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Dome Trail Loop and camping at the State Park

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Offline Repoman73

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Dome Trail Loop and camping at the State Park
« on: January 15, 2017, 05:43:56 AM »
Hey folks!  I am planning a trip to the Big Bend area the week of 3/06.  I've done the national park a few times and now I want to start exploring some of the State Park.  The Dome Trail Loop looks like a pretty decent hike (11 miles) but I can't find much about it.  Has anyone done it?  If so, are there steep climbs and is it well marked?  I'm assuming there is no water points in that area.

I was looking on google maps and saw what looked like campsites nearby there along the road that leads to the West Trailhead.  Can you reserve those at the ranger station near Terlingua or do you have to go to the main HQ?  Google Maps says it takes 2 1/2 hours to go about 74 miles to the main office from Terlingua.  Does that sound correct?

Any info would be appreciated!

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Dome Trail Loop and camping at the State Park
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 11:57:44 AM »
Not sure about that trail but I can tell you it does take a LONG time to get into the park.  The County Road is not paved and although a good road, it is washboard rough.  Driving is slow and a long ways.  You drive forever and come across the State Park sign and then drive another LONG ways before you get to the HQ.

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Dome Trail Loop and camping at the State Park
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 01:19:21 PM »
Not sure about that trail but I can tell you it does take a LONG time to get into the park.  The County Road is not paved and although a good road, it is washboard rough.  Driving is slow and a long ways.  You drive forever and come across the State Park sign and then drive another LONG ways before you get to the HQ.

But, it's a great drive in terms of scenery!

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Offline jim2

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Re: Dome Trail Loop and camping at the State Park
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2017, 02:58:55 PM »
It may be covered in this thread http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-ranch-state-park-qa/day-hike-off-fm-170/msg136595/#msg136595
 Yes there are some camp sites a short drive off 170 close to the trailhead.
 

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Online alan in shreveport

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Re: Dome Trail Loop and camping at the State Park
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2017, 09:43:05 PM »
I think you are talking about the Contrabondo Dome Loop trail ?  I think it uses the same trailhead as the Fresno Divide Loop trail described by Ranger Tim in Jim 2's link. The trails diverge after a few miles. In any case, the trailhead for the Fresno Divide Loop trail is along (paved) 170 about 7 miles west of Baton Warnock. I believe there are campsites at the trailhead (unless those were just picnic sites ?). I'd recommend closely reading Ranger Tims post and doing the Fresno Divide loop. Be warned, when I asked about it at Barton Warnock the ranger steered me to an out and back hike, instead of making a loop by using Fresno Creek as a return route. I had my topo and ranger Tims info so I said ok and did the loop/creek route anyway.

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Offline tandl

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Re: Dome Trail Loop and camping at the State Park
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2017, 02:51:54 PM »
The Contrabando Dome trail is awesome and highly accessible and there are camp sites both at the trailhead and nearby on the river (paved access to all). I have definitely seen tents set up there,  so I am assuming they are official; check at station, but if not the riverside campsites are veey close. There are not a lot of steep climbs.  You can register for camping at the Lajitas Ranger station, no need to drive to the north side of the park.

The trail is cairn marked because the desert floor does not lend itself to easily visible trails like you might find in other environments. It is a new trail and is extremely well marked with artistic cairns and is easy for someone who has never followed a cairn trail before. Mountain bikes are alowed on the trail,  and seeing tracks will also help you be confident you are still on the trail.

I highly recommend this trail, and have done both the loop to the right out of the Dome as well as going up to the Flotation Mill and then down the Fresno Creek bed back to the car as per the link above, and prefer to return by Fresno Creek.

There are springs in the creek bed but we always just carry enough water for the day anyway since it is just a day hike and there is plenty of room in the pack.

Sent from my SCH-I435 using Big Bend Chat mobile app


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Offline tandl

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Re: Dome Trail Loop and camping at the State Park
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2017, 07:58:52 AM »
The Contrabando Dome trail is awesome and highly accessible and there are camp sites both at the trailhead and nearby on the river (paved access to all). I have definitely seen tents set up there,  so I am assuming they are official; check at station, but if not the riverside campsites are veey close. There are not a lot of steep climbs.  You can register for camping at the Lajitas Ranger station, no need to drive to the north side of the park.

The trail is cairn marked because the desert floor does not lend itself to easily visible trails like you might find in other environments. It is a new trail and is extremely well marked with artistic cairns and is easy for someone who has never followed a cairn trail before. Mountain bikes are alowed on the trail,  and seeing tracks will also help you be confident you are still on the trail.

I highly recommend this trail, and have done both the loop to the right out of the Dome as well as going up to the Flotation Mill and then down the Fresno Creek bed back to the car as per the link above, and prefer to return by Fresno Creek.

There are springs in the creek bed but we always just carry enough water for the day anyway since it is just a day hike and there is plenty of room in the pack.

Sent from my SCH-I435 using Big Bend Chat mobile app


Sent from my SCH-I435 using Big Bend Chat mobile app


 


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