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Zone Camping

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Offline bdann

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Zone Camping
« on: July 11, 2006, 01:25:45 PM »
Decided to start a new thread since this kept coming up in other topics.

From the BIBE website:

Quote
Backpacking in the Desert
Open zone camping permits are available for backpackers who wish to camp outside of the Chisos Mountains. The park is divided into a number of zones ranging from areas along popular trails to extremely isolated areas. Zone camping requires that you:

    * camp at least 1/2 mile from and out of sight of any road (including unpaved roads)
    * camp at least 100 yards from any trail, historic structure, archeological site, dry wash or cliff edge.
    * camp at least 1/4 mile away from any water source.


I couldn't find a listing or a map showing the actual zones.
WATER, It does a body good.

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Zone Camping
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2006, 01:41:17 PM »
The only thing I've ever seen is a map showing the Burro Mesa off-limits area and the zone camping markers on the Blue Creek and Juniper Canyon trails. On my Outer Mountain Loop itinerary, the ranger wrote "zone" for my nights in Juniper Canyon, Blue Creek, and near Fresno Creek, nothing more specific than that.

I have a hazy recollection of there being a map behind the desk at PJ with the zones marked on it, but I've never looked at it.
Jeff Blaylock
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splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline bdann

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Zone Camping
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2006, 01:44:48 PM »
My first night ever in BIBE was spent zone camping somewhere east of the Maverick Road.  We did not plan on doing this, but it was our only option as all the developed sites in the park were full (spring break).  The lady at the visitor center says "do you two have backpacks?"......

Well yes, we had backpacks, so off my brother and I go in my little Nissan 240sx down the Maverick road.

I was completely amazed at the utter silence out in the desert.  I kept going "shhhhhh!...listen"....nothing....it was truly amazing.

We found a nice spot about two miles from the road and about 200 yards from the trail (Chimneys Trail) and setup camp.  We had driven all night to get there, so our first task was to take naps.  After we just explored around, climbing on rocks, taking pictures and just taking it all in.  I was completely awe struck with the place, I kept thinking to myself "Where has this place been all my life?"
WATER, It does a body good.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Zone Camping
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2006, 02:49:21 PM »
I used to do a lot of Zone camping back when....there is a map in the PJ HQ that has zone quadrants marked on it.  If memory serves, the zone had a maximum occupation of 3 parties per zone for permits.  You could camp anywhere you wanted (except for the usual no-nos) in that zone.  I don't know of any map available with the zones on it other than there.

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SHANEA

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Ah Ha!
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2006, 03:09:36 PM »
Quote from: "bdann"
I kept going "shhhhhh!...listen"....nothing....it was truly amazing.


Been there, done that.  Group of people chatting out in the high desert, shhhhh...  What do you hear?  NOTHING - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING - NO WIND - NO BIRDS - THE TRUE SOUND OF SILENCE.

The Natl. Geographic Map of Big Bend does show the areas that are ZONED NO CAMPING.  It also has arrows indicating where ZONE CAMPING STARTS.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Ah Ha!
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2006, 03:31:38 PM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
Quote from: "bdann"
I kept going "shhhhhh!...listen"....nothing....it was truly amazing.


Been there, done that.  Group of people chatting out in the high desert, shhhhh...  What do you hear?  NOTHING - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING - NO WIND - NO BIRDS - THE TRUE SOUND OF SILENCE.

The Natl. Geographic Map of Big Bend does show the areas that are ZONED NO CAMPING.  It also has arrows indicating where ZONE CAMPING STARTS.


it does that, but it does not show the actual ZONE you'll be camping in. Zone camping doesn't mean you can camp anywhere outside the decamping zone, it means you can camp in your ASSIGNED ZONE.  That map I haven't seen outside the HQ....perhaps one of our resident NPS folks could clue us in, Shane?

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Offline Al

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Zone Camping
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2006, 05:31:48 PM »
It's pretty simple as several folks have pointed out.  You point on the map where you would like to camp.  The ranger will tell you if it is restricted and if not then you can camp anywhere in that zone, so long as you follow the various distance restrictions.  

We got a permit for the area north of Burro Mesa area one year and hiked in off of 118.  We liked it because it was a pretty easy hike to behind the first hill off the road to the south and we set up our base camp. We could hike back to the truck and get more stuff when desired in about an hour.  It's nice to able to sip on a cold beer in the back country on occasion . . .

We then spent the next 3 days doing day hikes around and up on Burro Mesa.  There are some neat pour-offs, other than the well known one, a hill covered with crystals and some interesting historical things in the area which is the reason I understand the area is restricted.  The Javalena are pretty thick around there.

When we went back the next year and asked for a permit in the same zone, the ranger said, "You can't get a permit for that area."  We told him we had the previous year and he looked puzzled.  Anyway we had to throw the dart at another area of the map.  That year I think we ended up zone camping east of Ore Road and Ernst.

Anyway, it's not really necessary to know the zones just where you want to camp.  The ranger will take care of the rest.

Al

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Offline Al

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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2006, 05:35:36 PM »
P.S. There are virtually always Ravens checking us out at various times of the day no matter where we zone camp.  

We often wonder if they are mechnical* spies  . . .

Al

* or something like that

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Offline BIBE Webmaster

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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 11:51:56 AM »
As we ramp up to the permit fee in Jan 2007, I am hoping to vastly improve the amount of backcountry prep material we have available, and eventually plan to provide both a listing of the zones and their capacities, but also a map.

Be patient,

E
Eric Leonard, Park Ranger
Big Bend National Park / Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/
http://www.nps.gov/rigr/

(Big Bend Park Ranger 2004-2008)

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BigBendHiker

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Re: one of these days
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2006, 12:24:04 PM »
Quote from: "BIBE Webmaster"
As we ramp up to the permit fee in Jan 2007, I am hoping to vastly improve the amount of backcountry prep material we have available, and eventually plan to provide both a listing of the zones and their capacities, but also a map.

Be patient,

E


That sounds good!  Thanks!

BBH

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Offline bdann

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Re: one of these days
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2006, 11:38:07 AM »
Quote from: "BIBE Webmaster"
As we ramp up to the permit fee in Jan 2007, I am hoping to vastly improve the amount of backcountry prep material we have available, and eventually plan to provide both a listing of the zones and their capacities, but also a map.

Be patient,

E


Found this map on the new site:

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parknews/upload/BC_Zones.pdf

Thanks Eric!
WATER, It does a body good.

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Offline Buck

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Map
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2006, 12:01:06 PM »
bdann, you the man - I've looked for this map forever!
"Hey, how 'bout a Fandango..?"

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Map
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2006, 12:24:55 PM »
Quote from: "Buck Nekkid"
bdann, you the man - I've looked for this map forever!

You've just been looking in the wrong place!  :)
See this thread.

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Offline Buck

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Zoned
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2006, 01:27:44 PM »
bdann, I just hadn't continued reading that thread.  I didn't know there was a restriction on the number of campers allowed in a zone at any given time.

Zone camping is the way to go - It's great heading across open country and finding my own spot out in the middle of nowhere.  That's also when gps really becomes useful.
"Hey, how 'bout a Fandango..?"

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Offline bdann

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Zone Camping
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2006, 01:52:43 PM »
My Thanksgiving trip is going to be all zone camping.  Just have to decide which zone.

Can't decide if I want to hike out to the Mariscal Canyon Rim and camp in that general area somewhere, or pick another area that doesn't require so much backcountry driving.
WATER, It does a body good.

 


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