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Question on Banta Shutin

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Offline Flash

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Question on Banta Shutin
« on: April 17, 2018, 10:55:16 AM »
Wondering if Banta Shutin is considered a persistent water source or does it tend to dry up toward the end of the dry season such as right now?  :eusa_think:

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 11:01:15 AM »
Somewhere in the way back machine there is thread from TWWG that says it is a perennial source and that a rare small fish population survives there.  Both times I have been there is has been running well (2004 and 2014)
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline RichardM

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 11:17:23 AM »
Somewhere in the way back machine there is thread from TWWG that says it is a perennial source and that a rare small fish population survives there.  Both times I have been there is has been running well (2004 and 2014)

Not so way back...
Yup, there will be water in the shut in and you can drink it no problem,  it does have a limey taste but I have drank it several times with no problems.  There are fish in the water also and they are very colorful and interesting to watch.   The spring at the head of Banta Shut In never dries up. You can easily wade through the shut in and walk along the creek on the updip side which is also very scenic and interesting (if you have time).

Banta Shut In is a unique geologic and pre-historic area.  The granite intrusion into the sedimentary rocks is exposed right near the spring and created an area where the sedimentary shales were melted into a black glassy rock called "hornfels"  which was mined by the paleo and pre-columbian indians for arrow points and spear points.   These were used as trade items for a broad area extending hundreds of miles away.   You can literally put your hand on the contact between the granite and the overlying shales. 

Geology Professor Francis Redfern has some great info on his site about this along with several interesting geologic field trips to the Big Bend area.   It's fun to combine hiking with geoscience and a little bit of pre-planning will make you seem like genius to your hiking companions as you tell them about the geology along the way.   Works for me anyway...
Try this link for Francis' Redfern site... 

http://prism-redfern.org

Have Fun,   Camp on the downdip side of Banta Shut In and camp where you can get some protection from the wind as it is often windy at the shut in, sometimes unexpectedly at night so be prepared for it.   TWWG

A little more way back...
There will be water at Banta Shut In, it has never been dry that I know of and I have been there in very dry years.  This year has been about normal and water should be flowing in great quantities through the shut in.  When I was there last Spring there were 2 large lakes that formed just at the downstream mouth of the shut-in and both lakes were 2-7' deep (don't ask me how I know) and perfect for non-swimming.  The water in the shut in is cold, crisp, clear, and delightful.   If you haven't been there already Ah-Chi you should definately plan a trip there but instead of a all-week cross country marathon hike I would just plan to come in from Roys Peak Vista or McKinney Springs which is an easy overnighter and a very scenic and interesting hike (if you haven't already done it).  Travel cross-country from TC1 to Banta will be very rough, slow, and dangerous.   What look like tiny swiggles on the topo maps are actually steep cactus-filled arroyos with lots of cats claw and lose rocks.  Maybe 1-2 mph if your lucky.  Banta is one of my favorite cool-weather hikes and a very special and solitary place once you get there.   TWWG

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Offline Flash

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 11:23:52 AM »
Thanks, Mule Ears and Richard!  :great:

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Offline NatureBoyFatAdam

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 01:21:41 PM »
That place sounds awesome. Is it easier to access from Roy's Peak vs crossing into the creek bed and heading North from Carlota tinaja?

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 02:17:36 PM »
Another Big Bend legend agrees with TWWG:

Tornillo Creek is one of the two most reliable water sources in the park.

From the springs above the confluence with Big Yellow Arroyo to Banta Shut-in there is always flowing water for most of the distance. 



That place sounds awesome. Is it easier to access from Roy's Peak vs crossing into the creek bed and heading North from Carlota tinaja?

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Both approaches would be equally easy. But the approach from Roy's Peak is much more scenic.
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 02:21:25 PM »
I went from Willow Tank. It was easier going than coming as I foolishly decided to try a direct route from the shut in.   Don't recommend.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 02:25:53 PM »
That place sounds awesome. Is it easier to access from Roy's Peak vs crossing into the creek bed and heading North from Carlota tinaja?

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The standard route is from the K-Bar 2 campsite down Estufa canyon.  Many folks come in from the Roy's Peak Vista campsite too.  The easiest walking might be from Carlota Tinaja but all three are around 7-8 miles one way.  There is a more cross country route from south of Roys Peak itself but will require better route finding and is still 4 miles.  The most scenic is probably coming from Roy's Peak Vista campsite.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 03:03:58 PM »
We approached it from Roy's Peak campsite. The hardest part of the whole hike was getting from the campsite into the adjacent wash. It was overgrown and stabby. Once in the wash, it was a fairly easy, level walk to the base of the Shut-in. At that time (late November 2008), the pools at the northern end of the Shut-in were much deeper than either us were willing to wade through/swim across, so we climbed our way to the ridge above the Shut-in.

Some photos of that excursion:







Trip Report (Relevant portion begins 5th post on that page.)
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

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splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline Robert

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2018, 09:15:02 AM »
In January 2012 we went through the Banta Shut In on our way up Tornillo Creek. The only water we found was at the upper end of the Shut In (looks like about where Jeff's first Banta photo was taken). As you can see in the photo, the water was very green, but thinking this might be our last available water source we collected a couple of gallons. Further up the creek before the McKinney Springs drainage we found a lot more water which was not so green.


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Offline NatureBoyFatAdam

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 02:49:02 PM »
Going to be there in a week and a half. This is on the list now. Thanks all for the information.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 02:59:53 PM »
Going to be there in a week and a half. This is on the list now. Thanks all for the information.

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It is a really hot hike too, so it will all depend on the weather!

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temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 03:37:05 PM »
It is a really hot hike too, so it will all depend on the weather!

It may be already too late in the spring to try it, unless you get a cloudy day or a cold front. Keep in mind, if you're choosing Estufa Canyon as your route, that estufa means "stove" (as in "oven") in Spanish. Probably not a coincidence.
Jeff Blaylock
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splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 03:41:30 PM »
Keep in mind, if you're choosing Estufa Canyon as your route, that estufa means "stove" (as in "oven") in Spanish. Probably not a coincidence.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: Question on Banta Shutin
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 08:55:40 AM »
It's a warm hike this time of year but once you make it to the shut in it will be shady and relatively cool especially if the spring is flowing down the shut in.   My preferred route is from Roys Peak Campsite but this requires driving ~1 hour on a rocky high-clearance road from the North or even longer and rougher from the South.

A shorter route is Estufa Canyon and you are on-trail and it's well cairned but not as pretty or scenic as the longer route from Roy's Peak.    You can always keep going upstream from the Shut in and enjoy some of the spectacular geology if you come in from the Estufa Route.

If you (or anyone else) makes it to Banta Shut In please report back on the water situation.   Also note that ~15 years ago I found and removed some illegal alien trash from the shut in area (like big cans of Salmon with Mexican Packaging Labels and clothing items etc).    If you see anything like this please pack it out.   TWWG

 


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