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Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts

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Offline Lkharr

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Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« on: January 04, 2019, 10:16:31 PM »
Howdy everyone! I just heard about Big Bend Chat so I thought Iíd come over and check it out! Iím planning a trip out to the park in mid March and have an itinerary planned out and wanted to run it by the experts to get some opinions.

First, Iíll start by saying that this will be a relatively short trip so I already know Iím trying to pack a lot into a little time, but really Iím just looking to get a taste of all the park has to offer so that I can figure out where Iíd like to spend more time in the future. I have a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon so there really isnít anything that should be too technical off-road wise.

So hereís the rundown, let me know what you think. If it seems too ambitious please let me know. Also Iíd love opinions on campsites for Day 2.

Day 1 - Wednesday Leave Waco around 9AM
Campsite:
     -??? Chisos Mountain Lodge is full
Activities:
     -Arrive around 6pm and Sleep
     -Maybe get backcountry permits if still open

Day 2 - Thursday
Campsite:
     -Twisted Shoe or Pine Canyon #5 or Robbers Roost
Activites:
     -Wake up early and go get backcountry permits at Chisos Basin Visitorís center
     -The Window Trail
     -Drive to Pine Canyon #5 or Twisted Shoe or Robbers Roost

Day 3 - Friday
Campsite:
     -Ernst Tinaja
Activities:
     -Black Gap Road and River Road East
     -Hot Springs
     -Fuel at RGV
     -Drive to Camp

Day 4 - Saturday
Campsite:
   -Airbnb in Terlingua
Activities:
   -Drive Scenic Main Roads
   -Santa Elena Canyon
   -Dinner and Fun at Starlight Theatre

I'd really like some guidance on the Day 2 campsites and also the whole day 1 into day 2 process. We were going to stay in the Chisos mountain lodge for that night, but it's all full apparently. Where would be the best place to stay on Wednesday night so that we can get up early on Thursday morning and make it to the visitor's center before the crowds so that we can get the best shot at our campsites?

Thanks in advance!

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 08:57:09 PM »
Is there any way you can leave earlier than 9AM? Leaving at that time would put you in the park around 6. Push that ahead a couple of hours and you might be able to get your backcountry permit on arrival. Snagging an open Chisos Basin campground site at that time of day during spring break would require a mid-size miracle. If you stay outside the park (Marathon, Study Butte, etc), beating the crowd the next morning just requires getting up and on the road early. Unfortunately there's no way to predict which backcountry sites are most likely to be open. Getting your permit on Wednesday  opens up your options quite a bit.

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Offline Lkharr

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 12:24:55 PM »
Is there any way you can leave earlier than 9AM? Leaving at that time would put you in the park around 6. Push that ahead a couple of hours and you might be able to get your backcountry permit on arrival. Snagging an open Chisos Basin campground site at that time of day during spring break would require a mid-size miracle. If you stay outside the park (Marathon, Study Butte, etc), beating the crowd the next morning just requires getting up and on the road early. Unfortunately there's no way to predict which backcountry sites are most likely to be open. Getting your permit on Wednesday  opens up your options quite a bit.

So we ended up getting a cheap Airbnb in Terlingua for Wednesday so we'll just get up early and make it to Panther Junction by 8 and it opens at 8:30? If I read correctly.

Does the itinerary seem doable or is it trying to fit too much in?

Thanks!

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 01:35:00 PM »
Does the itinerary seem doable or is it trying to fit too much in?

I've never had an off-road capable vehicle, so I'm only guessing, but it's probably doable. The key to enjoyment of the limited time you have is to stay flexible. This is especially true during spring break. Many of us have fallen into the trap of trying to stick to a packed schedule.

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Offline Mesquito

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2019, 02:20:09 PM »
Thereís nothing there that would challenge a stock Jeep.  Bear in mind that the Pine Canyon Road and Juniper Canyon road to Twisted Shoe are very different.  Pine Canyon is smooth and nice and Juniper Canyon is rough and rocky. Black Gap is a fun road but be careful after a rain.  It can get a little soupy Iíve heard. Iíd  air down a little.   I generally run at about 25 pounds off road and disconnect my sway bar on my wrangler, not so much for traction but for a much more comfortable ride.

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Online Txlj

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2019, 05:59:41 AM »
12 to 15 psi for me, but then again, I do stupid in my heep.

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 09:52:58 AM »
Mesquito and Txlj - tell me a bit more about Black Gap.  I'm planning to be in BiBE in late February and hoping to be in a Jeep.  If I am, it will be new and while I don't plan to baby it, I don't want pin striping the first month.  I know a bit about Black Gap and the "pinch" and I'm not too worried, planning to take it slow and easy.  I'm a bit more worried about how close to side vegetation is.  Can that be avoided? 

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Online Txlj

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2019, 10:19:51 AM »
Black Gap is no issue jeep wise. Pinstripping, well.... that may be an issue. Its been several years since I was there. I was in an XJ, the small Cherokee on 31" tires and open diffs. In that thing, I had no problems, it was picking a line and just taking it easy. There were a couple of ledges I stacked rocks to get up with the open diffs but there was nothing bad. Nice area with potential exploring to do.

