Friends of Big Bend National Park
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.


Recent Posts

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1
Places of Interest Surrounding the Park / Re: Chispa Road
« Last post by House Made of Dawn on Today at 11:40:10 AM »

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.



Wow, guys, I haven't heard mention of the San Mateos in twenty years. Back last century, I used to go there quite a lot. I had a project in the Sandia Mountains by Albuquerque, and another in the Organ Mountains by Las Cruces.  Whenever I was shuttling between the two, I tried to make time to hit the San Mateos.  Mount Withington is fun, and I especially enjoyed winter camping in the Apache Kid Wilderness. I'd drive my jeep as far as I could go in winter - usually up to Springtime Campground, and then snowshoe up to the summit of San Mateo Peak and the surrounding area for a couple days. Great stuff.  Never saw a single other person there. Thanks for jogging my memory. Haven't been back at all this century.

2
Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Camping/overland trailers.
« Last post by presidio on Today at 11:29:30 AM »
I've got 2 couples in my group this winter that have and want to use their camping trailers.  Are those considered a 2nd vehicle or still part of the original vehicle as far as limit at campsites?
They have their tents mounted on top for sleeping.
The Green FJ and Trailer are one of the couples.

Very good question. The camping regulations and compendium do not make clear how those are counted.

It's so unclear it seems open to individual interpretation by funny hatters.

Just another example of not writing understandable rules and defining words.
I guess I haven't spent enough time in the state parks.  :icon_redface: Do they wear funny hats as well? :ranger:

I don't know.

My apologies, I overlooked the source topic folder.

Will endeavor to do better in the future.
3
National Park News / Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Last post by Hookim on Today at 10:01:38 AM »
Guys, do we have a gear-specific suggestion thread with topics such as bear-proof containers, reflective tape uses, etc. that's basically a bulleted topic list with short descriptors?...

There is the General Outdoor Stuff & Camping Equipment section all the way down the Forum list.

There is even a thread on Bear Food Storage Containers.  Which is not about storing bear food but human food.   ;)
Lol! Great! Thanks, ME - I'll check 'em out.
4
Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Camping/overland trailers.
« Last post by Ranger Tim on Today at 09:47:09 AM »
Trailers do not count as extra vehicles.
5
Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Campsite Dilemma.
« Last post by Ranger Tim on Today at 09:43:48 AM »
This is a good example of a question that you might want to call in. Barring a ruling by the super, however, I'd be dubious that you could fit 7 vehicles into any single campsite. The roads are narrow enough too that you really can park along the road without blocking it. Papalote de La Sierra has a lot more available room than Casa Ramon, but seven would be pushing it in either case. Call though. It is remote enough that it might not matter. That part of the park gets very little visitation.
6
National Park News / Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Last post by mule ears on Today at 09:37:52 AM »
Guys, do we have a gear-specific suggestion thread with topics such as bear-proof containers, reflective tape uses, etc. that's basically a bulleted topic list with short descriptors?...

There is the General Outdoor Stuff & Camping Equipment section all the way down the Forum list.

There is even a thread on Bear Food Storage Containers.  Which is not about storing bear food but human food.   ;)
7
Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Ham Radio Monitoring in BBRSP?
« Last post by Ranger Tim on Today at 09:02:38 AM »
We do not. While we have a radio system at BBRSP, it is not terribly effective owing to the geography of the park. Typically, in an emergency, we augment the system with satellite phones, but those are rarely very effective either. Yet another reason to make good decisions and remember where you are when you are visiting the park.
8
National Park News / Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Last post by Hookim on Today at 08:52:49 AM »
Thanks HMOD! Good advice. I looked at the Bear Vaults yesterday at REI. That's a lot of money for a heavy plastic container.

Right on about the photo gear. In the past, I've set up camp and then wandered off to explore, leaving the food behind. Having the smelly stuff in a hard container is probably a good idea. At the very least it would keep the javelinas out of my food.

I got a roll of reflective tape last year to put on my tripods. That's an excellent suggestion to put it on the canisters. Thanks!
Guys, do we have a gear-specific suggestion thread with topics such as bear-proof containers, reflective tape uses, etc. that's basically a bulleted topic list with short descriptors?...
9
Boating on the Rio Grande / Re: Thanksgiving Santa Elena Kayak
« Last post by gtRidge on Today at 08:39:24 AM »

There is a lot more detail on my trip in my BBC post, Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and not-quite Back Again  http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/your-trip-reports/round-the-bend-in-16-days-there-and-not-quite-back-again/. You might find some of it helpful. Also, check out American Whitewater's website about the Rio Grande from Lajitas to Cottonwood Campground at https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/1826/.  Or even better, get a copy of Louis F. Aulbach's books on running the Rio Grande. He has one volume devoted entirely to the upper stretch of the river up to and through Santa Elena. https://www.amazon.com/Upper-Canyons-Rio-Grande-Terlingua/dp/1505923743.

- HMoD

Your information is extremely valuable! Thank you! Sorry for making you rehash an already well documented trip. I suppose I should have taken a bit more time on the forums... I will have to go back and read this in its entirety since it gets such high marks.

How do you like your Alpacka raft? I've always thought those things are so cool. You can really lug those in to some awesome places.
10
I have land in NC and land in The Solitario. These areas are completely different in terrain, elevation and vegetation. The property in NC is right off the main Ranch road headquarters. Itís flat with sparse vegetation on sand and soft dirt. Itís close to power, phone and wells are about 200-400ft in that area. The Solitario property is about a 2hr drive in from the main rd. Itís 4000ft elevation with canyons and deer everywhere. This is a tent camping experience as building here would be very difficult and expensive. The 4x4 road out there is rough but a fantastic drive.
My point is you really need to shop by seeing the property first hand. The area varies a great deal and pictures and second hand accounts can in no way explain the experience. I would recommend someone like West Texas Realty or other local realtors that know the area real well. They will drive you out to the land which is also a challenge because finding your way around the Ranch roads is another experience al together.
Regardless what you do please remember this is still Big Bend isolated, remote and very dangerous. I would also suggest following some of the land owner groups on Facebook. Ask a lot of questions from the full time residents.


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