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.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


OML in mid-January

  • 8 Replies
  • 2215 Views
*

Offline Corey

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 2
OML in mid-January
« on: January 01, 2009, 11:42:14 PM »
Hey everyone.

I love this site.  My girlfriend and I are taking our first trip to Big Bend in mid-January, and this is the only place where I have found consistent information regarding the park.

My question is one that has been asked numerous times, so I apologize for the repetition, but we are wondering if the OML is a good trip to take as our first park experience.  We are both fairly experienced backpackers but I have heard some things about Juniper Canyon being rather overgrown.  I am less concerned about the Blue Creek Canyon side as we have spent most of our backpacking trips in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest so I feel less intimidated by the elevation gain.

Is the OML as good as advertised?  We plan on following the standard 3 night itinerary that is well-documented here.  We are also interested in any feedback on a good overnight trip after our longer journey on the loop as we will have time for some extra exploration of the rest of the park.

Any feedback would be helpful, as you all seem quite experienced in Big Bend!!

THANK YOU!

*

Offline TexasAggieHiker

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1207
  • The road goes on forever & the party never ends...
Re: OML in mid-January
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 11:52:53 PM »
I sent a friend on this trip as her first Big Bend experience.  She got off the trail yesterday.  I haven't really seen her yet, but when I called her to see how it went, she answered the phone by yelling "THE GREATEST TRIP EVER!!!!!" 

I did the OML over thanksgiving.  Juniper Canyon is not bad.  The drainage before the Smokey Creek trail is more overgrown, and throny.  The OML is BETTER than advertised. 

For a good overnighter, check out some of the threads about the Marufo Vega trail.

The most important thing is to have FUN!!

*

Offline mule ears

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4218
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: OML in mid-January
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009, 07:27:31 AM »
The OML is the best way to experience the backcountry in the park for the first time because you get to walk through almost all the plant zones and take in the incredible views from many angles.

I do recommend making it 4 days though. Spend your first night in the mountains and really take in the view from the Rims (SW, SE, NE) on your way to either going down Juniper canyon or Blue Creek. Why walk up into the Chisos and not see the greatest view of them all?

The climb up either Juniper or Blue Creek is about the same in elevation but I much prefer going up Juniper, much better trail tread.

For the overnight afterwards do something in the lower desert to take in that ecosystem. My favorite is to go in the Mule Ears trail to the best spring in the desert. You can go on out to Smoky spring or stop at my new favorite campsite on the edge of the escarpment. Lots to explore around there.

You'll get lots of great advice here. The trip will be amazing  :icon_biggrin:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline championbaum

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 231
Re: OML in mid-January
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 08:56:04 AM »
i agree with mule ears make it 4 nights and see all the rim views, take the trails along the rims, you can make a little loop back to the juniper canyon trail depending on which way your headed. If you have the time you should do this, see the park from both vantage points will really make an awesome trip. I would rcommend camp site NE4 for the first night, i have never stayed at it but i always take one of the little trails on the backside of the campsite and eat lunch on the point, you have about a 320 degree veiw, it is really spectacular. anyways that's my two cents. i am probably going to do the OML in early january again so check back and i will try to post something about water availability.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 08:59:43 AM by championbaum »

*

Offline catz

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1025
  • Old enough to know better, but...
Re: OML in mid-January
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 12:54:59 PM »
I would agree with going on the Marufo Vega trail as an overnighter.  It is in a whole different section of the park than the OML.  Use the search function on this site and you will find several reports and discussions on it. 

Another possibility I'll throw out would be to hike out to the Chimneys.  It's relatively short.
Wake me when it's time to go.

*

Offline dkerr24

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1424
  • The worst day hiking > the best day in a cubicle.
Re: OML in mid-January
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 06:09:50 PM »
+2 on the suggestion to take 4 nights to do the OML and spend the first night (or last night of the hike) in the Chisos.  The views from the South Rim of the Chisos is spectacular, in my opinion it rivals the view from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in scope and grandeur.  And you don't have to deal with the crowds that the rim views of the Grand Canyon has.

I'm going to the park in mid-January to do a 4 night OML.  This will be my second visit to the park.  I haven't firmed up the exact dates yet as I'm checking the weather to try and get a 5-6 day window of clear weather.  Maybe I'll see you two out there.  Marufo Vega is also on my list of hikes to do while there.

Darin
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 09:07:49 PM by dkerr24 »

*

Offline Corey

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 2
Re: OML in mid-January
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 08:41:05 PM »
Thanks everyone for all of the great information!  We will definitely be doing the OML as a 4 night and will be exploring the Marufo Vega option as well.  Mule Ears made a strong case for the Mule Ears trail idea in his report on traveling through the western side of the park.  Those photos look amazing!

Thanks again...

*

Ray52

  • Guest
Re: OML in mid-January
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2009, 06:34:50 PM »
Corey....I just returned from a 3 day, 2 night hike on the OML.  I'll have a full trip report in a day or two, but did want to say that Juniper canyon isn't badly overgrown at all.  Good luck with your trip.

Ray

*

Offline Lorax

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 199
Re: OML in mid-January
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2009, 09:22:30 PM »
OML is the best way to experience the many aspects of the park.  Prepare well.  Cache food and water.  Water is key even in January.  Have fun.

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments