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Mesa Questions

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Offline Homer67

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Mesa Questions
« on: December 02, 2014, 12:25:05 PM »
Does anyone have the coordinates for Tinaja Largo?  Is there another name for this tinaja?

Has anyone taken the N route out of Lajitas onto the mesa?

Just some questions to help prepare for a hike coming up this spring.
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 12:48:30 PM »
Has anyone taken the N route out of Lajitas onto the mesa?

Don't know how you'll get onto the Mesa hiking N out of Lajitas...  ;)

Seriously though, what route are you asking about?
John & Tess

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 01:38:38 PM »
It's mentioned in this link:

http://www.akuehne.com/bigbendmesa06.htm

No one will be hiking N out of Lajitas silly. There are quite a few trails shown on the topos, none of them maintained except the one over the saddle to Canyon Flag. Perhaps our group can avoid the mass undulations along the trail over the saddle to Canyon Flag; I doubt this will be the case, but it will be a relatively uncommon route onto the mesa nonetheless. I am ready for the solitude, route finding/exploration and days in it (water permitting) that I got while doing the Quemada Loop.

Either I am just missing it or Tinaja Largo isn't on The Big List.

Here's an overdone mapper thingy:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=29.22854,-103.71709&z=14&t=T&marker0=29.24795%2C-103.75265%2C2.7%20km%20ExSE%20of%20Lajitas%20TX&marker1=29.24690%2C-103.74192%2C3.7%20km%20ExSE%20of%20Lajitas%20TX&marker2=29.23990%2C-103.72480%2C4.8%20km%20NW%20of%20Mesa%20Anguila%20de%20TX&marker3=29.23608%2C-103.71390%2C3.8%20km%20NW%20of%20Mesa%20Anguila%20de%20TX&marker4=29.23601%2C-103.70132%2C3.1%20km%20NxNW%20of%20Mesa%20Anguila%20de%20TX&marker5=29.23421%2C-103.69403%2C2.7%20km%20NxNW%20of%20Mesa%20Anguila%20de%20TX&marker6=29.22705%2C-103.68630%2C1.8%20km%20N%20of%20Mesa%20Anguila%20de%20TX&marker7=29.24971%2C-103.76153%2C1.9%20km%20SE%20of%20Lajitas%20TX&marker8=29.21698%2C-103.69210%2C0.8%20km%20NxNW%20of%20Mesa%20Anguila%20de%20TX
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 02:00:11 PM by Homer67 »
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 01:57:51 PM »
Yes, Tess & I did that route recently (as well as Viva Terlingua), but both of us were coming out to Lajitas that way; the reverse of what you're doing.

Still, this might be helpful:  http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/hiking-the-desert/mesa-de-anguila-making-sure/msg129129/#msg129129
John & Tess

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 01:58:16 PM »
i have a feeling that N route will have a lot more ups and downs than the official trail, and will definitely be a lot slower. the reports i've read of people trying to follow the northern edge of the mesa west towards lajitas make it sound very slow going.

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 02:03:20 PM »
Awesome Trtlrock!  As I prepare for this hike I may want to pick your brain.  Do any points of interest come up? Tough spots?

We are planning on base camping and doing day hikes for several days, if there's water to be found when we are there.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 02:10:33 PM by Homer67 »
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline Lance

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2014, 02:10:02 PM »
Was going to say trtlrock did that earlier this year.  The trail seems very visible on Google Maps, so much so that I was able to to trace it all the way to the junction with the trail by Canyon Flag that heads north of the mesa to the dam.  Tinaja Largo coordinates are (2912'23.66"N,  10340'2.17"W) which is by Tinaja Grande A, B, & C which are just west of Bruja Canyon.

Trail Map centered on route in question - (Full screen map)

Spring Map centered on Tinaja Largo - (Full screen map)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 11:04:34 AM by Lance »

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 02:11:35 PM »
Thank you for the route and the Tinaja Largo coords Lance! I appreciate it!

From the sat photos this hike appears to be a series of arroyos with some simple transitions, but we all know this will be much different in the field.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 02:16:43 PM by Homer67 »
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2014, 03:29:15 PM »
We didn't do the green section. We went from E->W via the red, black, yellow and blue sections.

Red was a somewhat tedious bushwhack along what was long ago a route. We saw some vestiges. No useful cairns.

Black was remarkably well cairned, and easy hiking.

Blue (what little we could see in our headlamps) was easy enough to follow.

If I were to do yellow again downhill heading west, I'd follow the cairns to skirt the drainage for no more than about 10 minutes. After that I'd stay in the drainage all the way down & work around pouroffs locally. Going the other way, uphill & east, it might make sense to get up out of the drainage on the south side early & just follow the cairns & make your own route. Wouldn't be as pretty, but might be a lot quicker.


John & Tess

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2014, 08:54:36 AM »
I noticed the part of the route that seems to avoid the climb up (the red section); that's where we plan to hike through!

Awesome Trtlrock! You rock! Some of my anxiety has eased up, some. It looks like we will be doing this hike at the beginning of March. I hope it's not too hot to do it then. I think we'll be ok.
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline tophfar

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2015, 12:38:01 PM »
New to the board and a small group and I were planning on spending a couple days out on the Mesa.  So I figured I'd hijack/add on to this thread.

We'll be out there Feb 8 - 11. Our general itinerary would be to make it up to the top of Santa Elena on Day 1. On Day 2 we'd pick our way down to the river, and stay one night at the Canyon entrance. Day 3 we'd pack up and head out.

On one of the above maps it shows a trail reaching all the way to the SE point, right above Santa Elena Canyon, is that trail defined/marked? It had been in my head for a while now to reach that point, but I figured it would be mostly bushwhacking once past the Mariposa.

My next question was water availability in the tinajas. I don't mind carrying what water we need, we're all in pretty good shape and most of us are rather experienced backpackers. But whatever can be done to lighten that load would be great. I'm making the assumption that the river is unsafe to drink even if treated? Or is that incorrect?

Does this sound reasonable? Is there anything that we'd need to be aware of?

Thanks everyone.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2015, 02:50:21 PM »
Not sure about your itinerary exactly.  Day one "up to the top of Santa Elena" do you mean the point overlooking the mouth of SE?  If so that is one long day.  It can be done but you will have to start at light to get there.  The unofficial trail from the main trail to Canyon Flag peters out just past the Three Sisters and you will have to thread the indistinct ridge out towards the mesas edge then make it out to the point.  Here is my trip report with that route in the first two days.

When you then say "pick our way down to the river" do you mean along the canyon rim or retrace your steps to Mariposa and then take the trail to Entrance Camp?  Either way will also be a long day but along the rim will be slow.

There should be water in the bigger tinajas but you will have to go in with enough water to get back out at least.  Here is Robert's December report where he also makes it out to the point.

Many here (including me) have treated and used the River water without any problems.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline Robert

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2015, 08:44:36 AM »
I would also agree that if you are going out to the Santa Elena overlook on day 1 you will be in for one long day. There is no easy access to water along that route so you will either have to detour to get water or carry it with you which will add to your time and/or weight. Also if you are planning to stop at the Tinajas make sure you understand exactly where the water is and what is will take to access. There are several other Mesa trip reports on BBC so would recommend reading them all.

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2015, 10:03:57 AM »
I agree with robert and mule ears.. it's a pretty conservative 13 miles from the TH to the point. 13 miles a day on a trial isn't the end of the world, but the nice trail will run out about halfway to the point. Then it's up and down washes and cross country the rest of the way. You can make it, but day light is short that time of year and you'll probably be camping somewhere out near the point. So you'll have to carry all the water with you as the nearest tinajas are quite a walk away.

The trial is easy to follow until just past the three sisters. if i remember correctly, you can see "the point" from there, so finding it isn't an issue, just a long hike off trail.


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Offline catz

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Re: Mesa Questions
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2015, 10:39:44 AM »
You can reduce--not eliminate--the ups and downs of the wash crossings if you keep as far to the left as possible.
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