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Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break

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Offline vdWcontact

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Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« on: February 05, 2017, 10:50:51 AM »
Hi all,

My girlfriend and I are planning on taking a trip to Big Bend during spring break (March 12-16). We are pretty sure we are going to need to zone camp due to it being peak season for our trip (we both work at UT Austin so we have no choice).

We are having trouble figuring out what zones we will reliably be able to access with just a low clearance vehicle (all wheel drive, Subaru Forester). We'd love to find a spot where we don't need to set up camp all that far from our car since we will be using it throughout the week. We'd really love to see the Chisos Basin while we are there.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 11:02:32 AM »
You should be able to do most of Glenn spring road making it all the way out to Mariscal mine. You can also take River Road east out to the Mine as well. You can make it out to grapevine hills, Croton spring and most of old ore road from the south end. You should be able to get back to pine canyon as well, but this one is a little bumpier.
However check the road conditions when you get there because if it rains it can change that real quick.
Also Old maverick road

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Offline vdWcontact

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 08:19:45 PM »
I'm glad you mentioned Grapevine Hills! Do you think there is camping relatively close (read: ~100 yards) from the grapevine hills trail?

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 10:46:42 PM »
No, the roadside camp sites are not close to the grapevine hills trail head, they are at least half a mile away if I recall, but there is a good parking area at the trail head

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everything is better with bacon!!!

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Offline vdWcontact

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2017, 08:53:02 PM »
One last minute question. How late is too late to try and get a zone camping permit? If I arrive at PJVC at 4:00PM is it too late? 5:00PM? I know they close at 6:00PM and I don't intend to cut it close, but it would be nice to know.

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Offline marufo

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2017, 09:04:55 PM »
FYI the PJVC closes at 5. And zone camping must be done at least 1/2 mile from the road and out of sight from the road (and at least 100 yards from any trail, historical structure, archeological site, dry wash, water source, or cliff edge).

Zone camping
Quote
where we don't need to set up camp all that far from our car
is simply not an option.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 10:20:37 PM by marufo »

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Offline vdWcontact

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2017, 09:09:55 PM »
Haha, Thanks for filling me in Marufo, but a half mile is really not all that far. Thanks a lot for letting me know about PJVC closing at 5:00. I guess I'd better replace this old park map if the visitor center hours are out of date.

Any info on how long it takes to get a zone camping permit? Just want to make sure I don't get into a situation where I arrive so late I have to leave the park to find lodging.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2017, 06:14:34 AM »
If no one is in line it takes about 5 minutes but with spring break I would expect some kind of line.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline vdWcontact

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2017, 08:50:38 AM »
Thank you mule ears! I really do appreciate the help.

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Offline catz

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 09:49:58 AM »

While the visitor center itself closes at 5, all primitive camping registration is done in a building to the left of the center.  I'm not sure of this but it may be open until 6 during spring break.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline mini64

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Re: Zone Camping with a low clearance vehicle? Spring Break
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2017, 05:06:07 PM »
You'll be fine.   I've done every road in the park except the full length of black gap in my Subaru wrx lifted to almost the height of a forester.  Some parts of Old Ore you'll think you were crazy for doing while you are on them until you get to the end of the rough bit and realize it really wasn't that bad.

This is dry conditions though.   Mix in water and its a whole 'nother story.  Be prepared to stay a night stranded just in case.

 


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