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Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP or BBNP?

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Offline TexasTLC

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Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP or BBNP?
« on: November 12, 2011, 12:53:55 PM »
Even though we'll be in the Big Bend area for 9 days, I'm having trouble fitting in everything I want to do.  So, in addition to some day hikes, I REALLY, REALLY want to fit more "sights" in by seeing several of the ones that you have to get to by car - specifically some of the primitive roads at BBRSP.  I have a 4WD Honda Pilot (07) with good off-road tires & I have some experience driving on ranches, uneven dirt trails with lots of big rocks, ruts, etc.  But, the online advice from the park's website says minimum ground clearance should be 8" & my Pilot only has 7.8" (that's without all the extra weight of 2 spare tires, gear, etc.).  I do have AAA - but, don't want to waste 1 day of my trip waiting on them to rescue me if a worst case scenario were to occur.  But, I also know the best things are worth taking some risks for.  Sooooo - I'm looking for some advice from those with experience to help me "Balance" my decision!  Should I just avoid these roads altogether because I miss the minimum ground clearance by less than an inch?  Or, are there some specific roads that my SUV can handle that offer "can't miss views"?  Thanks for your time :)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 08:34:22 PM by TexasTLC »

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Offline Ay Chihuahua!

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2011, 01:54:53 PM »


 :eusa_think:

I'm thinking you're going to be somewhat limited on the 4x4 roads at BBRSP.  Maybe you have a short enough wheel base to compensate for your low clearance, but I don't think I'd risk it.  If you don't have a guard for your oil pan, then definately no.  I'm sure others much more knowledgable than I will chime in.

You can also call the park and ask. There may be a road or two suitable. 

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Offline OldJeepr

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2011, 08:34:32 AM »
I'll throw in my 2 pennies.  My son and I drove a few of the roads out there in 2010 and had a ball.  His rig is a lifted, modified Cherokee, and mine is an old Jeep CJ7 with a small lift, just to compare.  The roads to Chorro Vista and Guale are listed as 2wd high clearance, and are both very scenic drives, with excellent views at the end.  Being a rather cautious soul, I personally wouldn't attempt either with just 2wd.  The SP is not as conservative as the NP in their road classifications.  The Rangers are a great resource, and, basically tell it like it is. 
We only had time for one 'primitive road' - 4wd unmaintained.  Here is a video of that road. 
By the end, both our vehicles were pinstriped from top to bottom.  At one point, I had to stop and retrieve my rear view mirror when a mesquite branch grabbed it.  I am ready to go back and try some more.

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Offline TexasTLC

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2011, 03:49:54 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  And, thanks for the video - that looks like fun!  I know it's hard to capture angles & depths in the videos - but, I can still tell it's a challenging road.

My wheel base (106.3) is actually shorter than the Jeep Unlimited Rubicon I've been lusting after - but, my approach and departure angles aren't too good (28.1, 22.5 respectively).  And, despite my 4WD, with only 7.8" ground clearance I agree that I shouldn't attempt roads like the one in the video.

I guess - to be safe - I'll just ask the park Rangers when we get there for some advice on which roads they think I can handle.

I've definitely got my share of the desert pinstriping already from Big Bend last year & some quarry & ranch trips in the Hill Country.  It's more than worth it :)

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Offline TexasTLC

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Off-roading in Big Bend area
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2012, 05:07:00 PM »
Alrighty - I'm going back again this year and can't wait! Luckily, I now have a more off-road capable vehicle (9.6" ground clearance, 105.9" wheel base, 34 approach/31 departure angles, rear locker, rock rails, trail tuned shocks, BFG AT tires, full skids & lots of extra armor) & some experience with obstacles at several off-roading events.  So, now I'm even more interested in & excited about trying out some of the "un-maintained roads" in the area.  I'm going to search this forum for information regarding recommended trails.  But I thought I'd post again here as well in case some of you who replied to my original post have some new tips.  Mainly - a friend & I would like to take advantage of having a decent off-road vehicle to see some sights in the park that we wouldn't normally have been able to get to.  We're probably just going to BBNP this time.  Any recommendations on trails at BBNP  (or in the general vicinity) that would offer fun off-road driving or unique scenery/views that are off the beaten path?

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Offline Ninersboss

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 07:02:35 PM »
You've probably done it, but the River Road is one of my favorites. Its an easy road but it covers some awesome country. You can also loop it from either direction through Glenn Spring Road. Sitting on the tailgate toasting the mining ghosts at Mariscal with an ice cold Shiner is mighty fine (dont tell the rangers). Curious, what 4wd club did you join in Houston?

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Offline Al

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 07:49:57 PM »
You can go anywhere in the park.  If you're mainly into driving:  do Old Ore Rd. one day; and River Rd east to Black Gap, etc. the next.  Drive up Juniper Canyon, it tends to be one of the rougher roads.  Be sure and stop to enjoy the views here and there.  Take lots of pictures and be sure to report back!

Al

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Offline Jimbow

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Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 08:03:56 PM »
Just remember the Pilot has a reverse and you will be fine.


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Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

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Offline TexasTLC

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP or BBNP?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2012, 08:33:55 PM »
You've probably done it, but the River Road is one of my favorites. Its an easy road but it covers some awesome country. You can also loop it from either direction through Glenn Spring Road. Sitting on the tailgate toasting the mining ghosts at Mariscal with an ice cold Shiner is mighty fine (dont tell the rangers). Curious, what 4wd club did you join in Houston?

Nope - I haven't done River Road yet.  The drive you describe sounds great! Thanks for the suggestion! :)

I didn't really join a 4wd club in Houston.  When my Honda Pilot was totaled by a red light runner in January, I took the opportunity to move up to a Toyota FJ Cruiser, which is more suited for the rock hunting field trips and exploring that I enjoy. In the process of searching online to learn about my new truck, I found a really helpful forum for FJ Cruiser owners and I learned about an off-roading event for Toyotas.  I signed up for it before I ever picked my new truck up! One thing led to another and now I have a new hobby (off-roading) and several new friends who share the same interest :).  Do you know of any good 4wd clubs to join in the Houston area?

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Offline TexasTLC

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2012, 08:37:10 PM »
You can go anywhere in the park.  If you're mainly into driving:  do Old Ore Rd. one day; and River Rd east to Black Gap, etc. the next.  Drive up Juniper Canyon, it tends to be one of the rougher roads.  Be sure and stop to enjoy the views here and there.  Take lots of pictures and be sure to report back!

Al

Great - thank you! I'm really looking forward to doing a few days of driving at the park now that I've gotten a couple of great suggestions! :)  I'll report back for sure.  But, that reminds me! I think I forgot to post my trip report from last year...I'll have to check! Oops.

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Offline TexasTLC

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 08:39:54 PM »
Just remember the Pilot has a reverse and you will be fine.

Haha! Thanks Jimbow :)  Luckily I've traded the Pilot in for a real off-road vehicle.  So, now, I get to use lockers instead of reverse :)  Much more fun - woo hoo! :)

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Offline Reece

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP or BBNP?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2012, 03:33:54 PM »
What did you trade up to?

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Offline TexasTLC

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Re: Anyone been on the "Primitive Roads" at BBRSP or BBNP?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 04:01:18 PM »
What did you trade up to?

Toyota FJ Cruiser

 


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