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Roads/Access in northern Coahuila

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Offline ELPphoto

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Roads/Access in northern Coahuila
« on: May 20, 2011, 02:40:32 PM »
Hey all,

I spent some time the past few days perusing the threads here by homerboy2u and links to the dirt bike trip reports from Milton Otto, but still have a few unresolved questions about traveling in northern Coahuila.

For reference -- see this map:
http://www.sct.gob.mx/uploads/media/Coahuila.pdf

First -- the "northern route" to Boquillas del Carmen coming from Cd. Acuna -- am I correct in thinking the pavement ends at Santa Eulalia?  Is it possible to take this route through to Boquillas and/or La Linda *without* cutting through the MDC protected area (El Jardin)?  For example, can you go from Morelos south to Melon (and meet up with the "southerly" route from there)?  Or, can you go north from Morelos all the way to La Linda without locked gates, etc?  How challenging are the roads here? 

On the "southerly route" heading west from Muzquiz, does pavement truly extend all the way to La Cuesta de Malena?  My maps show this is some 260km from Muzquiz, and about 80km from Boquillas.  (One of the trip reports on here stated the opposite).  Again, beyond this point are we talking jeep trails, or just crappy, bumpy, rocky roads?

I drive an AWD vehicle with about 9-10" clearance ... not exactly a jeep, but I've readily taken it through some fairly rough and remote backroads like Pinto Canyon Road between Marfa and Ruidosa, Indian Hot Springs Road and Quitman Canyon Road in Hudspeth County (TX), Chispa Road between Van Horn and... well, nowhere, some of the backroads in BBNP, a remote mining road in northern Chihuahua, and logging roads on Vancouver Island, BC.  Not sure if that earns me any "cred" or not!

Also, has anyone on here traveled elsewhere west of Highway 29, like along the Rio San Rodrigo (I think Rancho Tio Tacho is along this route), or near El Oregano west of San Carlos?

One of my interests in this area are the huge, beautiful thunderstorms that develop over the "foothills" between the Sierras and the Highway 29 corridor.  homerboy2u can probably attest this this, as often these storms roll east towards Acuna and Piedras Negras.

Also... does anyone have any GPS tracks they can share (either in .gpx format or even kml)?

Thanks!
-Mike

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Roads/Access in northern Coahuila
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 10:43:39 AM »

First -- the "northern route" to Boquillas del Carmen coming from Cd. Acuna -- am I correct in thinking the pavement ends at Santa Eulalia?  Is it possible to take this route through to Boquillas and/or La Linda *without* cutting through the MDC protected area (El Jardin)?  For example, can you go from Morelos south to Melon (and meet up with the "southerly" route from there)?  Or, can you go north from Morelos all the way to La Linda without locked gates, etc?  How challenging are the roads here?

A: Yes, you are very correct. The Northern route is called the Macho Way... :icon_biggrin:.  The pavement ends exactly at Santa Eulalia. It is very possible and most 4x4 cruisers like to take this dirt road, since it is the most scenic road you can take, while squirming the edge of Sierra del Burro. You can have a glimpse of how beautiful this road is, by looking to your left (south) when heading from Del Rio to Big Bend, just before you reach The Pecos river.

  You can also go from Ejido Morelos to La Linda,via the Cuatro Palmas mine, one of my best advetures so far. Yet the roads are extremly demanding and unforgiving, No Toyota tercel's or Honda accord are admitted thru this road. Unless you want to make them a permanent part of the landscape. The roads are very demanding.

 And yes , you can also hook up with Estacion El Melon, from there on you hop over Cuesta de Malena,the highway continues on and then you can take the turn to Boquillas del Carmen.



On the "southerly route" heading west from Muzquiz, does pavement truly extend all the way to La Cuesta de Malena?  My maps show this is some 260km from Muzquiz, and about 80km from Boquillas.  (One of the trip reports on here stated the opposite).  Again, beyond this point are we talking jeep trails, or just crappy, bumpy, rocky roads?

  A: The Southerly route, also called the Chicken way... :icon_biggrin:, extends over La Cuesta De Malena. I believe the road is more than 280 kilometers long,very scenic. Bothe the Macho way and the Chicken way poffer a lot of history dating back to the 1600's. It is nice to have a good tour guide to share that info on to you.

'  The road to Boquillas from the Capilla (little shrine) is about 30 km's long and not 80 km's to Boquillas del Carmen. It is a very short hop to the river there and to enjoy MDC and SDC along the way, with their little Brothers and Sisters along the way is just amazing to say the least. It is a dirt well pressed road, no bumpy ride and you can easily speed it up to 40 MPH. However, if you want to find out how the cookie crumbles, well he!, amigo...you just came to the right place here. There are a lot of numeral trails that switch up and down, back and forth, side to side that will ttake you all the way up either SDC or MDC, or along the area as well.


I drive an AWD vehicle with about 9-10" clearance ... not exactly a jeep, but I've readily taken it through some fairly rough and remote backroads like Pinto Canyon Road between Marfa and Ruidosa, Indian Hot Springs Road and Quitman Canyon Road in Hudspeth County (TX), Chispa Road between Van Horn and... well, nowhere, some of the backroads in BBNP, a remote mining road in northern Chihuahua, and logging roads on Vancouver Island, BC.  Not sure if that earns me any "cred" or not!

