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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BBSR questions for a noobie

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Offline roadkill

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BBSR questions for a noobie
« on: December 26, 2009, 11:34:45 AM »
I've never been to the ranch and am planning on going next April with a group of other 4x4 owners.  I plan on being there for several days and camping in different spots each night.  I have a few questions:

What is the weather like in mid April?

I know the group sites are limited so what are the better ones to use? 

what about the regular sites, are the some that are fairly close enough to accommodate a group without being to separated from the group, ie not miles apart.

We plan on driving the 4x4 trails, but what else are the must see things in the park?  I will have my 6 yr old son with me and neither one of us are "experienced" hikers and others in the group will have a similar level also.

I will be driving a Jeep Unlimited Rubicon on 33s and pulling an M416 (1/4 ton military trailer), is there any place in the park where this may be a liability?

Thanks for all the help.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: BBSR questions for a noobie
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2009, 03:47:41 PM »
I can only answer one of the questions.
What is the weather like in mid April?
Hot! Well, maybe you'll luck out and it'll be somewhat cool, but temps in the 90's to over a hundred are typical that time of year.

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Offline Al

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Re: BBSR questions for a noobie
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2009, 05:08:16 PM »
Talk to the rangers about the trailer and where you can leave it, if necessary.  Should be just about anywhere, since BBRSP is very lightly used.  We have been the only campers in the entire park during some of our trips.  Most of the primitive campsites allow for multiple vehicles so group camping in general should not be a problem unless you are talking really large groups.

Al

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Offline roadkill

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Re: BBSR questions for a noobie
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2009, 08:52:52 PM »
here's a pic of my set up.



the trailer has a pintle hitch and has been lifted and fitted with matching tires and rims to the jeep.  I'll be carrying all my camping gear (tent, table, grill, etc) in the trailer as well as my tools and spare parts.  inside the back of the jeep I have a 12 volt fridge.  I think I'll be ok but figure some info from those who have traveled the 4x4 roads there would know better.


as for the temps I thought I they would still be in the 80's.  I guess I'll just have to find a way to adapt and overcome.  perhaps camp near hiking trails for early am hikes and then do my driving in the heat of the day.  any "must" see's?

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Offline Al

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Re: BBSR questions for a noobie
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 10:17:49 PM »
Nice rig. I'd have to have a trailer too, if I took a Jeep to Big Bend in order to have enough stuff!  You should be able to go most anywhere.  Just be mindful that the 4x4 roads are old ranch roads, are not maintained or, some cases driven down much.  So count on overgrown desert vegetation and significant pinstripping, which any proper Jeep should have anyway.  Many of the 2-wheel drive back roads are the same way.  The rangers are great and will tell you what you need to know when you get there.  The park is very user friendly in its own rugged way.  Be sure and bring a portable toilet and plan to haul your poop out.  Bring firewood too.  It will probably be cool enough at night to enjoy a nice campfire.

Al

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Offline roadkill

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Re: BBSR questions for a noobie
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2009, 10:40:31 PM »
I already have a PETT and for the firewood you can see that I have that as well.  I'd like to avoid the pinstriping as much as possible but I know I'll get it anyways.  I already have lots so I may not even notice it afterwards, lol.  black is just not a good color for a brush rig but I'm narrower than a truck so maybe I'll be able to keep it to a minimum.

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Offline 04LJ

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Re: BBSR questions for a noobie
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2009, 11:00:11 AM »
As of this week, the only thing you'll relly want is a soft flexy suspension. other than the washboard parts of the roads,you should be able to take the trailer anywhere. the ONLY exception would be black gap rd. it is a 2.5 to 4 diamond trail. we just did most of the roads alone. EXCEPT black gap, and the whole river road.( just about half). IF it's been raining it will be a 4x4 test, other wise 2 wheel drive all the way.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2010, 01:54:15 PM by RichardM »
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KE5PPH

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Offline Cookie

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Re: BBSR questions for a noobie
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2009, 11:36:47 AM »
  I'd like to avoid the pinstriping as much as possible but I know I'll get it anyways.  I already have lots so I may not even notice it afterwards, lol.  black is just not a good color for a brush rig but I'm narrower than a truck so maybe I'll be able to keep it to a minimum.

We were out there two years ago and Al was not kidding about "significant" pinstriping. the first few tight fits we were gritting our teeth and realized the trip was going to be agonizing unless we just stopped worrying about the scraping. You just have to let it go, besides, it gives your rig more character! We were amazed when we got home that the undercarriage of our Landcruiser looked liked it had been cleaned by a million little toothpicks (good sized mesquite in the MIDDLE of the road, etc.). It was almost sparkling. The roads weren't bad for the most part, I only remember one signicant challenge, and that was from part of the road being washed away in the middle. Take your time, it's great you are in a group. Awesome park to explore! Our daughter was 4 when we went and she had a blast!
~Cookie

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Offline Terlingua50337

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Re: BBSR questions for a noobie
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2009, 02:24:40 PM »
There is no fuel there or anywhere close so take plenty.

 


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