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!


Advice for Best Day Hikes

  • 9 Replies
  • 4853 Views
*

Offline Maurits

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 12
Advice for Best Day Hikes
« on: October 02, 2013, 11:45:29 AM »
Because of the Shutdown we're busy scheduling a plan B. We're arriving the 13th of October (evening) in Terlingua. If BB is still closed by then we would like to visit the State Park (we have 2 full days).

Since we will not camp we're wondering where to base ourselves (Lajitas?)...and if anybody has some info about day hikes in the State Park.

Thanks!


*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6261
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: Advice for Best Day Hikes
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 12:25:04 PM »
Check out closed canyon. It's an easy park and walk into a very narrow canyon carved by run off into the Rio.  It starts off wide and gets more narrow, kind of like when entering Willy Wonka's  chocolate factory. Cool.

www.VirtualBigBend. com - now mobile friendly!


*

Offline steelfrog

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1633
Re: Advice for Best Day Hikes
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 12:45:15 PM »
Base yourselves in the State park; you can stay in the middle at Sauceda; get reservations at the bunkhouse; good place to stay, decent food.  Call soon to reserve.  There's a cabin too, or something.  It's a real long (in time) drive into the park if you stay outside it.

*

Offline dillomaster

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 56
Re: Advice for Best Day Hikes
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 09:44:42 PM »
I would recommend the bunk house (or Casa Grande if it is available) within the park. It is an hour drive in from the River Road to Sauceda Station, and I can't recommend staying in Presidio.

If you don't have a 4x4 vehicle the options you can safely get to are limited, but still more than enough to fill a couple days.

On the drive into the park you will pass Las Cuevas Amarillas.  There is a pull off with an interpretive sign. No formal trails here, but you can spend a few hours exploring these interesting formations.  There is an exhibit of Native American rock art nearby as well.

A little further in is Ojito Adentro - a short hike back to a "waterfall," spring and hanging gardens.  A pretty little oasis in the desert.

Just before the ranger station will be Cinco Tinajas - there are trails here that can take you to the top and bottom of the cascade tinajas, or pools.  You can continue hiking the drainage either direction and will come to some interesting geology.

If you have a sturdy vehicle I would recommend taking a day and driving Fresno Canyon and taking the hike to the bottom of Mexicano Falls - this is a favorite.  While in the Fresno Canyon you should check out the Crawford-Smith ranch ruins.

You can find details on all of these elsewhere in the BBRSP Q&A.

A word of caution - this in not like the National Park. None of the roads are paved - and most (other than the main road) are not well maintained, if at all.  There is no gas. There is no food (other than meals you can purchase at the bunk house.)  There is no dependable water source other than at the ranger station.  There are no crowds.  Once you leave Sauceda Station you will likely see no one all day.  Take water. Take a map. And take a camera - you are going to see some fantastic things!

*

Offline tjavery

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1508
  • foto nut
    • http://www.thomasjavery.com/proj_big_bend
Re: Advice for Best Day Hikes
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2013, 10:33:23 AM »
A word of caution - this in not like the National Park. None of the roads are paved - and most (other than the main road) are not well maintained, if at all.  There is no gas. There is no food (other than meals you can purchase at the bunk house.)  There is no dependable water source other than at the ranger station.  There are no crowds.  Once you leave Sauceda Station you will likely see no one all day.  Take water. Take a map. And take a camera - you are going to see some fantastic things!

Very good advice there. I just got back from camping 2 nights in the park.

Basically once you get into the park and all the way to the ranger station, you'll probably just want to stay within the park. It takes so long to go anywhere (if you drive at a decent speed....  I did see some speed demons out there testing the limits of their tires).

You should get cell reception part way to the park (after you've turned onto the dirt roads off 170). But once you pass the main entrance inside the park, then you're on your own and have 17 miles to go to reach the Sauceda ranger station.

They say to take 2 spare tires. That may sound overly cautious, but I found myself in a situation where I needed it. I had 2 flats within 24 hours. The first was a bad tear and couldn't be repaired. The second I managed to patch up just enough to limp into Presidio with a slow leak. I bought two tires at an inflated price from the last set of 4 in the whole town that fit my truck.

