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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July in the Bend

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Offline dprather

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July in the Bend
« on: June 01, 2014, 01:49:11 PM »
My wife has FINALLY agreed to visit The Bend - in July.

I know, I know, hike only early and late and take lotsa water.

Question: is the Lost Mine Trail doable in July?
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2014, 01:59:38 PM »
Don't see why not -- I'd still go early or late, though.
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 iCe

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2014, 03:24:34 PM »
I haven't done it but I've done the South Rim (short and long version) in July and August. I just turned 56 today.


I ran out of water all 4 times. I don't recommend doing that.


Compared to "down here in the humidity" Bibe in July is nice.

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Offline Quatro

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 03:29:10 PM »
For July, I'd recommend a swim in Balmorhea for sure.


I just turned 56 today.

Happy birthday, iCe!
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline Flash

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2014, 03:44:44 PM »
Our family did LMT on a July morning and had a good time. We were first at the TH around 8-8:30.
Concur on swimming at Balmorhea. Bring goggles to see the fish and maybe swim socks or fins.
Fort Davis is nice to tour also.

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Offline Jimbow

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2014, 04:00:51 PM »
Consider leaving some water half way just in case. No need to carry so much weight all the way. An extra bottle or two may not make a difference to you, but I always try to make others more comfy. Especially if they needed some convincing to go.
Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

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Offline jim2

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2014, 04:23:34 PM »
you might throw a couple of light ponchos in your backpack. the rain can surprise you.

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Offline Homer Wilson

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2014, 04:56:55 PM »
I've actually been to the park more times in July than in any other month of the year.  July is monsoon season, so don't count on it, but it's possible you may have some nice cloud cover.
Trails I've hiked in July that should be no problem any time of day:
-Window
Lost Mine (I actuall hiked Window and Lost Mine with my mom in July when she was 60 - I think she just took a bottle of water, and she's not at all an experienced hiker)
-Casa Grande
-Emory Peak
-South Rim

Trails I've hiked in July but don't necessarily recommend:
-Blue Creek (up and down)
-Santa Elena (not fun in mid-afternoon, but quite pleasant around sunset - my mom actually hiked this one in 110 degree weather too, so it won't kill you)
-Boquillas Canyon - but RGV is fairly nice, maybe head to the town of Boquillas?

If you haven't been to the 'Bend in summer, it may surprise you how pleasant the Chisos can be.

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Offline badknees

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2014, 05:13:17 PM »
Hikes I have made in summer:

South Rim - Many times
Cattail - Best time of year to catch good flow if the rains come
Tule Spring - On a cloudy day. It was hot but not uncomfortable
Burro Mesa  from Sam Nail Ranch to one of Homers stock tanks - Way too hot on the top of the Mesa - No shade
Dike Tinaja - Hot quickly, but a short hike
Indian Head Spring - Boiling!
Balanced Rock in Grapevine Hills - Afternoon hike and it was OK. You can find shade if you go late.
LMT - Many times
Muskhog Spring - Early morning
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline Bugbee

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2014, 09:20:53 PM »
Funny thing, I just logged in to start virtually the same type of thread. This will be my wife's first trip as well, and we will be headed there the last week of July. This thread will help us as well. I can't wait, haven't been since October '11. Be my first summer trip though. Might bump into each other if we are there at the same time.

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2014, 09:03:12 AM »
This is just my own opinion, but if I was taking a first time visitor or someone who is not really into hiking to Big Bend, I would not take them in the summer. 

They will be hot and miserable and will never want to come back. 

If I really want to do some hiking in July, I'd head to the mountains in NM or CO where daytime highs are only in the 80's.

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2014, 09:17:37 AM »
Ya for sure.  Truchas Peaks near Santa Fe, out of Jack's Creek TH

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Offline iCe

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2014, 09:19:38 AM »
If you stay in the Chisos daytime highs are generally "only in the 80's".


I took my cousin for the first time in July. We hiked the South Rim trail in 6 hours and change. Maybe 7 but I don't remember exactly what it was. We did the "up Pinnacles and down the other side" route. The "other side" was hot but not miserable.


Cattail Falls is the one that didn't work out. I was fine but Cuz had to turn around 2 miles in. The next day we did the South Rim with no issues.




Idk... the rainy season is one of the prettiest times in the park. There's a lot of oo's and ahh's along the road that make it worthwhile. I think the latest I've ever been to the park is September and the earliest was May.

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Offline Homer Wilson

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2014, 10:11:25 AM »
I agree with iCe. I didn't go to bb outside of summer until fairly recently, and it wasn't an issue. Most of the desert is off limits, but first-timers tend to enjoy the mountains the most anyways.

My response to people worrying about the heat is "it'll feel nicer than the weather in SA/Houston/Dallas/austin". The only people I worry about are people who visit from out of state and may not be used to hot summers.

And yes, the park can look quite different during rainy season. I have some pictures from a 4th of July rim hike a few years ago, and the quemada is bright green.

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: July in the Bend
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2014, 10:17:52 AM »
Yep; I do as well; that was 2010, which is the last time the Quemada were green.


 


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