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Smoky Creek Question

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Offline badknees

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Smoky Creek Question
« on: October 11, 2008, 01:20:14 PM »
Anybody ever cross the blue section on the map below? I have been upstream as far as the spring maked by the red "X", and Robert has posted a trip report where he hiked south from the Dodson on the Green route.

Looks like crossing over is shorter.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 04:20:34 PM by badknees »
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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 07:19:43 AM »
I have taken the blue route and it's fairly easy arroyo walking.  The junction of the two routes is marked with a couple rock cairns and 3 old strands of barbed wire still hanging across the arroyo after 70 years.  The spring marked on the topo South of the junction of the two routes is (I believe) an unnamed spring (post modified to correct factual mistakes and references).  This bypass-route is considerably shorter than the Smokey Creek Trail which winds around Sugarloaf and into another major valley to the East.  The bypass route has a bit of rockhopping and scrambling and one ~5-6' pouroff that you will have to get up and over.  There are a lot of springs in this area including one's not marked on the map so you should find reliable water in several places along this route... TWWG
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 07:40:30 AM by TheWildWestGuy »

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 08:09:12 AM »
The spring marked on the topo South of the junction of the two routes is (I believe) called Mesa Bonita Spring according to former BBNP ranger Eric L. 

TWWG Mesa Bonita spring is described in this thread http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/hiking-the-desert/upper-smokey-creek-t2668.0.html by BIBEarch as the one just east of Goat Mountain

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Quote from: "mule ears"
Has anyone ever walked the drainage that runs just east of Goat Mountain?  It runs into Smoky Creek just north of the junction with the Mule Ears trail and looks like an interesting possible route to the Wilson ranch at Blue Creek.  The crux looks to be the tight area just west of points 4358 and 3875 were a spring is marked.  I am thinking of using it as connector from Mule Ears spring to Blue Creek canyon this winter.


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Quote from: Bibearch
Most of the passes through this part of the country were routes taken by cowboys and goat herders. They stayed up on the slopes above the canyon floor though. This route has a nice set of ledges at Mesa Bonita Spring (marked "Spring" on the map) that you will need to skirt around. There's another spring (Goat Mountain Spring) upstream of Mesa Bonita. Some of it's a little brushy & thorny but generally hikeable.

 
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 Robert

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 02:29:57 PM »
I thought I would update this thread since we were out there last week and hiked the blue portion of the trail. There is also another thread where I asked the same question however Badknees map does a much better job of explaining the route in question.
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/hiking-the-desert/upper-smokey-creek-t2668.0.html
The blue section of the trail begins just after the Smoky Creek trail leaves Smoky Creek and heads east into the unnamed watershed that drains the east side of Sugarloaf Mtn. Just before this point the trail comes to a pouroff where the trail exits the wash on the right (west) side. There are cairns marking the spot where you exit but the climb out of the wash isn't easily recognizable as a trail. Once out of the wash there are cairns marking the trail as it runs parallel above the wash. When you begin the climb back down into the wash past the pouroff you can see the trail on the opposite side of the wash where it climbs out again to go back to the east. But to take the blue portion you stay in the wash.

Once back in the wash it is easy walking down to the junction with the green route as TWWG mentions. The wash is open and relatively flat. There was no water until almost to the junction. Hiking down to the end of the section you'll see the small peak that stands above the junction of the two arms of Smoky Creek. Once at the junction there was a good flow of water coming down the western arm and the barbed wire is a hundred yards upstream.

At this point we were on familiar ground as we had been on this section last year (green section). The water flows a good ways downstream and there are several small pouroffs that must be negotiated. There is at least one where you have to climb\slide down but I kept my pack on. It would probably be harder going upstream.

The last spring is about 1/3 mile from where the trail re-enters the wash from the east (north east side of Sugarloaf) and just upstream from some red rock formations (like Blue Creek). It is where there is a boulder in the middle of the wash and the water comes out from behind it on the downstream side and disappears into the sand.

Past the spring the wash opens up and you can see Sugarloaf in front of you. Then look for the cairns where the trail reenters the wash.

Last year we took the green route and this time we took the blue. The pouroff on the upper portion of green section did not have the advantage of a trail and required a higher climb and descent. It looked like there might have been another way around it on the left but we didn't investigate it.
 
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 02:36:09 PM by Robert »

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 05:12:11 PM »
I thought I would update this thread since we were out there last week and hiked the blue portion of the trail.

I am ready to pull the maps out and make some popcorn Robert. Can't wait to hear about where you went this time.  :icon_biggrin:
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 Robert

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 05:55:32 PM »
Well, I'm not sure I can post a trip report as eloquent as some of the others but I'll try to get something out this weekend.

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Offline badknees

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 09:10:57 PM »
Well, I'm not sure I can post a trip report as eloquent as some of the others but I'll try to get something out this weekend.

Thanks for the info. I never tire of that area!
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline Burn Ban

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 09:36:36 PM »
Well, I'm not sure I can post a trip report as eloquent as some of the others but I'll try to get something out this weekend.

 i believe eloquence and "waxing poetic and rhapsodic" is extremely over-rated as a form of trip reporting. i want to know where you went and what you saw. if it brought you "closer to the universe" or whatever...congratu lations.

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Offline Robert

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 09:50:24 AM »
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if it brought you "closer to the universe" or whatever...congratu lations.

I guess you don't want to hear about my peyote visions either. Rats! Actually I did have a few sips of tequila but no visions.

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Offline Burn Ban

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2009, 08:45:44 PM »
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if it brought you "closer to the universe" or whatever...congratu lations.

I guess you don't want to hear about my peyote visions either. Rats! Actually I did have a few sips of tequila but no visions.

no, no! i am always ready for a good peyote story.  i hear fermented sotol will give you a good time, too.

anyone?

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2009, 03:07:19 PM »
sorry to bump an old thread, but does anyone have this map saved? the descriptions sounds spot on but it's hard to imagine without the color coded lines amrking the routes  :icon_redface:

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2009, 06:14:00 PM »
Viper, all I have is some tracks from last November's "Smoky Creek ramble" -- may or may not help you. We cut over cross-country before the green trail ended. Had we gone a bit further, we would have found a much easier path back to the actual Smoky Creek Trail.



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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2009, 06:17:11 PM »
Map of the track through relevant area:

Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"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 #13 on: December 15, 2009, 07:08:43 PM »
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we would have found a much easier path back to the actual Smoky Creek Trail

The Smoky Creek trail rejoins the wash at the very bottom of the map just southeast of the 4065 point. So if you stay in the wash past this point you are actually back on the trail headed to Mule Ears.

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Offline badknees

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Re: Smoky Creek Question
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2009, 12:44:57 AM »
Attached is a map of the official Smoky Creek trail in the area. Let me know if you wanted something different
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 09:13:14 AM by RichardM »
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Through the Mirror
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