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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First time to Big Bend State Park

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Offline Lh7152

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First time to Big Bend State Park
« on: September 25, 2014, 06:34:40 PM »
Hello everyone, this will be our first trip to BBSP and I wanted some input on if I could get a stock Sierra GMC to Yedra 1. It say 2wheel high clearance. I have factory tires and it is at factory height. I'm an experience  driver when it comes to off road, but I know loose rock can be hard to go uphill on. Also, can you drive up to the campsite here, or is there a hike to get there? Thanks in advance!

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2014, 07:20:16 PM »
I'm unfamiliar with the GMC Sierra, but we went there in a stock 4WD Tacoma w/BF Goodrich AT tires. I don't recall any significant climbs. The road is alternately easy, then very jouncy, bouncy & rocky. Slow & steady and you should be fine, depending on how our two trucks compare. Yedra 1 is right at the road, with a good selection of tent spots. No hiking involved, and no trails leave from there. If you continue to Yedra 2, or a few minutes beyond to the Cueva Larga trailhead, there's great hiking & an obvious trail. I recall losing altitude on the way to Yedra 2, and climbing on the way back, but I don't remember it being dicey. More of the rough & rocky stuff, though. I suppose I'd be most concerned about your stock tires...

I do remember that as soon as you get on Yedra road, it splits...low & to the left, or level and to the right. No signage. Go level & to the right.
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline Lh7152

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2014, 07:32:02 PM »
Thanks for the information! I can't wit to get out there and hit the trails. I have a 14 & 9 year old and the are freaking out over all the pics and videos I've shown them. I think they are more excited then me.

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Offline dillomaster

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2014, 10:01:30 PM »
Here is a pic of the road just past Yedra 2, headed toward the trail head to Cueva Larga. It is fairly representative of how the road looked in 2013.  There are a few steep sections with some loose rock, and there were some sections that were pretty rutted up.  Nothing that couldn't be carefully navigated in 2WD.  If you have running boards or any other items that hang low you will want to be extra careful.

Now all of that may have very well changed with the very recent rains they have had in the area. I've been out there and seen what just a few inches of rain can do.  The Park has very limited resources and the main road is the top priority.  Some of the side roads may take awhile before they get any attention.  So it may be a good idea to call ahead and check on the conditions.

My only concern would be your tires.  Make sure you have a full size spare as stock tires seem prone to sidewall damage (pretty much everything here is sharp!)

You and the boys will have a fantastic time.  Anxious to hear your report. Take lots of pics!

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Offline Jonathan Sadow

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 02:31:50 PM »
The last time I was at BBRSP I drove down to Yedra 2 so as to hike in the Cueva Larga area.  You should have no problems getting to Yedra 1.  The main issue with getting to Yedra 2 (or, rather, leaving Yedra 2) is that the road to it crosses a rather steep, rocky incline, which makes the ascent back from the campsite a bit tricky.  I did it in my late Jeep Liberty in 4WD, but doing it in 2WD might be a bit problematic (in recognition of that, TPWD has a warning sign posted at Yedra 1 to that effect and constructed a small parking area there for people who chicken out).  It's a bit of a pity, as in my personal opinion Yedra 2 is a nicer campsite than Yedra 1.  As for the campsites themselves, you can park right next to Yedra 2;  Yedra 1 requires a walk up a short flight of stairs.

As others have pointed out, I think the biggest limiting factor you would have are the tires.  The tires that were on my vehicle had off-road capabilities.  I'd be a bit wary of the stock tires, given the size and shape of the rocks you'd encounter on the road between Yedra 1 and 2.

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Offline Lh7152

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2014, 08:15:29 PM »
I went ahead and got new tires today. I went with the good year wrangler all-terrain adventure with Kevlar. 275/55 20 rim. I hope this helps out.

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Offline Mesquito

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2014, 07:01:37 AM »
Yedra 1 should not be a problem.  I drove my Bronco 2 down to Yedra 2 and spent the night anxious about the drive back up.

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Offline eddie

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2014, 11:04:55 AM »
I have taken a 2WD Jeep Cherokee down to Yedra 2 with no problems - only a little grunting on the way back up.

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 09:28:04 AM »
My suggestion is to not go past Yedra One. Also, resist the temptation to drive all the way up to the camping area. It is a short walk from the parking area to the picnic tables, but several people have driven all the way up and severely damaged the vegetation in front of the camp. The road to the Yedra TH has gotten pretty bad and I would suggest not driving it if you are in a 2WD truck and like your new tires. Also, keep in mind that Southern Presidio County has received over 10 inches of rain this monsoon and the roads have taken a beating! I would suggest sticking to the main park road and avoiding Javalin Road, Oso Loop/ Guale Road, and especially Las Burras Road. Call us before you head out for up to date conditions.
"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 Vince T

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2014, 08:30:54 AM »
I agree with many of the comments.  About 1/4 mile from Yedra 2 there is a pretty steep/rocky hill.   I wouldn't take a 2wd vehicle down to Yedra 2 unless you knew you had someone to tow you up that hill in the event you couldn't get back up.  Eddie made it up that hill in 2wd, so it can be done I guess, but you are there to enjoy the place, not worry about whether you'll get back up a hill.  Have fun.  I'll be out there in a few weeks too.

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2014, 12:33:34 PM »
I tell people all the time that just because you CAN do something doesn't mean that you SHOULD do it, and that goes double for our roads. If you want to beat up your truck and risk being stranded for hours/ days OR endure a ten mile desert hike to the HQ for help, then by all means go for it. It's rough country out here. I prefer to drive slow and not take chances, myself.
"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 Lh7152

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2014, 01:34:37 PM »
We will be out there middle to end of November. I think i will stay at Yedra 1 and not press my luck. You are absolutely right. I want to go out and enjoy myself, not worry about if I will make the trip back out. I will explore the park as much as I can, and plan my next trip with a 4WD to enjoy the rest of the park.

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2014, 02:29:52 PM »
There is PLENTY to do with just 2WD! There are postcard perfect vistas over every hill and undiscovered adventures around every corner. Our best interior hikes can be accessed from th Puerte Chilicothe trailhead, which is 2WD accessible.
"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 Lh7152

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Re: First time to Big Bend State Park
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2014, 06:53:48 PM »
First off i would like to thank all the Rangers at BBSP! They were very helpful and informal on the park. We stayed at Yedra 1 and i most say the sights were something i will never forget. My two kids and wife were amazed as well which says allot if you would know them. This is the first time they have every been to anything like this. I will try to load some pics when I get home, but it will take awhile being I'm from Louisiana. I recommended this place to anyone worried about this place. The views are amazing the the people are helpful. I can't wait to go back. 
 

 


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