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Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice

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Offline derek8404

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Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« on: March 07, 2017, 01:35:23 PM »
Hey guys, I've been lurking on the forum for a few days now and have been reading and learning a lot! Me and two friends are planning a short trip to the park in April, getting there on Thursday the 27th and heading back to SA on Saturday the 29th. We will be pretty limited on time, as we are constrained to a tight schedule. The plan is to leave San Antonio early on the morning of the 27th and head to the park via I-10; ideally get to a visitor center and checked in by 1400ish at the latest. All we are really looking to do is, some vehicle camping in one of the backcountry primitive sites, drive around a little bit checking things out and go cross the border to Boquillas for lunch our second day.

My tentative plan right now is to drive straight to the Chisos Mountain Lodge, grab some lunch and then head out to find a camping spot. Saturday morning, get up and drive to the port of entry, cross into MX, check out the village for a couple hrs then return to the park and either return to our original camp site or head to a new one.

Some questions I have:

1. Can we check into the park at the Chisos Mountain Lodge, or should we stop at Panther junction on the way?

2. I really don't know where to begin with choosing a camp site. We want one that is as secluded as possible, and that would give us an easy trip to the border crossing. I will be driving in a stock F150 supercrew FX4, so I have the clearance and 4x4, my only concern is I'd really like to get through this trip with my truck being unscathed as it is a brand new truck (so that probably eliminates Black Gap Rd. from what I've read :icon_lol:). How are the sites off Glen Springs Rd., either the pine canyon ones or down towards rice tank?

3. how safe are your vehicles while parked at the Boquillas Port of entry?

Thanks in advance guys. I'm sure I will have plenty more questions to ask before the trip.


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Offline elhombre

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 01:44:57 PM »
With time so short, get Subway at Fort Stockton.  The lodge can and usually is very slow.  You can check in at the ranger station up by the lodge, but if you are going to stay down near the border, get your permit at Panther.  The rangers at the basin are 50/50 if they will even do a permit in the first place. 

Stay in Gravel pit campsite for going to the border.  Your truck is safer at the crossing than at Fort Stockton.

You are required to have a permit if you do any camping in the park.  Camp ground, or roadside campsite, or backpacking.
The older I get, the more I realize what freedom really means.  May God bless America

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 01:47:35 PM »
Assuming there is someone at the entry kiosk, you "check in" to the park as you are entering. If not, and you are coming down 385 from Marathon, you will probably check in and pay your fees at the Persimmon Gap Visitor Center. The Panther Junction VC is conveniently located in the middle of the park, so if Persimmon Gap VC is closed, then it's better to check in at PJ than wait until the Basin.

The Pine Canyon sites would be good for your itinerary, unless you would prefer to stay closer to the river. Your truck should be safe parked at the Port of Entry. Lots of security there. ;)

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Offline derek8404

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 02:04:10 PM »
With time so short, get Subway at Fort Stockton.  The lodge can and usually is very slow.  You can check in at the ranger station up by the lodge, but if you are going to stay down near the border, get your permit at Panther.  The rangers at the basin are 50/50 if they will even do a permit in the first place. 

Stay in Gravel pit campsite for going to the border.  Your truck is safer at the crossing than at Fort Stockton.

You are required to have a permit if you do any camping in the park.  Camp ground, or roadside campsite, or backpacking.

Thank, we will probably just get lunch in Ft Stockton then.

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Offline derek8404

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 02:11:44 PM »
Assuming there is someone at the entry kiosk, you "check in" to the park as you are entering. If not, and you are coming down 385 from Marathon, you will probably check in and pay your fees at the Persimmon Gap Visitor Center. The Panther Junction VC is conveniently located in the middle of the park, so if Persimmon Gap VC is closed, then it's better to check in at PJ than wait until the Basin.

