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South Rim itinerary

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Offline tx tumbleweed

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South Rim itinerary
« on: April 22, 2008, 07:38:49 PM »
Moderator note:  split off from The South Rim on a Whim topic.

Hi guys, I'm new to the board. My friend Peach told me about it. I was at Big Bend for the first time last Thanksgiving 07 with my daughters. We had a great time, it snowed the second day there. It was awesome.  I am going back by myself next week. This is my plan for the trip. I was wondering if you guys can give me your opinion. I live in San Antonio. I will be staying at Study Butte Chisos Mining co. motel Monday and Tuesday night. Tuesday morning I plan to go into the park and hike up Lost mine trail, then after lunch hike up the Window trail. Wednesday morning I plan to hike up to the South Rim area and camp there for the night. Then Thursday morning start back down and hike up Emory peak trail on the way. Stay in my tent at the Basin camp site. Friday do a scenic drive to Rio Grande village then drive the River road to Santa Elena canyon, and then out toward home from there. I know that is a lot of stuff. I am trying to get as much as I can in a few days.

Is the hike to the south rim and back do-able in two days? Any ideas where to stay over night? Is the river road a good idea? Is it safe? I will be in a full size truck, not 4x4.

Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 10:18:49 PM by RichardM »

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SHANEA

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Re: The South Rim on a Whim
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2008, 08:28:46 PM »
Only thing,
Quote
Study Butte Chisos Mining co. motel Monday and Tuesday night.
good thing you will be there for two nights, when I called last week for one night, I was told they had a two night min.  Wrong answer.  Parting contestant prizes are at the door.  The lodging at the Basin was "comparable" in price to that of the Big Bend Motor Inn and BTW - the food at the Basin was OUTSTANDING - serious.  Major improvement from years past.  The menu has been enhanced/enlarged and the steak I had was really good.   

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: The South Rim on a Whim
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2008, 08:42:39 PM »
Hi guys, I'm new to the board. My friend Peach told me about it. I was at Big Bend for the first time last Thanksgiving 07 with my daughters. We had a great time, it snowed the second day there. It was awesome.  I am going back by myself next week. This is my plan for the trip. I was wondering if you guys can give me your opinion. I live in San Antonio. I will be staying at Study Butte Chisos Mining co. motel Monday and Tuesday night. Tuesday morning I plan to go into the park and hike up Lost mine trail, then after lunch hike up the Window trail. Wednesday morning I plan to hike up to the South Rim area and camp there for the night. Then Thursday morning start back down and hike up Emory peak trail on the way. Stay in my tent at the Basin camp site. Friday do a scenic drive to Rio Grande village then drive the River road to Santa Elena canyon, and then out toward home from there. I know that is a lot of stuff. I am trying to get as much as I can in a few days.

Is the hike to the south rim and back do-able in two days? Any ideas where to stay over night? Is the river road a good idea? Is it safe? I will be in a full size truck, not 4x4.

Any comments will be greatly appreciated.


Welcome tumbleweed. Your questions should probably have a thread of their own, but I'll go ahead and answer knowing that Richard will straighten it out with the rest of the laundry.  :icon_biggrin:

Your Tuesday is an excellent warm-up for your backpacking trek. If you really want to bag Emory, I'd do it Wednesday, when you'll be more energetic. That would reverse your planned walk, going up Pinnacles and down Laguna Meadow (which is my preferred route). Be aware that the last 20 vertical feet or so of Emory can be spooky if you're not comfortable with exposed climbs. The hike is very doable in two days. You should get a backcountry permit from the visitor center (either at Panther Junction or Chisos Basin) and get a backcountry campsite for the night. Try to get SW4, as it is very close to the South Rim, or SW3, which is one the southwest rim, so you can see the sunset easily. Be advised that there is NO WATER in the mountains and you'll need to carry all you will drink.

