Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Hiking the Desert => Topic started by: Mindy on May 22, 2018, 02:31:21 PM

Title: Memorial Day weekend suggestions?
Post by: Mindy on May 22, 2018, 02:31:21 PM
OK, I know probably the best suggestion is: Don't come here on Memorial Day weekend, crazy woman!

But it's the only extended time off (five days, three non-travel days) I have til the fall (when I will also come to Big Bend!), and Big Bend is my favorite place on the planet. So... here I come.

I take all the great advice you long-timers post here very seriously, especially the heat-related stuff. But given that I *am* coming this week, and I'm not super keen on hiking all the way up into the Chisos (did all that the first and second trips), any advice about not-high-Chisos, not-lower-elevation-completely-miserable  day hikes? Have a campsite in the Basin, so will be heading out from there each day.

My thoughts after looking around on here and in Parent's book:

1. Window and Oak Spring (as an out and back from the Basin or maybe from the lower trail head, though that doesn't seem to make as much sense except to be going downhill on the return leg)
2. Mule Ears out to Smoky Creek (and maybe Smoky Spring, though this whole thing seems less appealing the more I watch the temperature forecast)
3. Dog Canyon (and maybe the horseshoe route over to and down Devil's Den) or just Devil's Den
4. Persimmon Gap Draw (for the oldest rocks in the park)
5. (BBRSP) Rancherias Canyon

I appreciate any thoughts you all have about those options and any other suggestions you have!


PS. I made an OML attempt last fall but never made a trip report. It was a pretty epic fail (counterclockwise from Homer Wilson), and I had to come back after the first night (plantar fasciitis). But other than the pain (and getting massively sidetracked in washes a couple times), the little stretch of the Dodson I experienced (to Fresno Creek) was lovely. (And not a little terrifying.)
Title: Re: Memorial Day weekend suggestions?
Post by: catz on May 22, 2018, 03:44:15 PM

Pine Canyon is a possibility.  The first (and last) mile or so are out in the open, but the canyon itself is shady and beautiful.
Title: Re: Memorial Day weekend suggestions?
Post by: badknees on May 22, 2018, 04:22:57 PM
Quote
2. Mule Ears out to Smoky Creek (and maybe Smoky Spring, though this whole thing seems less appealing the more I watch the temperature forecast)
3. Dog Canyon (and maybe the horseshoe route over to and down Devil's Den) or just Devil's Den


Both of these are going to be pretty hot, with almost no shade.  If you decide to hike down low, make sure you start EARLY, take plenty of water, and try to finish before 11-12:00.
Title: Re: Memorial Day weekend suggestions?
Post by: RichardM on May 22, 2018, 10:54:23 PM
I hiked Rancherias Canyon in May of 2000. It got very warm. Pine Canyon would be much more enjoyable. Closed Canyon might be cool, comparatively speaking.
Title: Re: Memorial Day weekend suggestions?
Post by: Jalco on May 23, 2018, 04:07:25 AM
Have you done Lost Mine trail?  Easily accessible from the Basin, up high and cool, but not nearly as long as climbing up into the high Chisos.

If you are comfortable going off trail, within the Basin itself exist several possibilities:
Ascending Casa Grande
Maple Canyon
Telephone Pole Canyon
Exploring Boulder Meadows

Stay high, stay cool, and think outside the box
Title: Re: Memorial Day weekend suggestions?
Post by: alan in shreveport on May 23, 2018, 06:43:14 AM
Just got back - we spent 4 days there - only one down low. We did some short walks off of the river road (170) in the State Park. It was 104 degrees. It was ok because we could retreat to the a/c of the car every hour or so.  I'd stay in the mountains or put together a mostly driving and short walking itinerary.
Title: Re: Memorial Day weekend suggestions?
Post by: Mindy on May 23, 2018, 11:37:17 AM
Thanks for the input, everyone!

A few questions:

Is Pine Canyon trailhead accessible in a (small) rental car? (Parent's book says high clearance usually needed for Glenn Spring and Pine Canyon roads.)

Where is Telephone Pole Canyon? (I can find Telephone Canyon when I search, but that's obviously not the one you're talking about.)

I'm looking through all the Casa Grande threads, but does anyone have a spit ball of total time out and back if I did that one? ( I see that Lost Mine Trail is 3-4 hours round trip. I assume Case Grande would be longer, but by how much?)

Thanks again!
M
Title: Re: Memorial Day weekend suggestions?
Post by: badknees on May 23, 2018, 11:54:51 AM
Thanks for the input, everyone!

A few questions:

Is Pine Canyon trailhead accessible in a (small) rental car? (Parent's book says high clearance usually needed for Glenn Spring and Pine Canyon roads.)

Where is Telephone Pole Canyon? (I can find Telephone Canyon when I search, but that's obviously not the one you're talking about.)

I'm looking through all the Casa Grande threads, but does anyone have a spit ball of total time out and back if I did that one? ( I see that Lost Mine Trail is 3-4 hours round trip. I assume Case Grande would be longer, but by how much?)

Thanks again!
M

Pine Canyon COULD be done in a small rental. Depends on the latest road conditions, how much clearance the vehicle has, and how you drive. Probably not the best idea with a small rental car.

Telephone Pole Canyon runs from the Basin, and over a saddle on the NW side of Mt Huffman. It follows the powerline from the Basin. It is a very brushy approach from the Basin.

Allow 5+ hours for Casa Grande. Depends on how much time you want to spend on top.