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.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad

  • 9 Replies
  • 1154 Views
*

Offline wrangler88

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 232
Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« on: June 30, 2019, 01:30:27 AM »
Anyone been to Black River/Cottonwood Day Use Area or Rattlesnake Springs between GUMO and Carlsbad Caverns? I am planning a car camping trip with my boys out in the area and would like to check these places out. Wondering if there are charcoal grills at either. It would be nice to grill hot links or something like that one evening. And spend some time in the shade during the hot afternoon hours.
Any thoughts or opinions on either of these areas?

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3028
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2019, 03:15:37 PM »
Iíve been to Rattlesnake Springs several times. A long, long time ago. I liked it. Itís a former ranch built around a spring-fed marsh, but the marsh is mostly gone, even though the spring is still active. If it hasnít changed in the last twenty years, the layout is a string of ponds and ditched streams stretching about a quarter-mile beside a dead-end road. It can be fairly hot in summer. Plenty of shade trees, though not distributed continuously. I remember a few picnic tables because I ate my lunches there while birding, and Iím pretty sure they had the standard park grills. Seems like I remember an old closed-up pump house or maybe it might have been a bathhouse. Restrooms too, I think. But Iíve never seen another human being there. Great place to find unusual bird occurrences, especially during spring and fall migrations.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline Imre

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 397
Re: Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2019, 03:59:06 PM »
Try google images. Looks like picnic tables and grills.
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

*

Offline backpacker56

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 225
Re: Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2019, 07:24:14 AM »
I've been to both places, but so long ago I can't give any help.  Back then, Rattlesnake Springs was pleasant, but I've not made an effort to go back there.  Black River could be very nice and at one time no doubt was very nice, but my recollection is that it had suffered from too many thoughtless users and/or not enough careful management, so it was rather overused and trashed.  Again, sorry I can't give recent info.  During this hot time of year, I would be more inclined to seek higher elevations, maybe in the Sacramentos, but travel time and distance are always factors. 

With the upsurge in oil field activity, there is the distinct possibility that a rougher crowd may seek out these places for times of recreation.  This was the case back in 1986 when I took my wife to Sitting Bull Falls in the first year of our marriage.
"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"

*

Offline wrangler88

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 232
Re: Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2019, 08:49:56 PM »
Thanks guys for the input. I have never been to either and had been wanting to stop by the past few times I was out there but ran out of time. I am leaning toward staying at Dog Canyon this trip but I'm not 100% yet. We're pretty hearty when it comes to the summer heat, especially if we have a place to cool off like Sitting Bull Falls and Carlsbad Caverns. We might not make it to Black River or Rattlesnake Springs. Just wanted to keep our options open.

... Might even stay within a few hours of home anand just go to Colorado bend or somewhere like that. Cant make up my mind.

*

Offline Jalco

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1072
Re: Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2019, 09:44:07 PM »
... Might even stay within a few hours of home anand just go to Colorado bend or somewhere like that. Cant make up my mind.

I'm about an hour from Colorado Bend.  We've been blessed with some good rains recently and everything is green, so I think CB would be a good option.

*

Offline wrangler88

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 232
Re: Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 06:33:34 AM »
... Might even stay within a few hours of home anand just go to Colorado bend or somewhere like that. Cant make up my mind.

I'm about an hour from Colorado Bend.  We've been blessed with some good rains recently and everything is green, so I think CB would be a good option.

I bet. Was just at Dinosaur Valley a week or so ago and the river is doing really well right now. Good flow and perfect temperature.

*

Offline Hang10er

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 548
  • "Do what you want before it's too late"
Re: Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 07:09:38 AM »
A bit different but we just spent our annual week at the Frio River and It was noticeably higher than usual.  Seems like most of the State is greener than usual. 

Side note, we've been going for just shy of 20 years and I hate to say it, but the crowd at the Frio seems to be changing and not for the better.  More people, more rudeness, more disregard for the natural surroundings, etc. 

Sad.

*

Offline wrangler88

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 232
Re: Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2019, 08:43:35 AM »
A bit different but we just spent our annual week at the Frio River and It was noticeably higher than usual.  Seems like most of the State is greener than usual. 

Side note, we've been going for just shy of 20 years and I hate to say it, but the crowd at the Frio seems to be changing and not for the better.  More people, more rudeness, more disregard for the natural surroundings, etc. 

Sad.

Totally know what you mean. When we got out of the truck down at the Paluxy in Dinosaur Valley, you could hear a stereo going hundreds of yards away down at the river. There was an abandoned umbrella with drinks and trash all over the ground right in the trail that leads to the stairs down to the river. Once we got to the river we saw the college kids with there huge speaker on a wheeled cart. Music could be heard as far up or down the river as you could see. A little different down there since the last time I went. Almost couldn't believe the state park allowed all that. But I guess they have plenty to police at the park. Or they dont care about that.

*

Offline Jonathan Sadow

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 195
Re: Black River and Rattlesnake Springs Near Carlsbad
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 01:59:00 AM »
Iíve been to Rattlesnake Springs several times. A long, long time ago. I liked it. Itís a former ranch built around a spring-fed marsh, but the marsh is mostly gone, even though the spring is still active. If it hasnít changed in the last twenty years, the layout is a string of ponds and ditched streams stretching about a quarter-mile beside a dead-end road. It can be fairly hot in summer. Plenty of shade trees, though not distributed continuously. I remember a few picnic tables because I ate my lunches there while birding, and Iím pretty sure they had the standard park grills. Seems like I remember an old closed-up pump house or maybe it might have been a bathhouse. Restrooms too, I think. But Iíve never seen another human being there. Great place to find unusual bird occurrences, especially during spring and fall migrations.

I've been to both of these places in the last year.  For someone who hasn't been there for a long time, HMoD's description of Rattlesnake Springs is pretty accurate.  There are a number of picnic tables with grills there and vault toilets.  There's also a pond with marshy edges to it next to the pumphouse and across the road from an NPS residence.  As an aside, the pumphouse is there because Rattlesnake Springs is the main water source for the developed area in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.  The Black River Recreation Area, which includes the Cottonwood Day Use Area, is managed by the BLM and isn't as large or well-maintained as Rattlesnake Springs.  It has a few picnic tables (I don't recall any grills) and a vault toilet.  A short trail goes to the Black River, which here is mainly a pool.  A longer trail goes to the dam that creates the pool, but I haven't been to that.

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments