Big Bend Conservancy
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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)
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.orgHave 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
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
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?Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Going to be there in a week and a half. This is on the list now. Thanks all for the information. Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
It is a really hot hike too, so it will all depend on the weather!
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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