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« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 02:24:38 AM by Txlj »

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2019, 11:04:27 AM »
It's been a few years, but, other than the foliage at the Glenn Springs turn-off, I don't remember much vegetation along Black Gap.  Our only issue was, coming out of Glen Springs (headed north to south), we weren't paying attention and nearly turtled the Trooper in some deep ruts.  We were able to back out and take another line.  The pinch was underwhelming, but erosion since then may have made it a bit more of a challenge.

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2019, 01:59:15 PM »
Thank you both.  Again, not too worried about the actual road, I have some common sense.  I just don't think I want to get in there if the brush is closing in and constantly scratching the sides.  I remember some of the other roads I've driven out there and there were actually few places where I was worried about the thorns taking all my paint off. 

I plan to have a teenager with me and they can hold the occasional limb back while I drive by.  Providing it's the "occasional"!! 

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2019, 03:22:13 PM »
4 years ago, Black Gap had a few bushes for pinstriping, but I found more on other trails.
However, I've learned that if you pretty much assume you're going to hear the thorns on your rig, you won't be as stressed.
Pin Stripes give you offroad cred!  haha  :afro:

Here's me creeping through the overgrown Cienega Creek on the south section of the loop December 30, 2018.
Edit: This is BBRSP, not the NP. 

« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 03:28:51 PM by BlindWilly »
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2019, 03:25:52 PM »
I think it's ambitious, but doable. If you don't get to do it all this trip, there's always the next time.
First time I went, I stayed near Terlingua and hit a LOT of trails in both parks and the Terlingua Ranch.
The last 2 times I've focused on the State Park for the remoteness and camping and lack of people.
Next Trip I have yet to plan, but I'm thinking more National Park and Black Gap WMA
Here's a vid from 2014's trip to Black Gap Rd.


Howdy everyone! I just heard about Big Bend Chat so I thought Iíd come over and check it out! Iím planning a trip out to the park in mid March and have an itinerary planned out and wanted to run it by the experts to get some opinions.

First, Iíll start by saying that this will be a relatively short trip so I already know Iím trying to pack a lot into a little time, but really Iím just looking to get a taste of all the park has to offer so that I can figure out where Iíd like to spend more time in the future. I have a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon so there really isnít anything that should be too technical off-road wise.

So hereís the rundown, let me know what you think. If it seems too ambitious please let me know. Also Iíd love opinions on campsites for Day 2.

Day 1 - Wednesday Leave Waco around 9AM
Campsite:
     -??? Chisos Mountain Lodge is full
Activities:
     -Arrive around 6pm and Sleep
     -Maybe get backcountry permits if still open

Day 2 - Thursday
Campsite:
     -Twisted Shoe or Pine Canyon #5 or Robbers Roost
Activites:
     -Wake up early and go get backcountry permits at Chisos Basin Visitorís center
     -The Window Trail
     -Drive to Pine Canyon #5 or Twisted Shoe or Robbers Roost

Day 3 - Friday
Campsite:
     -Ernst Tinaja
Activities:
     -Black Gap Road and River Road East
     -Hot Springs
     -Fuel at RGV
     -Drive to Camp

Day 4 - Saturday
Campsite:
   -Airbnb in Terlingua
Activities:
   -Drive Scenic Main Roads
   -Santa Elena Canyon
   -Dinner and Fun at Starlight Theatre

I'd really like some guidance on the Day 2 campsites and also the whole day 1 into day 2 process. We were going to stay in the Chisos mountain lodge for that night, but it's all full apparently. Where would be the best place to stay on Wednesday night so that we can get up early on Thursday morning and make it to the visitor's center before the crowds so that we can get the best shot at our campsites?

Thanks in advance!
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

www.txpedition.com

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Offline Mesquito

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2019, 06:05:05 PM »
Mesquito and Txlj - tell me a bit more about Black Gap.  I'm planning to be in BiBE in late February and hoping to be in a Jeep.  If I am, it will be new and while I don't plan to baby it, I don't want pin striping the first month.  I know a bit about Black Gap and the "pinch" and I'm not too worried, planning to take it slow and easy.  I'm a bit more worried about how close to side vegetation is.  Can that be avoided?

The only place I remember any brush is at the Glenn Springs crossing.  There may be other spots but I just donít remember.  I did the Black Gap when my Jeep was brand new and still completely stock.  I had stock 32 off-road tires and no lift. The only thing I did for the trip was to air down and disconnect my sway bar. The sway bar thing is probably the easiest thing you can do to make the trip more enjoyable.  I just Just detactched the connectors and swung them up out the way, holding them in place with zip ties.  Of course if you are going in a Rubicon you can just press a button instead.  I wonít resent it much.

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Online Txlj

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Re: Spring Break Jeep Trip Itinerary Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2019, 02:26:11 AM »
Nothing like custom pinstriping!!

Sent from my SM-N920P using Big Bend Chat mobile app


 


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