Big Bend Conservancy
It is tough getting any kind of recent info on Chispa Road. I have USGS quads showing the road, but no word on if any locked gates have suddenly appeared or if there are any known detours that have to be made. The usual online map suspects (Google, OpenStreetMap, Mapquest) aren't much of a help at all. They seem to show it ok on the north end of the road, but lose it after the county line heading towards Candelaria.
I'm just more curious about ... how heavily the Border Patrol monitors the area and what kinds of hassle we might get.
We had a trip earlier this year out to the Trinity Site and VLA, and did a ton of off-road exploring. Headed to the top of Mt. Withington, then just started heading down forest roads.
We saw one other car driving to Mt. Withington, then a few people camping at one of the sites we passed while exploring.
We did the Chispa Road drive today. Or at least attempted it. We started from the north side and the weather was perfect. Saw lots of interesting scenery. About halfway to Candalaria, the road started getting really rough. There were several washouts where at one point people tried to tame them with concrete. It took some finesse, but we made it through them. About a half mile past those, we came to a crossing that got obliterated during the rains last week. There was a sandy four foot drop off into the creek bed. We walked up and down the wash looking for an alternate path, but never found one. So we decided discretion was the better part of valor and backtracked.
The Trinity Site is a great place to visit from a historical perspective, to get to stand right at the spot where the first atomic bomb was detonated. There aren't many places in the world you can go to and say the trajectory of world history changed at this spot.
My uncle and I are dirt road warrior explorers. We've done more than our share of backtracking after not being able to go any further. We had a trip earlier this year out to the Trinity Site and VLA, and did a ton of off-road exploring. Headed to the top of Mt. Withington, then just started heading down forest roads.
The San Mateo Mtns are very remote, despite the lower end being adjacent to I-25. I'm guessing you saw almost no one. Very attractive country and you did what I keep recommending to those whom seem only to ever go to Big Bend.
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