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.

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Marufo Vega Trail for the first time

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Offline billh

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2015, 10:10:57 AM »
https://www.flickr.com/photos/14890552@N06/8537746560/
one of my favorite hikes in the park. Here' s a photo of why. What we did is hike to the divide in the trail, drop our packs and did the loop down to the river as a day hike. That worked really well. I'd say the hardest part is descending to the river. As others have pointed out, it's loose and hard travelling. I recall saying, I'm glad I'm not carrying a full pack.

We had no difficulty following the trail at all. Best wishes!

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Offline dprather

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2015, 06:32:27 PM »
With respect, maybe if you need a guide for this trail you don't need to take this trail.

The trail has the following challenges:

No shade and no protection from wind.  I have done the trail in overcast conditions and was not bothered by heat/sun.  I've spoken to folks who did MV during high wind conditions and the more exposed sections were lost-hat unpleasant.

A couple of seriously steep sections.  They are not overwhelming IF you take it easy.

The trail intersections at the river are confused by a maze of game trails.  You have to have a map and know how to use it.  If you have adequate map skills, this challenge is not overwhelming either.  Map skills will help you "predict" the proper trail.

A fit person with map skills and trail experience should not  need a guide.

There are some really high-solitude/awesome-vista pay-offs.

Good luck.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 03:07:55 PM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline dprather

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2015, 06:33:57 PM »
PS: South Texas Gals are a pleasant addition to BBC!
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline South Texas Gal

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2015, 07:29:11 PM »
Hello Geezer,

I would hardly consider myself a novice hiker at that and I dont have any GPS experience but I do have a good sense of direction so long as the sun is out. :eusa_pray: Which im sure means nothing in February out in BiBE. I will say the only thing I find truly intimidating is extreme cold/heat and overcast weather. Especially after the comment about "warmish weather...20's and high winds"....no thanks you. Lol not on my own anyway. I am preparing Plan B should i find MV too extreme when the time comes.  Maybe something like the Chimneys or Cattail Falls. ;)  or just settle for an outfitter off road tour which im sure is just as  much fun and will be able to see rare sites. :D  Im not one to head off into the unknown unprepared That can be deadly out there.
Nature in its infinite beauty can be very unforgiving..

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2015, 09:19:46 PM »
What hikes have you done before in Big Bend and how would you rate them, personally?

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Offline South Texas Gal

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2015, 03:04:49 PM »
I have yet to do any hiking in BIBE but when I visited in February for the first time I was mainly sightseeing.  I knew I had to explore but was not prepared to do so. I have spent the last year getting ready physically and research the area and until more recently researching specific areas og the park.
Nature in its infinite beauty can be very unforgiving..

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2015, 04:16:13 PM »
Go for it; just be prepared to turn around if you feel nervous.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2015, 04:45:33 PM »
Why not warm up with a few of the established trails, like Lost Mine Trail, South Rim, etc. before heading off to Marufo Vega.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2015, 05:12:02 PM »
I gotta say, MV, though cool and all, it's not really what I would call a first timer hike.  I think you'll be rewarded with a more scenic, exciting and appropriate hike like the South Rim.  Not having much experience hiking and zero experience in the Bend, I would discourage you from the MV hike.

Guides are prohibitively expensive and rare.

www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 05:19:49 PM by Casa Grande »

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Offline badknees

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2015, 07:22:42 PM »
Big Bend is a most rewarding place , without a doubt! At the same time it can be unforgiving. I agree that there are many better choices than MV for a first time hike. We can all give you alternative suggestions. Don't get ahead of yourself, there are 800,000 acres and years worth of exploring to do.  Give us a list of the top 5 things you expect to get out of your adventure and I'd bet we can come up with something that meets your expectations and reduces any risk to a first time hiker.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline dprather

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2015, 09:21:15 PM »
Strong agreement on the "MV" later advice.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline South Texas Gal

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2015, 10:39:31 PM »
I really wanted to see that beautiful view of the Maderas but I agree withe getting more miles on myhhiking boots before doing the MV. South Rim sounds like a just as challenging choice and more established trail. The first time I went hiking and Lost Maples on my own and going up some of that steep terrain you get those butterflies in your stomach it was amazing and surreal.  I can only imagine what it would be like to see those sweeping vistas of the South Rim and the Maderas. I guess im back to the drawing board. Im armed with my bibe books and laptop. :dance: and the mynew found wealth of knowledge from BBC. You'll see more of me in the weeks to come. :)
Nature in its infinite beauty can be very unforgiving..

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2015, 11:14:36 PM »
Physically south rim is actually more challenging

I don't agree with an opinion that south rim is necessarily more scenic than MV.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2015, 06:59:51 AM »
Physically south rim is actually more challenging

I don't agree with an opinion that south rim is necessarily more scenic than MV.

I agree south rim is more challenging, physically, but I think the real problem in this situation is the chance of a miscalculation, or error in judgement during navigation.  Plus, the chances of someone coming across you should you get lost are much greater in the Upper Chisos.  The trails in the Upper Chisos are well defined and maintained, campsites are layed out for you, and whether or not the views are better is an opinion, but they aren't too shabby in the UC.   The temps are lower, the shade is available, water, I could go on.  My discouragement really has nothing to do with whether or not they can physically handle the MV.

www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 07:05:22 AM by Casa Grande »

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Offline dprather

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2015, 12:11:27 PM »
"The first time I went hiking and Lost Maples..."

Lost Maples = 10% (maybe) the challenge of MV.

I've done both.

There are only short stretches at Lost Maples that approximate trail conditions of MV.  I cannot compare the two in any real sense of equal comparison.

The advantage of the Rim trail(s) is that you are not really alone.  Most of the time, there are enough others on the Rim trails to give you some help if help is needed.  On MV, you are typically the only one out there. 

"Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death."  BiBe is breathtakingly beautiful, even mystical in its effect on many of us.  But there are risks/challenges, and the risks of MV are multiplied by its very limited use.

None of this is said to discourage you.  It is more like redirection.  Keep MV on your list, but put other BiBe trails on the list before MV.

Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

 


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