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Smoky Creek Question

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2009, 08:22:54 PM »
awesome, thanks for the update badknees. the route you highlighted in the first post is exactly what i was wondering about.

Jeff, the 40-50' pouroff from your trip report thread was in between the 2 springs along your green route on smokey creek itself? just wondering about getting a group of 10 or so people to the springs below that pouroff  :eusa_whistle:

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Offline badknees

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2009, 10:00:01 PM »
There is a big pouroff at the "w", where you need to climb out of the Smoky Creek wash and pass over to re-enter the wash at "x". Follow downstream to the very sharp bend at "y" and exit the wash to crossover to the main drainage again. There should be a metal stake with a sign on it marking the exit from the wash. Once you re-enter the wash, there is one more pouroff (marked 20' on the previous post), - the lone tree pouroff- because it has a lone cottonwood at its base. Water can sometimes be found at multiple points along this route and also between the lone tree pouroff and the exit from the black rock canyon
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 11:04:01 PM by RichardM »
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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2009, 10:42:17 PM »
awesome, thanks for the update badknees. the route you highlighted in the first post is exactly what i was wondering about.

Jeff, the 40-50' pouroff from your trip report thread was in between the 2 springs along your green route on smokey creek itself? just wondering about getting a group of 10 or so people to the springs below that pouroff  :eusa_whistle:

Viper, the big pour-off is along the main trail, in the vicinity of the spring just below and left of the word "BEND" on the topo map I attached a few posts back. Just before the pour-off (heading southwest), there is a social path leading up and to the right which goes over the steep hump on the north side of the pour-off. From the top, it's fairly easy to see where you need to go. It is steep, so take it slow -- trekking poles definitely help. There was some thick brush at the bottom that is probably avoidable, but we just slogged through it.

Just beyond the base of the pour-off, the Smoky Creek TRAIL exits the wash to the left (east). We declined to take this exit, mistaking it for the end of an "official" route around the pour-off. Because we ignored the trail leaving the wash, we followed the main branch of Smoky Creek itself downstream until realizing we were in the wrong wash to head toward Dominguez. So we picked our way cross-country to the wash we needed. Had we continued downstream in the main wash a ways, we could have taken the Smoky Creek TRAIL to where we needed to go.

Clear as mud?

BTW, here's the pour-off from above:


So we picked our way over the spine of that outcrop on the right (the one in the bright sun) and ended up at the bottom of the drainage in the bend behind that outcrop (and about 150 feet or so downstream).
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 10:54:09 PM by jeffblaylock »
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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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2009, 11:08:24 PM »
The big pouroff at Badknee's "W" is right before you exit the wash and climb out of it on the South side.  You can get around the pour-off easily enough on the North side so you should not have any problem.  But with 10 people of different fitness levels your bound to have a challenging trip.   Watch for the rock cairns slightly downdip from the pour off marking the trail leading out of the wash.   There is usually water below the pour-off and at several places along the route.  You are rarely more than a mile or two away from water on this route and often it is running along several stretches from the Dodson Junction down to the pour off.   When you climb out of the drainage below the pour-off you will climb slightly in elevation and enter a broad, rugged, treeless, dryland valley with big views in all directions.  What L. Parent has called the "Basin" of the Sierra Quemada's.  After that you go downhill and back into another drainage with springs and water.   Eventually climbing out of that drainage to go around Sugarloaf Mtn and back into the Smokey Creek drainage again at the lone tree pouroff.   Look for calcite pegmatites and calcite "boxwork" viens in the volcanic rocks along the route.

It's a great route, very interesting geology, plenty of water, springs, waterfalls, and wildlife.   TWWG

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Offline Robert

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2009, 11:13:07 PM »
Quote
just wondering about getting a group of 10 or so people to the springs below that pouroff

I'd be cautious about counting on those springs to have water. I've been through before when none of the springs on Jeff's route were evident. The last couple of winters have had a lot of water but I'd wait for a trip report before depending on them this year. It had been so wet that in many places along the washes there was running water for long stretches.

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2009, 06:20:42 PM »
sorry for the late reply, things got busy recently.

the reason i'm asking is i think i'll be bringing the large January group down Smokey Creek. I want to keep the miles to a minimum, so I was planning on taking the first wash you come to when heading east on the Dodson. After we get in that wash, we'd hike down to to the springs between pt 4230 and 4620 and set up camp nearby. Depending on level of output the group wants to exert the next day, we'd either head back upstream and out at homer wilson or continue down stream and exit at the mule ears overlook. I'm betting the group will vote on the shorter route, but i'm hoping the extra 3 miles won't scare them off.

after re-reading all the threads and connecting all the reports, i think there are only a few small and one 5-6' pouroffs which won't be a problem for everyone to get around. i think they'll enjoy this hike, hopefully more than the Fresno/Tortuga hike we did last year  :icon_cool:

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2009, 09:51:18 AM »
sorry for the late reply, things got busy recently.

the reason i'm asking is i think i'll be bringing the large January group down Smokey Creek. I want to keep the miles to a minimum, so I was planning on taking the first wash you come to when heading east on the Dodson. After we get in that wash, we'd hike down to to the springs between pt 4230 and 4620 and set up camp nearby. Depending on level of output the group wants to exert the next day, we'd either head back upstream and out at homer wilson or continue down stream and exit at the mule ears overlook. I'm betting the group will vote on the shorter route, but i'm hoping the extra 3 miles won't scare them off.