  A: I for one can not extend judgement on your vehicle. I think you are the only one who can say if it can go or not to those far away places. I will tell you two things:
1.- I went one time thru the macho way, my pick up lost a bearing there, i had to bring a tow 4x4 truck to haul me all the way to Piedras Negras, and it was the priciest trip i have made so far. Made me prepare even more for any trip and to be very judgemental about any terrain, i planned to tackle in the future.

2.- Maybe, if you can post some pictures of your trips with your rig, we could give you some insight. There are very good Jeep riders here, who can give you an honest opinion about your vehicle.



Also, has anyone on here traveled elsewhere west of Highway 29, like along the Rio San Rodrigo (I think Rancho Tio Tacho is along this route), or near El Oregano west of San Carlos?

  A: I have (looks like i am the only one in the class here). I have been several times to Rancho Tio Tacho, you go thru Ejido El Remolino and i am waiting on an excuse to go to El Oregano in the Del Burro's. I have never been there (oregano)

One of my interests in this area are the huge, beautiful thunderstorms that develop over the "foothills" between the Sierras and the Highway 29 corridor.  homerboy2u can probably attest this this, as often these storms roll east towards Acuna and Piedras Negras.

  A: Yes, they are very beautiful to see them form, but the Lady Burro is also very stingy in sharing that part of her beauty. I was almost caught in a flash flood in the Burro Range and almost swept me away. You don't want to be near a forming thunderstorm or worst a supercell.

Also... does anyone have any GPS tracks they can share (either in .gpx format or even kml)?

  A: I have tracks, thru the Chicken way all the way down to Boquillas and the Puerto Rico mines. When we went thru the Macho way, i did not have a GPS back then, but i do have pictures.

  There is a trip report here, where at the very end, I posted witht the help of some GPS gurus here a file with all the way points. But since the change of the board, i can not acces my Bookmarks, right now and i am sorry to tell you i can not share them right now. But if you do a search, you should have no problems in accessing them here. Best of luck.


Thanks!
-Mike
[/quote]
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Roads/Access in northern Coahuila
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 09:03:38 PM »
For the time being, "Don" QS...just for the time being. Great picture there, Old Amigo.. :ranger:
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline rover

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Re: Roads/Access in northern Coahuila
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 01:52:09 AM »
Hello all:

Thanks for the map, ELPphoto - I've been hoping to see just that for a while now. And thanks homerboy2u and quicksilver for both your great inputs...

...I've been in Del Rio for slightly over 3 years now (acclimating from the midwest, you might say) and the bend has been pulling me heavily for the last year or so. Terlinqua/Lajitas area seems to be pulling me the strongest.

How difficult would it be for a mountain biker to do the Macho Way route, and approximately how many miles is it going that way from Acuna to Bouquillas? Also: on a scale of 1-5, how safe would that trip be?

It certainly seems so much shorter than riding 90W to Sanderson and then down, but...

One other query: what would be the best map I can access that shows whether there are any routes I can take to start making my way south before I get to Sanderson? I can't find any on the "mainstream" maps/atlas I've scanned...and perhaps there are none except the one south out of Sanderson, I believe, that angles into 385.

Counting the miles of that route on my atlas totals around 250 miles from Del Rio to the Nat'l Park...whose website says its 253.  :icon_eek:

I've been trolling this site for a couple of months now and I appreciate, again, your all's input and any info you may think helpful...

Happy trails...

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Roads/Access in northern Coahuila
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 07:53:57 AM »
Haaapy traaaiillls to youuuu, untiiilll we meet again?....i just remembered that song. It's nice.

 You bet Rover, I tell you. it is doable, as risky as you are prepared for it. Absolutely scenic and very difficult to shut your jaw, since you just can not get your fix , after those valleys,cliffs, mountainsides and what have not, reveal on to you.

 From a scale from 1 to 5, right now it is a 4. Many things have changed, in the past 2-4 months. There is a lot of presence of the Military, which is very good,BTW. and what ever narcos were there, they seem to be running every where. So, the locals tell me and the ranch owners in the area. Logistics is every thing there. It can be done.

  FYI, all of the area is communicated by VHF/UHF radio comm. It is a private collective frequency, where all the ranchers and villages get communicated for their purposes. Should you want to venture this any further, you will need to handle this thru a PM basis.

 Now, why don't you read This discussion. Follow the links, it should answer most of your questions, to ponder wethere if it is doable or not, The Macho Way.

 As far as maps  and GPS stuff go, I strongly recommend the E32 map site. Almost all of the 4x4 riders and 2 wheeled adventurers, load their their trail files and the company publishes 2 map updates a year. Posting what ever feeds the good ol folks upload. Check it out.

 I will see if ia can up load more pictures, from the two bikers who did SDC, just recently.
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline rover

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Re: Roads/Access in northern Coahuila
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 09:19:42 AM »
homerboy2u:

Thank you for your kind and prompt attention to my post. I will study the links you provided and will keep my eye peeled here for more from you.

Again...

...thanks.

 


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