Big Bend Chat
Other Parks of the Big Bend Region => Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A => Topic started by: jackd on August 29, 2019, 09:04:43 PM
A group of us (3-5 vehicles) are planning to visit the Big Bend area the week of April 22nd in 2020 (the Lyrid meteor shower should be peaking).
We are all experienced overlanders - we have traveled some of the most remote trails in the lower 48. We are great planners, are familiar with our extraction gear and always have multiple remote comms (satellite phones, ham radios, etc). However, the Big Bend area kind of intimidates me...Ö.
We are looking to spend 5-6 nights in the area. I think most of our time should be spent in the state park because of the remoteness, but we would be more than willing to head into the national park for a day or three.
Anyway, we are looking for itinerary suggestions (trails/campsites)?
A side note (please don't make fun of me, I know it is ridiculous): We love technical challenges, a little bit of rock crawling and washboard roads, but I personally hate "cowboy carwashes". So if you are suggesting trails, please let me know which ones are the worst for the "west Texas pinstripes!"
A party that large is pretty much limited to South Leyva campground, unless youíre willing to disperse to separate quarters each night. The trails at BBRSP are rough, to be sure, but not especially technical. A satellite phone is always a comfort. If you do get a cell signal itís likely to be out of Mexico.
Iíve found that its a simple and easy matter to buff out any pinstripes I get out there, except when itís not. If youíre dainty about your paint I would suggest a pair of pruning shears. Also, invite a guy with a 3/4 ton duelly to blaze the trail.
Search this site for for trip reports/videos by "blindwilly". He and his overlander crew have made several trips to the area. I'm sure he'll chime in soon enough.
If you don't like pinstrips you might not want to leave the main road, the Oso Loop, or the Solitario Road. If you can handle a few scratches and maybe some dents, the road to Chorro Vista is outstanding. There is a additional fee for more than two vehicles at a campsite and some campsites simple won't accommodate more than three vehicles due to space constraint. If you are camping in your trucks you will also want to see which sites are drive up and which require you to park and walk a short distance. Feel free to call Sauceda (432-358-4444) before you leave to inquire about road conditions.
Search this site for for trip reports/videos by "blindwilly". He and his overlander crew have made several trips to the area. I'm sure he'll chime in soon enough.I will chime in now, lol.
Sorry for the delay, I was on vacation in Sedona. :afro:
You will encounter pin striping. Once you realize that, you'll enjoy the trails and campgrounds in BBRSP.
Camping with extra vehicles in the park pretty much requires group sites or equestrian camp sites. My last trip in Dec 2019 I started with 6 vehicles planning to go, so we chose equestrian sites. We ended up with 3 rigs and lots of space to camp.
Javelin campsite was one great spot for all of us, Tres Papalotes is another.
One option to consider is the private ranch's/campgrounds near the park. They have both primitive and glamping facilities.
(Los Alamos Ranch and Rio Bravo Ranch come to mind)
The NW side of the park is the roughest, also in spots VERY prone to pin stripes. (Chapaduro spring, and Ciennega Creek on the south end of the Ciennega loop, and the area around Cat Spring). However, it has the best wheeling, is the least populated and some incredible views.
In the main park has some great trails also. I haven't been on all of them but the ones I have been have been great.
Paseo Al Solitario is the roughest one I've been on to date. After that would be the area around Oso Loop and Rancheria Loop. (You can reach that via the Javelin Pens campsite)
Botella Trail was a FANTASTIC surprise of a trail. I was expecting it to be scary and it wasn't at all. There were a few technical spots , lots of dry creek beds, some hills and one giant boulder! I here there are 2 sides to that trail, a west and east trail. We did the East trail.
You can't think of BBRSP without the Road To Nowhere. :great:
Under normal conditions, it's an easy trail with steep drop offs, great views and is a narrow 2 track. There are also some tracks up to the mines on that side of the park. Lots of fun in the Solitario!
Hope this helps!
1st photo is at the Cienega Gorge.
2nd is in the middle of Cienega Creek. It was overgrown from all the rain the previous years. You'll feel like you're loosing ALL your paint, but you won't be...
Also, if you have lots of time, I have some video's of some of the trails out there.
search TXpedition Offroad & Overland on YouTube.
This link might work.
Most of the BBRSP 4wd trails will pinstripe your vehicles. BBNP has much wider roads but really they are nothing more than dirt roads with an occasional obstacle. Tres Papalotes is a bigger site that is easily accessible in BBRSP.
I sent you a PM.
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