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Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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south rim

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Offline Burn Ban

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south rim
« on: October 24, 2006, 06:00:08 PM »
o.k., so i have never done this hike, and i'm wondering; what is your favorite trail sequence to follow there and back?

does it make any difference?

we're planning to do this as a day-hike.  good idea?  fitness will not be an issue.

your consensus advice will be used in november.

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Offline Casa Grande

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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2006, 07:15:15 PM »
I prefer going up pinnacles through boot canyon around the rim, through leguna meadow and down LM trail (if you have the means, go down the Blue creek canyon trail to Homer Wilson with a car waiting, it'll be worth it).

Either way you go, the end is the same:  Perfectly brilliant Texas scenery.

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Offline bdann

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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2006, 07:17:28 PM »
My personal preference is to go UP Laguna Meadow Trail and DOWN the Pinnacles Trail.

My only reasoning is Laguna is a little easier on the UP than the Pinnacles. (IMHO).

The Pinnacles hurts my knees either way though, the last time I went to the Rim,  I went up Laguna and back down Laguna.
WATER, It does a body good.

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Offline bdann

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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2006, 07:20:40 PM »
oh yea, my other suggestion, if time permits....do an overnight hike and camp up on the Rim somewhere.  Sunrise/sunset from the rim shouldn't be missed!
WATER, It does a body good.

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SHANEA

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Re: south rim
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2006, 07:22:04 PM »
Quote from: "Burn Ban"
fitness will not be an issue.


I want to go hiking with your group if fitness is not an issue.   :!:  :lol:
If fitness were an issue, then I'd go up Laguna Meadow and come down Pinnacles.  Either way, it's not a short hike.  Have to achieve the same altitude either way.  Of course, as they say, it's not the altitude but the attitude...  Speaking of which, if you start early and move fast you can always summit Emory Peak going up as Casa Grande suggested.

Start early and finish well before dark - short days.  Shorter days starting this weekend.

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Offline Undertaker

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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2006, 07:22:19 PM »
Second Sunrize, Sunset, best view in park period. 8)
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline RichardM

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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2006, 09:59:07 PM »
For me, going up the steep Pinnacles Trail is easier on my knees than coming down.  The steps are a bit jarring coming down for my tastes.  That said, heading up the Laguna Meadows trail to the South Rim provides a better "Oh...My...God" experience as you first crest the final rise and the world falls away in front of you and the desert and mountains in Mexico are finally revealed.  Coming from Boot Canyon, either via the Northeast Rim or directly from Boot Canyon, you miss that experience as you get several peaks out over the Southeast rim and aren't on top of the biggest cliff like you are at the South Rim.  Either way, get an early start.

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Offline TexasGirl

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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2006, 10:08:04 PM »
Did Pinnacles up, LM down in late July.  I asked virtually same question here and chose that route based on the advice I got here, esp, easier going up Pinnacles than down Pinnacles (though I think another word based on something besides "easy" would be more appropo).  Downhill is worse for knees, even the most fit, than uphill.  Uphill's just hard on the psyche.  :D  (read my 'lived to tell the tale' for what Ray52 recently endorsed as an accurate description of PInnacles ascent.  In all its...ahem...glory. ...)  Of course, if fitness is not an issue, you can discount my misery by half.
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

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Offline RichardM

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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2006, 10:15:53 PM »
Quote from: "TexasGirl"
...easier going up Pinnacles than down Pinnacles (though I think another word based on something besides "easy" would be more appropo).  Downhill is worse for knees, even the most fit, than uphill.  Uphill's just hard on the psyche.  :D  

It's entirely up to the individual as to which is "easier".  Going up the steep stuff requires more work in a shorter period, so it'll tire your quads out if you're not in shape.  Some people have knee problems where going up stairs causes pain, thus they'd be better off going down the steep stuff.  My Dad and I have occasional cartilege problems with our knees, so going down is more painful.  Either way, if you're doing the hike as a loop, you'll cover the same ground and put in the same amount of "work".  If you're really in good shape, throw in the Emory Peak trail as well. :)

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chisos_muse

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south rim
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2006, 08:22:06 AM »
Next time I'm going up Pinnacles...it may be steeper, but it's not a race going up there. I would rather go down Laguna. Best way to do the SR hike is to take your time, stop and look at stuff, talk back to the noisy Mexican Jay's, etc. And yes.....spend the night and watch that sunset! :D

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Offline Casa Grande

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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2006, 08:24:16 AM »
I'd like to add to my previous post and explain that I enjoy the view going down LM and I actually think it "feels" easier going up Pinnacles to my legs, back, etc.  Really, you should try both ways before your life ends so you can have your own opinion, plus your consolation prize is seeing the South Rim more than just once ;)

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Offline jeffblaylock

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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2006, 08:45:39 AM »
I prefer going up Pinnacles and down LM for the reasons mentioned plus one more: if you leave no later than an hour after sunrise, almost all of the steep portions of the climb up Pinnacles is in the shade of Toll Mountain. Also, if the NE Rim Trail is open -- it's closed for Peregrin nesting in the spring -- I love the way the views slowly pan to the south and west as the trail rounds the East Rim.

David's mention of the LM trail views are right on. To avoid taking a nasty spill, I spend most of my trail time going down Pinnacles looking at the trail, not the views.

Either way, it's a great trip.
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 Casa Grande

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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2006, 10:04:58 AM »
Quote from: "jeffblaylock"
-- I love the way the views slowly pan to the south and west as the trail rounds the East Rim.


right on  8)

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Offline RichardM

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south rim
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2006, 10:08:38 AM »
Quote from: "jeffblaylock"
Also, if the NE Rim Trail is open -- it's closed for Peregrin nesting in the spring -- I love the way the views slowly pan to the south and west as the trail rounds the East Rim.

Hmmm, I've only done the NE section once, heading back to Boot Canyon.  Guess I'll have to go do it again and try the other direction. :)

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Offline jeffblaylock

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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2006, 10:45:49 AM »
Quote from: "RichardM"
I've only done the NE section once


Glad you've seen it at least once. If you're a fan of this board and the park, and your experiences on the South Rim are from the Boot Canyon junction westward toward Blue Creek and Laguna Meadow, then you are MISSING OUT on some of the best scenery.

I can't recall the exact (rough) closure dates, but the eastern portion of the rim is generally closed to entry from February until the end of May. Please respect these closures, as peregrins are easily disturbed from their nests and may abandon them if bothered. Other times of year, the trail is stunning, and I think it's more rewarding to hike it from the trail junction in Boot Canyon around to the South Rim, since the views steadily improve as you hike through the trees. There's a steep climb out of Boot Canyon, and then it is mostly level hiking from there. The East Rim trail is 3.3 miles long, but it bypasses 1 mile of the upper Boot Canyon trail, so it adds a net 2.3 miles to any South Rim trek. Well worth it.
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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