The River Road is pretty much a full day ... in your truck. If it were me, I would drive down to Santa Elena Canyon from the Basin, stopping at any place that tickled my fancy, and make a day out of it. The Chimneys is a neat hike, as is Mule Ears Spring. Tuff Canyon is cool, too. You can drive back to the west entrance via Old Maverick Road. I'd much rather do that than spend the whole day driving the dusty River Road.

Hope this is helpful, and enjoy your visit. We hope you'll post photos and a trip report!
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: South Rim itinerary
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2008, 07:32:41 AM »
Another good drive is the Old Ore Road which is easily do-able in your 2WD truck.  I like it better than the River Road because there are several interesting things to stop and look at along the way.  If you drive it from North to South you will be close to the hot springs when you get back on the pavement and that makes a good stopover.  Dagger Flats, Fossil Bone, and a few other attractions are located near the North entrance to the road so you can easily make this a combo trip.  If you stop and take short walks and a slow pace it will take ~all day to drive the whole road.   Some of the highlights are McKinney Springs, Roy's Peak site, Carlota Tinaja, Ernst Tinaja, and the historical sites along Tornillo Creek.  There are also a number of nice outcrops and topographic features along the route to stop and explore.   The road is rocky and rough at some places (especially near Ernst Tinaja) but a 2WD truck should have no problems, some people have taken passenger cars and minivans on this road and made it out alive.
The South Rim is a must-do hike and probably the best hike in Texas.  You can do it as a long dayhike with just a light pack or as a overnight backpack with a heavier pack and lots of water.   ShaneA is right the mountains are very dry right now, unless it rains hard this week you should plan on carrying all that you will need + some extra reserve.  Personally I would do it as a long dayhike unless you want to tack-on some extra mileage along the way and do some side-routes like Emory Peak or Juniper Canyon or the Colima Cutoff.  Other good hikes:  Pine Canyon, Oak Springs, Lost Mine Peak, Window & Upper Window, Basin Loop Trail, Grapevine Hills, Hot Springs Canyon, Burro Spring, and Boquillas Canyon... TWWG

Moderator note:  Ernest?   :icon_rolleyes:
« Last Edit: April 23, 2008, 08:28:54 AM by RichardM »

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Offline tx tumbleweed

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Re: South Rim itinerary
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2008, 08:29:46 AM »
Thanks Guy. That is a lot of great info. I like the stuff about Old Ore Road. I am going to look into that. I have been thinking about doing a long one day hike to the South rim. Mainly so I will have an extra day to go check out other areas. It is a tough desition because I would love to see the sunset from the South Rim, but if it happens to be cloudy it won't matter.. Great comments. Thanks

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: The South Rim on a Whim
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2008, 02:24:32 PM »
Only thing,
Quote
Study Butte Chisos Mining co. motel Monday and Tuesday night.
good thing you will be there for two nights, when I called last week for one night, I was told they had a two night min.  Wrong answer.  Parting contestant prizes are at the door.  The lodging at the Basin was "comparable" in price to that of the Big Bend Motor Inn and BTW - the food at the Basin was OUTSTANDING - serious.  Major improvement from years past.  The menu has been enhanced/enlarged and the steak I had was really good.   

Shane - I agree with you about the food at the Basin restaurant.  I read all the complaints about the Basin restaurant in the past, but was pleasantly surprised when I visited back in Feb.  We ate 4 different meals, and all 4 were very tasty.  The wait staff was quite courteous as well.  They've definitely made a step in the right direction.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2008, 02:27:44 PM by dkerr24 »

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Offline presidio

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Re: South Rim itinerary
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2008, 04:01:17 PM »
Another good drive is the Old Ore Road which is easily do-able in your 2WD truck.

That's usually the case, though there are a couple of short sections that can challenge a 2WD because of grade and loose material. With a 2WD I'd go north to south so gravity and grade are mostly with direction of travel.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: South Rim itinerary
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2008, 08:54:10 AM »
Tumbleweed??  Was wondering if you've made it back and had a trip report?  I always enjoy reading reports from BIBE.

 


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