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"three" days trip in BBNP

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Offline benoit

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"three" days trip in BBNP
« on: January 17, 2013, 01:01:13 PM »
Hi everyone,

So, i'm benoit, coming from france to visit my girlfriend in fortworth. We have planned to move to big bend this week end for three days (yeah we are kind of late!).

I am getting a headache trying to find a proper itinerary for our three days trip. So let's post here and see if some of you got good advices.

We'll move after her job day on friday evening at 6pm and we will have the night break midway on the road, in midland or odessa (does one of know a cheap hotel there ?:).

Next morning, we will leave around 7 and we will arrive at 11 in big bend, getting our cards and then... well this is still not clear.

We have in view the classics :
- south rim hike
- lost mine trail
- windows
- and for the last night, visiting marfa and other little cities

We were thinking to having an overnight on south rim and then go to lost mine trail but.. someone told us that those two spots are a bit similar.
As you can see the program is really vague and undefined but as you can guess we would like to get the best of those three days. (we'll live on tuesday morning)

We are fully equiped and can pass a night far from the car but not more cause i like to walk light and the trip is not enough prepared. We are both good walkers and can walk 15 miles a day or more.
Oh, the car is a corolla so we can't use bad roads!

Any further advices ?
Thx,
benoit

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 02:22:52 PM »
Assuming this may be your only time in Big Bend Nat'l Park, I would...

1) spend the 1st day (your arrival day) getting your permits, doing the Lost Mine Trail and/or driving the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to Santa Elena canyon and back. Spend the night in the Basin, either at a campsite, or in a lodge/cabin.

2) Leave early the next morning and do the South Rim hike, with one night camping up in the high Chisos. [1 night, 2 days]

3) If you have time after arriving back in the Basin, drive down towards Boquillas & Rio Grande Village & see the east side of the park.

4) Have fun.

Bear in mind that the amount of daylight hours is limited, the weather is unpredictable (but it will be cold at night), and that you will need to be flexible as to what camp sites are available, as they are all first-come first-served.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 04:34:50 PM by trtlrock »
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 brave6

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 09:12:27 PM »
If you don't have a room set up for Midland/Odessa now then you likely won't have one Friday.  Most of the oil companies rent out rooms by the week.

You would be better off trying for a room in Big Spring or Monohans.

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Offline badknees

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 09:48:05 PM »
If you don't have a room set up for Midland/Odessa now then you likely won't have one Friday.  Most of the oil companies rent out rooms by the week.

You would be better off trying for a room in Big Spring or Monohans.

I agree. Midland and Odessa would be difficult at best.
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline Al

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 10:07:29 PM »
If you can get a room you will be lucky due to the revival of oil and gas exploration in the Permian Basin.  I was reading that the shale play in the Permian will be bigger than North Dakota or the Eagle Ford in south Texas.  Figure $300/night for a room in a Holiday Inn Express in Midland/Odessa if you are lucky enough to find a room.  Go south young man and make a reservation before you leave so you won't be shocked by the price!


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Offline benoit

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 10:07:35 PM »
Thanks a lot for the advices, that's very valuable. I think we will follow the trtlrock proposition. We will precise the details for the choice of the camping, hotel etc tomorrow.
I will keep you in touch.

Thanks again!
Benoît

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Offline Al

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 10:17:46 PM »
You may want to consider camping in Balmorhea State Park the first night.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/balmorhea

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2013, 08:41:17 AM »
If you have limited time on Saturday I would skip the LMT and do the RMSD to St. Elena Canyon instead.
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 #8 on: January 18, 2013, 08:46:48 AM »
Looks like the demand for motel rooms has fallen a little bit. Hotels.com is showing rooms available, although nothing under $100 in Midland. There are only a few motels in Monahans and they seem to be more expensive. The online reviews for some of them are pretty scary. Hotels.com is showing a few rooms available in Big Spring.

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Offline Flash

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 09:21:23 AM »
There is a Hampton Inn in Fort Stockton...  :eusa_think:

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Offline RichardM

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 09:30:42 AM »
There is a Hampton Inn in Fort Stockton...  :eusa_think:
Lots of motels in Fort Stockton. I usually bypass them and head to Alpine.

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 09:35:35 AM »
There is a Hampton Inn in Fort Stockton...  :eusa_think:

yeah -- if you can make it to Ft. Stockton, then you could arrive at PJ much earlier & have more time to play with on Saturday. Maybe even hike the Chimneys Trail while you're on the RMSD. Be sure to return from St. Elena in time for sunset @ Sotol Vista if you can.

heck -- at this point, might just want to consider sleeping in your car. Hot showers available at Big Bend Motor Inn @ Study Butte. You could go there for breakfast Saturday & freshen up after getting your permits @ PJ. Not too far out of your way, and would let you see the NW side of the park as well...
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 #12 on: January 18, 2013, 09:50:57 AM »
thanks for all again,

I have found some hotels at 75 in midland and odessa that still have "rooms".. might make a reservation soon, waiting for my girlfriend opinion.
I feel like we might also go to monahans state park and sleep under the stars  :-\ it's 5 degrees during the night...
But going till fort stockton or further is to far, we are living FW at 5:15 and we might get tired early.
As you guys notice, the planning for saturday depends on the break night location so it will become clearer soon.

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2013, 09:51:11 AM »
Also, if you come into the park via Rt.385 from Marathon, I would leave the park via Rt.118 to Alpine. Both roads are scenically spectacular, and it would be a shame to come in and leave by the same route.
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 catz

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Re: "three" days trip in BBNP
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2013, 11:55:28 AM »
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.
Wake me when it's time to go.

 


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