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Overnight Trip - The Bowl, Mt Pratt, McKittrick Canyon Nature Trail

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Offline wrangler88

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Day 1:


Day 2:


After my last trip to GUMO in February, I had been itching to get back ASAP. Because of my work schedule and family commitments I only had 1 night. I woke up at 2am and drove the 7.5 hours to Pine Springs. I had in mind to hike up Bear Canyon and through the inner part of the Bowl. I had missed this less than one mile section back in February and wanted to hike it on my journey to complete all the trails at Guadalupe Mountains.



Since the first time I went DOWN Bear Canyon, I had always said I wouldn't go Bear Canyon. But I decided on this trip I would. Just to say I've done it. I passed a man right at the bottom of Bear Canyon and he'd be the only person I'd see while hiking for the rest of the day. The journey to the top was very steep and tiring but I'm glad I did it and made it. This may be the one time I ever go up Bear Canyon. (But probably not!)



Once at the top I decided I would venture off trail on the north side of the bowl and head to summit Mt Pratt (7th or 8th highest in TX). This was my first real off trail experience ever. I've done a ton of hiking in my life but I had always stuck to trails. Not long after I left the trail and rounded a hill, I spotted an old Cabin. I went near to check it out and take a short break.



After the snack, I headed to Mt Pratt. I was very worn out after making my way through the thorny scrub. The ridge prior to the summit really had better views than the actual summit. I felt semi sick from being exhausted. After breaking for a short while and drinking some water, I felt much better. I was super happy to make it back to the bowl trail and complete my first off trail trip! I made my way West on the bowl trail until I found the intersection i had missed a month or so before. The hike through the inner bowl was nice but I was ready to head down to Pine Springs.



On my way down the Tejas trail I decided I would cross over to the Guadalupe Peak Trail and hike up to the horse trail intersection and return on that. The horse trail was another short section of trail I had missed in my past trips. After hiking the horse trail, I made it back to Pine Springs and my campsite about an hour before dark. The driving and 14+ miles had worn me out. I had a Mountain House meal and 2 beers and went to bed well after dark.





The next morning I slept in a bit. I decided I'd do another couple of short trails I had never done. I walked the paved Pinery Trail to the ruins of the old Butterfield Mail Route station. I had been to the site before but always by car. After completing the short trail I drove to the McKittrick Canyon Ranger Station to hike the McKittrick Canyon Nature Trail. This 1 mile trail has some great interpretive signs and some great views up into McKittrick Canyon. The highlight of this trail was a small seep toward the end of the trail.





Overall it was a fun trip but extremely tiring. I was glad to make it home that night. But now I'm excited to go back. I should be back in December and cannot wait.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 02:30:57 PM by wrangler88 »

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Offline wrangler88

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I will post pictures later today. Until then, enjoy the YouTube videos of my trip.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
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  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Whoa! Impressive trip. That's about as much as one person can cram into two days. "I'm still in the 'hey this is fun' section of Bear Canyon, and not yet quite to the 'oh crap!'".... :icon_lol: :icon_lol: :icon_lol:  Well done, Wrangler, and congrats on your first off-trail adventure!
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
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  • 3221
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Sharp videos, by the way. You must do a lot of extra hiking just to set up your camera for the long shots of you hiking through the landscape. The results are about as good as any produced by TPWD, and those are made by a full crew. Outstanding job of showing us just what it's like to hike through GMNP. Thanks for letting us tag along.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline wrangler88

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House Made of Dawn, I don't do a ton of extra hiking but a little bit. Videoing the trip is half the fun for me. I wish I had better equipment/editing software and I'd probably try a little harder. I've seen some great stuff on YouTube that I hope to get to that level someday.

Pictures are up! Hope some of you enjoy.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3221
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Videoing the trip is half the fun for me.

It shows! Thanks for the vicarious trip, :great:
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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    • Who was Desert Rat Shorty?
Enjoyed the scenery in those videos. Good music too! Thanks for sharing.
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

 


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