Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Hiking the Desert => Topic started by: Ajgray24 on October 09, 2017, 08:48:58 PM

Title: South Rim in November
Post by: Ajgray24 on October 09, 2017, 08:48:58 PM
I have never hiked in an area that I could get water from the land. I know your "supposed to" drink a gallon of water a day, but I was wondering how much you actually need. I plan on hiking the chisos basin that has a average temp of 74/48 I know it is the sun that dehydrates you, but the decreased temp will be nice.  I figure I can get by with 11L for 3 days instead of 12L.

Also, have any of y'all camped the south rim trail in early November? I find it hard to believe that the average low is only 48.

If y'all have any pointers I would be appreciative. I have been off and on planning this trip for the last year with 4people.

-Aaron
Title: Re: South Rim in November
Post by: mule ears on October 10, 2017, 06:07:39 AM
Not sure about your plan.  Are you planning to carry all your water or get some in Boot Canyon?  I would not carry it all if I had the chance to get some up there.  If you are going for 3 days then that is really only 2.5 days on the trail.  Drink up before you hit the trail and then when you get back to the car.  You can get by with 9 or 10 liters (3 the first day, 4 the second, 3 the last) if you are careful and it is not a hot spell. 

It can be warm in Nov. or a cold front cold.  The Basin is 2000' lower than the South Rim so subtract at least 8 degrees from the averages.  I would plan for freezing temps.
Title: Re: South Rim in November
Post by: RichardM on October 10, 2017, 10:20:51 AM
Even if you plan on carrying all your water, take along some water purification tablets as backup.
Title: Re: South Rim in November
Post by: horns93 on October 10, 2017, 10:40:04 AM
Not sure about your plan.  Are you planning to carry all your water or get some in Boot Canyon?  I would not carry it all if I had the chance to get some up there.  If you are going for 3 days then that is really only 2.5 days on the trail.  Drink up before you hit the trail and then when you get back to the car.  You can get by with 9 or 10 liters (3 the first day, 4 the second, 3 the last) if you are careful and it is not a hot spell. 

It can be warm in Nov. or a cold front cold.  The Basin is 2000' lower than the South Rim so subtract at least 8 degrees from the averages.  I would plan for freezing temps.

To follow up ME's information about the weather it was in the mid 80's in the Basin yesterday, but it is in the 40's this morning after a cold front moved through Texas. You can assume it is in the 30's with a stiff wind on the Rim.
Title: Re: South Rim in November
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 10, 2017, 11:14:34 AM
Not sure about your plan.  Are you planning to carry all your water or get some in Boot Canyon?  I would not carry it all if I had the chance to get some up there.  If you are going for 3 days then that is really only 2.5 days on the trail.  Drink up before you hit the trail and then when you get back to the car.  You can get by with 9 or 10 liters (3 the first day, 4 the second, 3 the last) if you are careful and it is not a hot spell. 

It can be warm in Nov. or a cold front cold.  The Basin is 2000' lower than the South Rim so subtract at least 8 degrees from the averages.  I would plan for freezing temps.

To follow up ME's information about the weather it was in the mid 80's in the Basin yesterday, but it is in the 40's this morning after a cold front moved through Texas. You can assume it is in the 30's with a stiff wind on the Rim.

Agreed. Late last November I began a hike at Persimmon Gap with the temps in the mid-to-high 70's and bright cloudless sunshine. That evening I camped tentless near Dog Canyon.  A few hours later a front moved through and I woke up around 3am, shivering on the edge of hypothermia. When I got up the next morning, my water was frozen solid. I think the temps overnight dipped well below freezing. Imagine what it must have been like up in the Chisos.
Title: Re: South Rim in November
Post by: Ajgray24 on October 12, 2017, 07:01:35 AM
Not sure about your plan.  Are you planning to carry all your water or get some in Boot Canyon?  I would not carry it all if I had the chance to get some up there.  If you are going for 3 days then that is really only 2.5 days on the trail.  Drink up before you hit the trail and then when you get back to the car.  You can get by with 9 or 10 liters (3 the first day, 4 the second, 3 the last) if you are careful and it is not a hot spell. 

It can be warm in Nov. or a cold front cold.  The Basin is 2000' lower than the South Rim so subtract at least 8 degrees from the averages.  I would plan for freezing temps.


My plan is to get super hydrated before the hike, and carry 11L. My pack with food and water will be about 50lbs. Not very excited about all the water weight. We're going pinnacle trail up to the south rim and back down Laguna meadows. From forums I have found there is sometimes water at boot canyon, but it sounds like it's rare for water to be there. Depending on how we are feeling on thirst and fatigue we may cache some water near the Colima campsites, and come back for it on the way down.

My wife's and I sleeping bags have a comfort rating to 36 degrees. We're prepared for it to to get low 30s, but I'm not expecting it that much.
Title: Re: South Rim in November
Post by: RichardM on October 12, 2017, 08:45:49 AM
My plan is to get super hydrated before the hike, and carry 11L. My pack with food and water will be about 50lbs. Not very excited about all the water weight. We're going pinnacle trail up to the south rim and back down Laguna meadows. From forums I have found there is sometimes water at boot canyon, but it sounds like it's rare for water to be there. Depending on how we are feeling on thirst and fatigue we may cache some water near the Colima campsites, and come back for it on the way down.

My wife's and I sleeping bags have a comfort rating to 36 degrees. We're prepared for it to to get low 30s, but I'm not expecting it that much.
Keep in mind that park regulations require that water caches be in bear-proof containers, so you would need to use one of the bear boxes or bring along a canister. I know there is one at the Emory Peak trail junction, but I'm not aware of any others that are not at individual campsites.