Big Bend Conservancy
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What's the secret for next time? Thanks! Bill
Hi badknees!Wellllll...it should have been easy...just follow the wash to DD! I made it to the wash okay. I found some info that seems to show that I just didn't go far enough along the right hand wash. What threw me was the fact that the wash was turning back toward the parking area which I knew was the wrong direction. Indeed, the map I found shows just that happening before the trail heads back to DD. I just didn't go far enough. It's much farther to DD from the trail junction than I thought.I'll take the GPS next time! Might be more straight forward to use the GPS and go cross-country to DD anyway. Thanks! Bill
Dog Canyon-Devil's Den CircuitAccording to park personnel, this circuit is hiked by only one or two parties a year. That's a shame. It's SPECTACULAR! Begin by driving the rough dirt road to Nine Points Draw campsite, off Hwy 385 several miles south of the park entrance at Persimmon Gap. This road is usually accessible to all vehicles, with careful driving. From the campsite, note both canyons; Dog Canyon is somewhat hidden but the top is clearly visible to your left. Devil's Den is a jagged dark line snaking down the mountain to your right. Begin the hike by striking out cross-country toward Dog Canyon. You will eventually hit a wash and can follow it upstream, heading in the direction of Dog Canyon. When you enter the short but beautiful canyon, hike up-canyon and out the other side. Climb out of the wash to the right, and head south across the open desert hills. Following your progress on the topographic map you procured at park headquarters, aim for the pass above Devil's Den. Sometimes a faint trail exists on the right hand side of the drainage leading to the pass. From the pass, good views out across the Chihuahuan desert are inspiring and an old fence reminds you that this country was once inhabited by ranchers. Descend the pass into the valley below, filled with giant dagger plants. Once in the wash, head downstream to the entrance of Devil's Den. There is usually a large pool of water here, and it can be swarming with bees and wasps. Both times I've hiked this route, the bees were present, and I was never stung. Just put on long sleeves and wade or climb right through. The route down Devil's Den is very challenging. It involves climbing over slick rock pour-offs from 3 to 8ft high, sometimes down into icy pools of water up to 5ft deep! Sometimes the potholes are completely dry. Sometimes people have piled rocks or impromptu ladders to assist in the descent. Other times you're on your own. Unless you're a competent scrambler, don't try this route. Continue down canyon to the mouth. If you get in over your head, backtrack to the entrance and turn right, ascending the ridge to the canyon rim. Follow a faint trail along the canyon rim with spectacular views into the canyon to the mouth. Once outside the canyon, locate your car, a tiny shining speck out near the Nine Points Draw campsite, to the right of a small hill. Hike cross-country to complete your circuit. This is a challenging hike that should only be undertaken by expert hikers/scramblers equipped with maps, compass, lots of water, and a rope.
Quick question while I'm thinking about it:I wanted to try DD this week but couldn't find it. What's the secret for next time? Bill
The dark zig zag of devils den is pretty clear looking southwest(I think?) from the trailhead
I can see how the many dry washes in this area could be confusing if you did not know where you were headed.
[This photo is zoomed in a bit and, unfortunately for Windows users, a little dark, but it shows what pattern to look for in the Deadhorse Mountains.
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