after re-reading all the threads and connecting all the reports, i think there are only a few small and one 5-6' pouroffs which won't be a problem for everyone to get around. i think they'll enjoy this hike, hopefully more than the Fresno/Tortuga hike we did last year  :icon_cool:

Keep in mind that the Homer Wilson exit requires hiking over a saddle -- the high point of the Dodson Trail -- while the hike downstream to Mule Ears trailhead is downhill.  :icon_smile:
Jeff Blaylock
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"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
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: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2010, 09:27:40 PM »
 I hope I'm not too late on this but you don't want to take the first wash after ascending the high pass from Homer Wilson going west to east on the Dodson trail. That wash has a high pour off without the advantage of a trail to skirt around it. I described it in this report http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/your-trip-reports/january-backpack-t5208.0.html. You want to start down the Smoky Creek trail and just stay in the wash the entire way to the springs. The pour off that must be skirted in this drainage is a piece of cake compared to the other one is cairned if you look carefully on the right. If you miss it just backtrack from the pouroff until you see a way out of the wash.

The other more difficult pouroff has no easy exit from the wash and we hiked up over 100 feet above the wash to go around it.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2010, 11:21:51 AM »
Viper, there is a real nice camping spot just east of the "X" on badknees post #16 map which is big enough for 10 people.  It is right on the trail on the north-east side of the creek where the main trail starts to gain elevation.  If your group is getting tired and doesn't want to head off trail on the green route, this would be an option for you.   

I am heading this way in a few weeks myself on our way from Homer Wilson to Dominquez.  After reading these post, I think I will try the "Blue to Green" route for a change.  Can anyone give me an idea of how long it will take me to walk on the Smokey creek trail east from "Z" to "X"?  Doesn't look like much more than an hour, but as I have learned, distances in Big Bend can be misleading. 
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

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Offline Robert

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2010, 03:01:01 PM »
I'm a little confused. Which direction are you traveling? If you are traveling south based on BK's map in his first post from "blue to green" you will not be in the same drainage as points w,x, and y in the map in post 16. That map reflects the actual Smoky Creek trail. The first map reflects alternatives to the trail, the "blue to green" option as probably the easiest.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2010, 05:17:00 PM »
My plan is to walk North to South.  Stay in the drainage and walk the blue trail, then down the green trail until it hits the actual Smokey creek trail at point "Z".  Then turn east and walk to point "X" where the campsite is located.  From there, we will go off trail, as we did last year, and head over to the Dominquez area.  I was curious about the trail travel time from "Z to X".  I must say I had to look at the posted maps more than a few times to get it straight in my head.  And I know from personal experience, this would be a rather unique event.  I concede that I may have the maps all wrong.

Last year, we started the morning by leaving the campsite at the Dodson - Smoky Creek trail intersection and walked all the way to a nice spot about an hour North of Dominquez spring.  We walked on the main Smokey creek trail all the way until we turned east at point "X".  It took most all of the day with about an hour of sunlight left to set up camp.  We did not walk fast at all.  I am trying to get an idea of how much more time will be needed for us to explore the blue-green route and make it to the same campsite near Dominquez again.  I know strolling down the creek bed (blue to green route)will take more time, and the trail from "Z" to "X" looks very quick and easy.  I just thought I would ask some people who have actually put their boots on that trail segment.   Thanks

Did I just hi-jack this reborn thread? ........Sorry...
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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Offline Robert

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2010, 05:49:26 PM »
Ok, I get it now. To hike from Z to X is very easy, less than an hour. Last year we hiked the "blue-green" route starting about 10 minutes down from the Smoky Creek-Dodson junction and were past the Z by lunch. On another trip we started at Dominguez, hiked north up Fisk canyon and the west up and over to point X then down Smoky Creek trail past Z all the way to the black rock canyon before dark. Both trips were in January. You should not lose any time taking the new route as walking down the drainage is pretty easy and be able to reach your campsite with daylight left.

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Offline badknees

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2010, 07:42:05 PM »
Ok, I get it now. To hike from Z to X is very easy, less than an hour. Last year we hiked the "blue-green" route starting about 10 minutes down from the Smoky Creek-Dodson junction and were past the Z by lunch. On another trip we started at Dominguez, hiked north up Fisk canyon and the west up and over to point X then down Smoky Creek trail past Z all the way to the black rock canyon before dark. Both trips were in January. You should not lose any time taking the new route as walking down the drainage is pretty easy and be able to reach your campsite with daylight left.

Robert is right on about the z to x travel time. It is about 1.7 miles and the only part that isn't easy, is the climb over the saddle. That isn't hard though.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline Robert

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2010, 11:09:30 PM »
Looking at my track logs it took 20 minutes to travel from z to y (don't have the y to x) and 2 hrs 40 minutes to walk from Dodson trail junction down blue-green route to point z.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2010, 11:35:40 AM »
Thanks y'all.  A few more trips to the area and I hope I will begin to know it as well as many of you.  Sounds like there is still some water in the area to be found.  I will carry 1 gallon in reserve no matter what for peace of mind.  I'm sure Cookie will post up a trip report when we get back. 
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

 


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