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.

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"three" days trip in BBNP

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Offline RichardM

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2013, 01:54:38 PM »
The South Rim is a must, but I think I would do it as a (long) day hike.  It will likely be below freezing at night/early morning, not the best backpacking conditions.  If you really want to backpack somewhere where you can easily drive to the trailhead, I recommend hiking beyond Mule Ears Spring (on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive).  The spring is very reliable and there are two excellent camping sites, one about a half mile past the spring and the other about a mile beyond, or about 4 or 5 miles from the trailhead.  They are both good, although I personally prefer the second one.  Go a mile, mile and a half beyond the spring; just before the trail goes sharply downhill into a deep, wide valley, the campsite is on the right, over a small rise.
For a first time to Big Bend, I would recommend sticking to the major trails like South Rim. Save the backcountry zone camping for the second trip. ;)

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2013, 02:12:54 PM »
The South Rim is a must, but I think I would do it as a (long) day hike.  It will likely be below freezing at night/early morning, not the best backpacking conditions.  If you really want to backpack somewhere where you can easily drive to the trailhead, I recommend hiking beyond Mule Ears Spring (on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive).  The spring is very reliable and there are two excellent camping sites, one about a half mile past the spring and the other about a mile beyond, or about 4 or 5 miles from the trailhead.  They are both good, although I personally prefer the second one.  Go a mile, mile and a half beyond the spring; just before the trail goes sharply downhill into a deep, wide valley, the campsite is on the right, over a small rise.
For a first time to Big Bend, I would recommend sticking to the major trails like South Rim. Save the backcountry zone camping for the second trip. ;)

And with limited daylight hours, I think the South Rim wouldn't be as much fun if you rush it. With a little luck, you'll have a great sunset & sunrise at your camp site. Try for NE4 or SW3 camp sites for the best & nearest-to-the-rim views. Nighttime will be below freezing (in all likelihood) whether you're camping high or low...

On Saturday (if you have time), the Chimneys Trail or the hike out to ME Spring & back would be a lot of fun. Not sure I would sacrifice Santa Elena Canyon & the whole of the RMSD + Sotol Vista sunset to accomodate a day-hike, though...
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline benoit

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2013, 03:39:25 PM »
we are going to finish the plan on the road  :ecomcity:
for the first night, it will be in the monahans sandhill state park!
thanks for all mate !
I will make a little report to you when we'll back

B.

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Offline FatPacker

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2013, 04:14:46 PM »
this may be too late for you,
but we stayed in Monahans once and the drive in the next day was not bad at all.....     and as to campsites, if it is windy try to get NE4 if not, definitely get SE3 for the best sunrise of your life!

Are we there yet?

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Offline FatPacker

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2013, 04:19:40 PM »
at sunrise near SE3
Are we there yet?

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Offline benoit

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2013, 10:38:11 AM »
Hi guys,

Back from Big Bend. That was an extremely amazing trip. Much better than what I was expected!
On the first night we slept in the monahans state park. Quite sad that we didn't have the time to make a walk cause the place is really nice.
On the afternoon south rim hike, camping at the chisos camping.
Day two : Sam Nail Ranch, chimneys trail, Mule ears spring trail, santa elena canyon "trail" and then sleep in cottonwood
Day three : Ernst tinaja, rio grande village trail to hot springs (further than that in fact) and the nature trail from the rio grande village camping.

I feel we have done a good overall view of the park. We stayed in the main camping but they were really uncrowded, peaceful and full of surprises (javelinas!).
I was really impressed by the variety of the sites, and got especially attracted by the rivers areas, which have something primitive that really touched me. Even the desert, after some days, start to become a source of happiness. I can also say that I have discovered what a real night is !

I hope i will have the opportunity to come back to make some longer trail and go further into the area!  :eusa_dance:

Thanks for your advices !  :great:
And see you next time ! :)

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2013, 10:43:23 AM »
Glad you had a great time! -- Nothing like that in France, eh?
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline RichardM

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2013, 11:03:55 AM »
Sounds like a great trip! I hope you took a camera along...

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Offline benoit

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2013, 09:15:34 AM »
nothing like that in france ! :)
but if you go there one day i advice you the crossing of the vosges, le parc du queyras, le parc des ecrins, AND the crossing of the corsica.. (gr20) :)

hum by the way, we are going to austin this week end.. do you know a big day trail (10 miles minimum?)

And yeah I took a lot of pictures... :)

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2013, 09:36:25 AM »
but if you go there one day i advice you the crossing of the vosges, le parc du queyras, le parc des ecrins, AND the crossing of the corsica.. (gr20) :)

Really glad you had a good time. In '96 I was lucky enough to do the GR5 from Holland to Nice. The Vosges & the Jura were spectacular! Spent maybe 3 hours in the cathedral in Metz staring at the stained glass windows. Nothing like that in the Bend... :icon_lol:

GR20 is definitely on the to-do list.
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline chris

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2013, 09:37:19 AM »
Probably the easiest (in terms of accessibility and physical difficulty) hiking in Austin is the Barton Creek Greenbelt.  It cuts right through the southern part of town (i.e. Austin itself), has several access points/lengths you can choose, and there's plentiful information about it on "the Google."  This past Sunday my girlfriend and I hiked its full length, from the Lost Creek neighborhood through towards Barton Springs/Zilker Park and back.  It was just shy of 16 miles and 7 hours (including stops).  No major changes in elevation or tough terrain made it a breeze compared to Big Bend hikes!

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Offline catz

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2013, 11:46:20 AM »


A possible alternative would be to hike the entire loop around Lake Lady Bird (about 12 miles).  The trail is not 100% complete (they're working on filling in the gap).  This is a flat, high quality hike-and-bike trail (except for the three mile gap, where it consists of a not-very-scenic stretch of city sidewalks).

But I think the Barton Creek Greenbelt would be better, even though it is an out-and-back.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline benoit

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2013, 01:15:59 PM »
In '96 I was lucky enough to do the GR5 from Holland to Nice. The Vosges & the Jura were spectacular! Spent maybe 3 hours in the cathedral in Metz staring at the stained glass windows. Nothing like that in the Bend... :icon_lol:

GR20 is definitely on the to-do list.

wow ! you had a big walk ! I have this on my list too :)
For tomorrow we will probably do the greenbelt creek trail !
thanks for the tip

benoit

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Offline kevint

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"three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2013, 02:18:09 PM »
I haven't been there personally but you might google "McKinney Roughs."
-- Kevin (W5KLT)

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

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Online Flash

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2013, 02:21:40 PM »
Bull Creek Park: Look for the wagon wheel ruts in the creek bed...

 


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