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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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Big Bend January Trip

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Offline txhiker

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Big Bend January Trip
« on: December 04, 2009, 02:52:54 PM »
Howdy y'all...I am planning a trip in January and was wondering if anyone else wanted to join me. I plan on leaving Dallas the 7th and returning the 14th. I am an organizer of a local backpackers and hikers meetup group and so far one person has said they will be coming with me. I don't expect to see a lot of people join because of the dates, distance and hikes so I thought I'd mention my trip here and see if anyone else wanted to join from Dallas, meet me there, or join for part of the trip. I plan on backpacking three overnight trails: Rancherias loop in the SP, Mesa de Anguila and Marufo Vega. If you want to join I ask that you be in good physical condition and have experience backpacking. Survival is your job. This will be my fourth trip to BB over the last 2 years.

Here is the plan:

Thursday: Leave Dallas and drive to Presidio, arrive at state park and obtain permits. Camp somewhere on the trail or at a primite campsite along the Rio Grande.

Friday/Saturday: Hike the Rancherias loop as an overnighter. The Rancherias Loop Trail passes through two desert canyons, by two springs, and over ridges and mesas. The 23-mile Rancherias Loop Trail is available for serious backpackers. The terrain is very rough with some steep climbs. The trail is marked only by rock cairns. This a trail for experienced desert hikers in good physical condition who can read topographic maps and use a compass.

Saturday night: camp on the ewest side of the Big Bend National Park at CottonWood Campground.

Sunday/Monday: Wake up and drive to Panther Junction for permits. Drive back to Lajitas to start the Mesa de Anguila trail as an overnighter. The entire loop is a 16 mile round-trip. Remote and isolated from the rest of Big Bend National Park, the Mesa de Anguila (pronounced may-sah day an-gee-la) offers well-prepared backpackers opportunities for solitude and tremendous views. The trails are not obvious, animal trails diverge from the main trail, and sections of trail may be overgrown with grass and shrubs. The mesa is recommended for experienced desert backpackers only, and would be a very poor choice for an "introductory" hike to Big Bend.

Monday night: camp on the east side of the national park at primitive campsite.

Tuesday/Wednesday: Do the Marufo Vega trail as an overnighter. This is a strenuous and spectacular overnight backpacking trip. The entire loop is a 14 mile round-trip There IS NO WATER available along this trailóRiver water is not potable. Once walked by the trailís namesake, Gregorio Marufo, who grazed goats along the river, the route is poorly defined and overgrown with desert vegetation. Nevertheless, hikers use the cross country section today to join two ends of the popular desert trail to make a loop.

Wednesday night: Drive to Marathon and camp.

Thursday: Drive the remaining 500 miles back to Dallas
"I wasn't born in Texas, but, I came here as fast as I could"
<---- Eating a prickly pear cacuts fruit as seen on Man Vs. Wild.
Mesquite, TX

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Offline catz

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Re: Big Bend January Trip
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2009, 03:09:31 PM »
That is a pretty serious itinerary.  I have hiked all of those trails.  I have to question doing the Rancherias Loop as an overnighter.  12+ miles per day with a backpack on that trail is asking a lot.  Two nights would make for a much more enjoyable hike, plus you can camp near water each night.

Mesa de Anguila as an overnighter is also questionable, I think.  I mean, sure, it can be done.  But there is so much to see up there that spending two nights at the same site and day-hiking the intervening day makes a lot more sense to me.

Marufo as an overnighter is no problem.

If it was me--and I know it's not--I would do two nights on the Mesa and on Rancherias and save Marufo for another time.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline Picacho

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Re: Big Bend January Trip
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2009, 03:09:54 PM »
I wish I had the vacation time.  Sounds like a fantastic trip.  Does your hiking group have a website?  

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Offline txhiker

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Re: Big Bend January Trip
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2009, 03:32:38 PM »
Catscats: I know it is a serious itinerary and feel quite comfortable. Last year same dates I did the OML as an overnighter with 2 hours of sunlight to spare. I've thought about doing Rancherias/Mesa de Anguila over three days..but I prefer not to. In 10 hours of sunlight..I can go about 16 miles taking a 2 mile an hour pace and stopping for lunch/pictures/breaks. Doing 12 miles in a day won't be much :-) and I should still get to enjoy the scenary.

Picacho: Our website is http://www.meetup.com/backpackers-125/ you can find several hiking meetup groups in almost every major city :-)

"I wasn't born in Texas, but, I came here as fast as I could"
<---- Eating a prickly pear cacuts fruit as seen on Man Vs. Wild.
Mesquite, TX

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Big Bend January Trip
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2009, 03:41:27 PM »
Last year same dates I did the OML as an overnighter with 2 hours of sunlight to spare.
How about a belated trip report (with pictures, for Homero, of course)? You must've been hiking pretty fast.

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Offline badknees

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Re: Big Bend January Trip
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2009, 04:01:54 PM »
Last year same dates I did the OML as an overnighter with 2 hours of sunlight to spare.
How about a belated trip report (with pictures, for Homero, of course)? You must've been hiking pretty fast.

Must not be a lot of time to smell the roses along the way. Sounds too much like work to me, but by all means enjoy. Take some pictures.
Not all those who wander are lost.
Ė J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

 


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