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Across the Park from RGV to Lajitas

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Offline peregrine

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Across the Park from RGV to Lajitas
« on: December 05, 2011, 03:34:47 PM »
Hey everybody,

Soooo excited.  Headed out to BiBe on December 16th for a cross-park backpacking trip.  Here's my planned itinerary:

Dec 17th - West from RGV towards Gleen Springs
Dec 18th - Up through Glenn Springs for water, then up towards Juniper Canyon
Dec 19th - Up Juniper Canyon, hopefully summit Emory and camp on the South Rim
Dec 20th - Down Blue Creek to Chimneys Trail
Dec 21st - Chimneys's to Maverick, past Luna's Jacal, then on towards Terlingua Abaja
Dec 22nd - West from Terlingua onto the Mesa de Anguila via Dam Tinaja
Dec 23rd - Down from the Mesa to Lajitas

Special thanks to Raymond Skiles for all the help with planning.  I'll make sure to post a trip report upon completion.  11 days is just too long to wait...

peregrine

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Offline mule ears

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    • 40 years of walking
Re: Across the Park from RGV to Lajitas
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 05:16:17 PM »
Welcome peregrine, I have walked across the park (in two sections with side trips added in) and you will find it a great walk.  I assume you must have other experience in Big Bend to build on to take on this walk. 

Where are your planned water/food drops and/or springs you plan to use other than Glenn Springs?  Your long days will be RGV to Glenn Springs and Chimneys to Terlingua Abaja.  It will also be a slow day to make your way to the climb up the MDA via Dam Tinaja.

If I can help with any details let me know.

Here are the links to my trip reports in case you haven't found them.

eastern half 
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/your-trip-reports/strawhouse-to-the-basin

western half
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/your-trip-reports/lajitas-to-the-basin-1215-122108

p.s. I will just miss you, we will be walking through Glenn Springs on the 14th.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 09:59:53 PM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline peregrine

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Re: Across the Park from RGV to Lajitas
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 10:38:49 PM »
I know I shouldn't, but I'm planning on water at Boot Springs and the pools.  Worst case scenario they are dry and I hike an extra 5 miles to the Basin Campgrounds for water.  Water stash somewhere near Luna's Jacal (I know there isn't a bear box anywhere near here, but plan on securing some water in a clever hiding spot with a geo-cache.

I can augment these supplies with any other water possibly at Terlingua Creek or on the Mesa, though they won't be needed, just extra.  I plan on carrying two days at a time.

I might drop some food at the Blue Creek box near the vista if I deem my pack to be too heavy before starting.  Otherwise I'm not too worried about carrying all my food.  Carried 10 days worth of food before in CO.

I won't go all the way to Glenn Springs on day 1.  Chimney's to Terlingua I believe is around 12 miles.  Not too worried about that distance since it will all be on trail/road.

I know that the Mesa day will be slow and tough.  But it's gonna be awesome up on top.

Does all this sound reasonable?  I've run everything by Raymond Skiles, who works for NPS at Big Bend, and he said it sounds good.  I've actually never been to Big Bend before, but have been planning the heck out of this trip for more than a month now.  Pretty experienced hiker, but never done anything in my home state of Texas.  Big Bend seemed like the obvious choice!

Thanks for the help mule ears.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Across the Park from RGV to Lajitas
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 07:04:05 PM »
I know I shouldn't, but I'm planning on water at Boot Springs and the pools.  Worst case scenario they are dry and I hike an extra 5 miles to the Basin Campgrounds for water.

There will almost certainly be water in the pools upstream but Boot spring will be dry.  Upper Juniper springs has had water but it is running very slowly.  And Pena spring on the Chimneys trail was running earlier this year but I would not count on it.

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Water stash somewhere near Luna's Jacal (I know there isn't a bear box anywhere near here, but plan on securing some water in a clever hiding spot with a geo-cache.

I have left water out in plastic bottles several times and never had anything try and get into it.

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I can augment these supplies with any other water possibly at Terlingua Creek or on the Mesa, though they won't be needed, just extra.  I plan on carrying two days at a time.
The latest report I have seen was Terlingua creek was dry at Santa Elena but the springs near the north end of the hills opposite Terlingua Abaja may be running (near the creek gauge).

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I might drop some food at the Blue Creek box near the vista if I deem my pack to be too heavy before starting.  Otherwise I'm not too worried about carrying all my food.  Carried 10 days worth of food before in CO.
I would drop food and water for sure.  Doesn't make any sense to carry it if you don't have to.  I would also cache some food with your water a Luna's.  I use a 5 gallon bucket with tight lid and again have never had any troubles.

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I won't go all the way to Glenn Springs on day 1.  Chimney's to Terlingua I believe is around 12 miles.  Not too worried about that distance since it will all be on trail/road.

I know that the Mesa day will be slow and tough.  But it's gonna be awesome up on top.
The hardest part is the across wash travel after Sierra Aguja and before you start up the face of the Mesa, the trail is not obvious or marked other than a few cairns on boulders until you get about 1/2 way up.

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Does all this sound reasonable?  I've run everything by Raymond Skiles, who works for NPS at Big Bend, and he said it sounds good.  I've actually never been to Big Bend before, but have been planning the heck out of this trip for more than a month now.  Pretty experienced hiker, but never done anything in my home state of Texas.  Big Bend seemed like the obvious choice!

Thanks for the help mule ears.
 
Well it is quite a bit to chew off for your first Chihuahaun desert trip and doing it solo too!  The good thing is you have several places to bail out along the way if you have to.
Use common sense and be safe.  Have fun and make sure you give us a trip report!
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline peregrine

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Re: Across the Park from RGV to Lajitas
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 07:12:55 PM »
Forgot to mention that I'm bringing a buddy along.  Not a solo trip.  He's bringing GPS and a SAT phone so I feel pretty safe.  Thanks again mule ears!  I always appreciate the extra input.  (I really enjoyed your trip reports by the way)

 


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