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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 Lissa

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2015, 12:57:13 PM »
Although I haven't done the MV yet and my BiBe experience is limited to the OML, I agree with the general consensus to save it until you are more comfortable. 

Folks on here talk about the trails in BiBe being challenging, and while the OML at least was rocky and steep in some sections, it wasn't the physical hiking challenge that is the concern, it is the environmental conditions and the question of what happens should something go wrong - the fact that it can be hot and exposed with limited water, and in places minimally challenged so help passing by if you do get hurt isn't a given.

Personally when we went out on the OML I left a detailed itinerary for family, with a list of the potential side trips we were considering, and a time after which they should call in the Rangers for help if they hadn't heard from us.  I didn't have any real expectation that we would ever need to put those plans into place, especially since there were 2 of us together, but I feel it is good practice for outdoor trips.  We also had both paper topo maps as well as the downloaded USGS quads/GPS apps on both of our phones (if you pre-download the maps they work in areas without cell service), and the ability to split gear if necessary should one person need to go for help. 

You mention lions in one of your posts, and the chances of even seeing one, much less being threatened by one, are incredibly remote.  However the dangers from sun exposure and dehydration are very real in BiBe. 

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Offline sleepy

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2015, 04:21:39 PM »
South Rim is closed, I believe, in February for peregrine falcon nesting.  FWIW.  That doesn't mean you can't get to the end of Boot Canyon and see the beautiful vista.

My suggestion for first time desert hiking is Chimneys or Mule Ears.
Mountains is upper Chisos or Lost Mine Trail.
Check out one of the easily accessed canyons (Santa Elena or Boquillas)

I agree that MV is not a prudent first time trail.  There is really so much to offer, it's hard to go wrong, whatever you choose.
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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Offline catz

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2015, 04:58:41 PM »
South Rim is closed, I believe, in February for peregrine falcon nesting.   


The South Rim is open year round.   It is the East/NE Rim that is closed during Peregrine falcon nesting season..
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline sleepy

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2015, 05:18:55 PM »
South Rim is closed, I believe, in February for peregrine falcon nesting.   


The South Rim is open year round.   It is the East/NE Rim that is closed during Peregrine falcon nesting season..
:icon_redface: you so right
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2015, 05:21:22 PM »
There is really so much to offer, it's hard to go wrong, whatever you choose.

This is very true.  It is foolish to become fixated on one path, as the park has so much to offer.  I've been there somewhere between 60-80 times, (over 20 in one year!) and I still have a long list of "to dos".  But, doing MV is cool.  I have come to appreciate the canyon areas more and more

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Offline Schroeder

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2015, 11:11:53 AM »
It's a very beautiful trail. I just did it solo a month ago. I only saw one person. He was just day hiking and turned around just before the split between the north and south forks. If he would have gone another mile on the south fork he wouldn't have been disappointed.
The trail is well marked. I only got off once. That's because it was the man made dam and I went to look at it and thought the trail went up left of it....doh!
The inclines are pretty steep. Here's the first major climb.



But it's worth the view by the river

Scott

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Offline Schroeder

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time.
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2015, 01:04:12 PM »
Water was mentioned. The hike itself is pretty strenuous but you have to account for carrying a lot of water. I was backpacking so I had a load anyway. Even day hiking you should take up to a gallon. That's 8 pounds. The more weight the heavier gravity feels ;-)
The weather was only in the 70s when I did it and easily drank a gallon in 24 hours (sleeping dusk to dawn). That does include dinner, breakfast and coffee.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 01:02:05 PM by Schroeder »
Scott

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Offline Drifter

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2015, 06:28:57 PM »
South Texas Gal,  I am in San Antonio, been going to the Bend for a long time and made a stroll on the Marufo Vega trail this past December.  I have maps , photos, GPS heading, suggestions for stops, loops, gear and water.  If you are in decent shape, have good boots and a calm mind you can do the loop or at least a day walk to the North/South split, the high pass before Split Rock, an overnight to Split Rock as a turn around walk or just do the MV to the Strawhouse loop and you will see some beautiful country.  If you want to be guided I can help.  This trail is well marked until you get to the area between Split Rock and the river but it really is no problem if you are properly prepared.  Heck, with Google Earth you can take satellite photos with you from any angle.  I love map and compass but Google has certainly taken all of the interpretation out of reading contour lines.  It is doable with a little help.  Call me if you need the help.  drifter , aka Tom Stevens.
If you climb mountains, no explanation is necessary, if you don't , no explanation is possible.

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Offline South Texas Gal

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2015, 04:03:38 PM »
It's a very beautiful trail. I just did it solo a month ago. I only saw one person. He was just day hiking and turned around just before the split between the north and south forks. If he would have gone another mile on the south fork he wouldn't have been disappointed.
The trail is well marked. I only got off once. That's because it was the man made dam and I went to look at it and thought the trail went up left of it....doh!
The inclines are pretty steep. Here's the first major climb.



But it's worth the view by the river



Hello Drifter,
Thanks for the words of encouragement.  After reading Schroaders account that one mile up the south fork will not disappoint, it really peaked my interest. I am not out to try to be a bionic and do the whole trail in one day. I do know that may be too much. I will be happy reaching the mile up the South Fork and turn back.  I do welcome any tips and insight and I am encouraged to know the trail is well marked. But like previously mentioned the key is the elements. And if I feel the weather is not to my liking to go I wont go.  There is plenty of places in the area to explore...and something "tame" like the Chimney Trial with its prehistoric art is just as exciting.   :dance:
Nature in its infinite beauty can be very unforgiving..

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Offline Schroeder

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2015, 09:53:36 AM »
Just to be clear, that black and white photo was taken down by the river. I say a mile and I think that's close but I'm not completely sure....
Here's the view that opens up when you get there


Somewhere (maybe even the same spot) close you see this
Scott

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Offline South Texas Gal

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2015, 09:24:39 AM »
Omg... was my reaction seeing those last pics. Im counting down the days to my trip down there. :dance: Thank you for sharing those beautiful vistas. Im bet they are more breathtaking in person :notworthy:
Nature in its infinite beauty can be very unforgiving..

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2015, 11:41:31 AM »
Omg... was my reaction seeing those last pics. Im counting down the days to my trip down there. :dance: Thank you for sharing those beautiful vistas. Im bet they are more breathtaking in person :notworthy:

I think you're gonna make a fine "Bender" no matter where you go.  Looking forward to your first trip report.

www.virtualbigbend. com - now mobile friendly!


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Offline joelg

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Re: Marufo Vega Trail for the first time
« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2015, 12:38:26 AM »
As for GPSs, note that iPhone 5's and other cell phones have GPS chips in them. The iPhone 5 uses the Russian satellite system. I used it with Gaia GPS. You need to download the section of the park you'll be hiking in. I download both topo and satellite photos for the area I was hiking. I like the functionality of iPhone GPS apps better than most GPS devices, but that's one man's opinion.

 


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