my pack when I start to cook breakfast.  I think you will enjoy the outer outer mt. loop. the only thing you miss is the troop up and down from the basin.  Don't get me wrong that can and is fun and the views are great but unnecessary if your goal is the Dotson and the rim.  Have fun and be safe.  If I can help, my email is available on this site.
If you climb mountains, no explanation is necessary, if you don't , no explanation is possible.

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Offline MJ

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2007, 11:54:43 AM »
What is the best way to do the Dodson trail?

Me and my Wife really want to do it the week after Christmas.

We where thinking of  parking in the Basin, Back packing to the Meadows, stay the night. Then to Homer Wilson Ranch. Then Dodson to Juniper Canyon and then back up to the Basin.

I was going to leave water at Homer Wilson and Juniper Camp site.

Thing is.......... It may be to far. And TO HARD. We will be alone so there is no one to drop us off at any one point.

We've never done Blue creek or Dodson. My wife thinks she did Juniper in high school (80's).

Any thoughts???

I think Juniper is steeper than Blue Creek and that it's easier to reverse your stated proposed direction of travel - easier to go down a steep hill than up it but YMMV

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2007, 12:30:14 PM »
I'd do it clockwise from Juniper to Blue so the stunning views of Carousel Mtn, Mule Ears, St. Elena, etc are ahead of you as you descend towards Blue Creek...

just my opinion, of course...
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline Horns 98

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2007, 01:27:23 PM »
Not to hijack Bubba T's question, but a buddy and I are planning on doing the OML three weeks from today.  I am curious on the amount of time it take to cache water at Homer Wilson and then drive to Juniper Canyon should we look at doing the Outer Outer Mountain Loop?

It seems like there are a few of you guys from the Dallas area,  how long of a drive are we looking at, google maps says about 9hrs is that about right? Also any hotels in Marathon?


This is a helpfull link on the OML from the NPS http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/bc_outermountainloop.htm





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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2007, 01:56:12 PM »
I'd do it clockwise from Juniper to Blue so the stunning views of Carousel Mtn, Mule Ears, St. Elena, etc are ahead of you as you descend towards Blue Creek...

just my opinion, of course...

I agree. The views westward and southward on the descent from Dodson saddle are beautiful.



It is also far easier to cache at Blue Creek than at Juniper trailhead.

Quote from: Horns 98
I am curious on the amount of time it take to cache water at Homer Wilson and then drive to Juniper Canyon should we look at doing the Outer Outer Mountain Loop?

I'd say about 3 hours to drive from Panther Junction (park HQ) to the ranch, find a place to cache your water, then drive back to PJ, down to the Glenn Springs road and up the Juniper Canyon road.

Quote from: Horns 98
Also any hotels in Marathon?

Here's a helpful link to lodging options in Marathon. If you stay at the Gage, I highly recommend the old hotel and not the newer motel rooms. It's about 1 1/2 hours to PJ from Marathon.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Dodson Trail???
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2007, 02:57:42 PM »
I agree. The views westward and southward on the descent from Dodson saddle are beautiful.

good to know, my party and I are planning to trek in that direction anyway, thanks for the preview :)

 


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