Also take a 12V air compressor, tire repair / puncture plugs kits, and Slime or Fix-a-Flat. The only way I managed to fix up my last flat was with a combo of multiple plugs and a can of Fix-a-Flat.

Oh, I highly recommend Cinco Tinajas. VERY cool ;)

-TJ

*

Offline Beatrice

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 138
Re: Advice for Best Day Hikes
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 04:48:51 PM »
I posted the below in the Suggested Itineraries thread.



If it were ME (well, if it were me, I'd go to Austin well before I went to Houston, but I'll stick to just the West Texas portion of the trip...)

So if it were me, I would leave Houston around 4:00 AM, eat chilaquiles famosas for breakfast at Mi Tierra Cafe and Bakery when you arrive in San Antonio. Visit the Alamo when they open at 9 AM. (How can you drive past the Alamo on a cross-country tour of the US and not stop?!) Take a 35 minute river boat tour to see the sights and hear the history of San Antonio. It'll be about 11AM by this point, so head out to Boerne for some wine tasting and lunch. It's along the way and a great view of the Texas Hill Country. Then it's a 7+ hour drive to Terlingua where you can visit La Kiva when you arrive.

Get up in the morning, check out the Terlingua ghost town, then head out for an 8 AM float trip with Far Flung. If the national park is open by this point, opt for a full day canyon float trip. You'll see the beautiful national park and have a great story to tell about how you did so. And, bonus, this gets you starting and stopping at the west end of the park so you save several hours of driving and an extra night of hotel because it moves you closer to your target without sacrificing any experience. You'll leave from Terlingua around 5 PM.

If the national park is not open, do a half-day float on the Rio Grande, which is really about 2-2.5 hours. Once you're back about 10-10:30, drive down the River Road (one of the most scenic drives in the US), hike Closed Canyon, do whichever hikes are of interest to you at BBRSP like Ojito Adentro and/or Cinco Tinajas. You could also do a horseback or biking tour at this point. Choose whatever you most value and you won't feel at all gipped. You'll leave from Presidio around 5 PM, or earlier if you want to see the art around Marfa.

Head to Marfa for a quick dinner. It'd be a shame for you to be in that area on Tuesday the 15th (if I understood your schedule correctly) and not go to the McDonald Observatory's Tuesday night star party that starts at 8:15 PM. http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/calendar Check out the amazing clear night sky using their telescopes then go on to Indian Lodge for the night's sleep. Then it is only a short 3 hour drive to Carlsbad Caverns, which you can easily make the following morning.

That's what I'd do if it were me and I had those two days to make the best of while traveling from Houston to New Mexico without knowing if the national park would be open.

*

Offline steelfrog

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1633
Re: Advice for Best Day Hikes
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 12:20:56 AM »
Another great hike is out to the Fresno canyon overlook; you look over to the Flatirons section if the solitario and hike over some cool recent volcanic rock

*

Offline kevint

  • Golden Eagle
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 648
    • Pictures
Re: Advice for Best Day Hikes
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2014, 08:49:37 PM »

Another great hike is out to the Fresno canyon overlook; you look over to the Flatirons section if the solitario and hike over some cool recent volcanic rock

Steelfog, is this the overlook just off 170 near the Contrabando movie set.  There is one labeled on the BBRSP Discovery Map at this location as "Fresno Creek Overlook."
-- Kevin (W5KLT)

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

*

Offline Jonathan Sadow

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 198
Re: Advice for Best Day Hikes
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2014, 07:03:56 PM »

Another great hike is out to the Fresno canyon overlook; you look over to the Flatirons section if the solitario and hike over some cool recent volcanic rock

Steelfog, is this the overlook just off 170 near the Contrabando movie set.  There is one labeled on the BBRSP Discovery Map at this location as "Fresno Creek Overlook."

I'm not steelfrog, but I know what he's talking about.  It's different from the Fresno Creek Overlook.  It was the initial destination of the couple from Arkansas in 2013 who later got lost.  You have to drive almost 6 miles from the Sauceda complex to the Puerta Chilicote trailhead and then hike about 2.5 miles to the overlook.  The overlook is located right about here.

*

Offline steelfrog

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1633
Re: Advice for Best Day Hikes
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2014, 07:24:46 PM »
Sorry. Yes it's a hike. Cairned but no trail.  Awesome place. Jonathan is correct

 


©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