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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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BBRSP roads for 2wd truck

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Offline Treeaggie

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BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« on: September 11, 2015, 12:57:49 PM »
I will be heading out to BBRSP at the beginning of October for a few days.  I haven't been to the park in several years and last time we were out there we drove around the main park road in a Toyota Corolla.  I'll be taking an F-150 out there this time, but am writing to see if anyone knows which trailheads would be accessible with a 2004 Ford F-150 with no lift?  I've got a spare, tire plug kit and portable air compressor.  I'm not looking to do any crazy off-roading, just want to try to access as many of the trailheads as I can.  I'll be staying at La Posta and I would like to try to explore some of the Solitario, the Right-Hand Shutup(from the the Burnt Camp Trailhead), and the Mexicano Falls area (maybe from the Puerto Chilicote Trailhead).  Any help or suggestions towards others routes or locations would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 04:28:12 PM »
While the roads in the Solitario are generally two-wheel drive, they are typically pretty rough this time of year and are not from the hesitant - I don't know if I would try to make it as far as Burnt Camp Trailhead. You should have no issues with Puerto Chilicothe or La Posta, though. Make sure and grab the Exploration Map before you get out for any hikes. The trails at BBRSP aren't as wide or manicured as what you will find in the national park, so a map and compass is a great idea if you are planning any ambitious hikes. Checking in at Sauceda the day before might be a good idea as well. Hiking the Leyva Drainage North from Cinco Tinajas is a great day hikes, as is the Fresno Canyon Overlook from the Puerto Chilicothe TH. The hike up to Mexicano Falls can be very challenging, but it is a fine hike nonetheless!
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2015, 06:17:38 PM »
The problem with the F150, or most other full sized trucks (and I have one), is their wheel base. It's very long, causing problems in and out of the washes.  But, for the most part, it works well.

A 4wd is very helpful, and many times necessary, in rain and deep sand, which can be experienced at any time.

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Offline Treeaggie

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Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 06:31:32 PM »
Thank y'all for taking the time to reply!  I've searched all of the threads pertaining to BBRSP and it's definitely a wealth of information.  I will be at the park for 4 full days and plan to make the most of it.  It seems the 2WD issue may put a dampener on some of my plans, so I readjusted.  Seems I may want to back off the Solitario idea in a 2WD.  I still plan to use a full day to hike from the Puerto Chilicote Trailhead to Mexicano Falls, as well a full day (early A.M. start) to do the Fresno Creek Hike off of FM170 that Ranger Tim mentioned in a previous post.  I'm really pumped about that one!  My other 2 full days are open to suggestions.   I'm really interested in looking at the old indian rock art (petroglyph(sp?)) or pictographs.  I've read of Cueva Larga, but are there any other sites with art nearby that would encompass a day's hike?  Thanks!
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 06:41:05 PM by Treeaggie »

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2015, 08:27:57 AM »
I'd be reluctant to send you all the way down to the Yedra TH in a 2WD truck, but you should be able to make the hike from Papalotito Colorado and and back if you get an early start. There is also a panel just off the Leyva drainage northeast of Cinco Tinajas,... grab the brochure for the Escondido Loop trail when you stop in at Sauceda.
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline tjavery

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Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2015, 08:12:13 PM »
Two years ago I drove into the interior of the park for the first time. I only drove the main road to Sauceda and back. Got two flats on my stock tires on my F150. And they were bad - tears that couldn't be fixed. I only had one spare.

I used all the tire plugs and fix-a-flat I had on one of the flats and limped into Presidio. Only found one set of tires in the entire town that fit (18").

I'm no speed demon either. Just ask my wife :-) I drive like an old fart.

This isn't meant to scare you from going. Just go slow, use caution, and take a bunch of tire repair stuff. The rocks out there are sharp.

Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2015, 09:30:41 PM »
I've been there a few times; last time was 2010. I have a light truck, 2003 Tacoma, 2WD, and have had no difficulties on the main road, or roads to some campsites, like Pila Montoya. I also went to Burnt Canyon trailhead, and it was fairly difficult. I'd consider it the absolute limit of what I'd want to do in that truck.
As I said, it's been a few years, and ymmv.
Untitled by Phil Gavenda, on Flickr

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2015, 08:25:38 AM »
Another consideration is that we have had some powerful rains in the last couple of weeks that have done a number on our roads. Make sure and call Sauceda before you make it all the way down and try to drive the road out. Last week the main road was 4x4 only but I know they have been working on it. Even in good conditions, expect to drop your tire pressure by 20%, bring at least one spare, and a plug kit. Two spares and air is optimal. The following link is predominantly for 4x4 vehicles, but there is good advice for all drivers.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_p4501_0152k.pdf
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline Treeaggie

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Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2015, 12:54:06 PM »
Ranger Tim,

Thanks for the heads up in regards to the rain/road condition on the park road.  I called Sauceda today and spoke with Shawn.  He stated that the road conditions are getting better, barring there isn't a lot more rain coming between now and then.  He said that I should be fine getting up to La Posta  with a 2WD truck.  I'll be calling them a few days before I leave to make sure the roads haven't changed for the worse.  I'll have a spare, jack (with extra boards to place under it), tire plug kit, air compressor and Slime.

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Offline Reece

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Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2015, 07:44:59 AM »
Tim, is the purpose of airing down to minimize punctures or to increase tire footprint for better traction?

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Offline Bluedog

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Re: BBRSP roads for 2wd truck
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2015, 05:09:47 PM »
Tim, is the purpose of airing down to minimize punctures or to increase tire footprint for better traction?

It is for better traction on soft soil and to help dampen out vibration on wash board roads.

 


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