The Pine Canyon sites would be good for your itinerary, unless you would prefer to stay closer to the river. Your truck should be safe parked at the Port of Entry. Lots of security there. ;)

Pine canyon does look to be a good choice, at least from what I can tell on the map. I would prefer not to camp along the river, just seems like the potential to encounter criminals would be higher. Assuming we stayed in Pine Canyon, does traveling south along Glenn Springs Rd. to River Rd East with out beating up my truck too bad sound feasible?


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Offline Jalco

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 06:50:14 PM »
I've camped along the river and didn't experience any difficulties.  The criminal element would have to go considerably out of their way to get to you.

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Offline derek8404

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 07:27:22 PM »
I've camped along the river and didn't experience any difficulties.  The criminal element would have to go considerably out of their way to get to you.

Ok thanks, we'll keep that option open.

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Offline Don H

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017, 09:59:14 AM »
"Assuming we stayed in Pine Canyon, does traveling south along Glenn Springs Rd. to River Rd East with out beating up my truck too bad sound feasible?"
Unless you just want to see the sites along the way on Glenn Springs and River Rd, I'd take the main road to Rio Grande Village.  It's gonna take Quite a bit  longer to travel Glenn Springs and it's kinda rough around the Juniper Canyon turnoff - potential tire problems.
"Rugged isolation in a Jeep with the top down, doors off, sweaty, dusty, listening to your flavor of tunes, immersed in the most beautiful and beguiling desert mountains in all of the Southwest, the Sierra Quemada. Nothing short of spiritual cleansing. " D. Locke

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Offline dprather

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2017, 10:13:02 AM »
I've camped along the river and didn't experience any difficulties.  The criminal element would have to go considerably out of their way to get to you.

We recently spent the night at the "Gravel Pit" campsite - very near the river - and enjoyed it greatly.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline catz

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2017, 10:14:29 AM »
You might want to consider camp sites along Old Ore Road. 
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline bam.bam

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2017, 11:02:11 AM »
The Glenn Spring , Pine Canyon, Rice Tank Robbers Roost campsites are excellent for what you specked out. The drive from this area south (Glenn Springs Rd} to river road is excellent. Beautiful country. You will not bottom out or scratch your truck anywhere on this rd. I just did it last week....no pin striping... I have the Glenn Springs Rd as one of my favorites as far as scenic quality. Walk a 100 yards down Black Gap and see if water is running across the road.  Check in at Persimmon, I found the two  rangers that helped me to be super friendly and they were not backed up with campers, PJ had a  line out the door...

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Offline derek8404

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2017, 12:40:24 PM »
The Glenn Spring , Pine Canyon, Rice Tank Robbers Roost campsites are excellent for what you specked out. The drive from this area south (Glenn Springs Rd} to river road is excellent. Beautiful country. You will not bottom out or scratch your truck anywhere on this rd. I just did it last week....no pin striping... I have the Glenn Springs Rd as one of my favorites as far as scenic quality. Walk a 100 yards down Black Gap and see if water is running across the road.  Check in at Persimmon, I found the two  rangers that helped me to be super friendly and they were not backed up with campers, PJ had a  line out the door...

This is very helpful and exactly the kind of info I am looking for. Pin striping my new truck is definitely a concern. Thank you!

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Offline derek8404

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2017, 12:43:48 PM »
You might want to consider camp sites along Old Ore Road.

Old Ore Rd definitely caught my interest but I am just a little concerned that I could damage something on my truck, or get some "battle scars" on it. Is it a road I could do, in your opinion, and not damage a stock truck? Thanks

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Offline dprather

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2017, 12:48:21 PM »
When I bought my 2015 F-150, I was dogged on here by those who mocked my fear on BIBE pin stripping.  I got over it.  Consider it your BIBE Badge of Courage. 
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline dprather

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Re: Another Big Bend Newbie Requesting Advice
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2017, 12:49:03 PM »
You might want to consider camp sites along Old Ore Road.

Old Ore Rd definitely caught my interest but I am just a little concerned that I could damage something on my truck, or get some "battle scars" on it. Is it a road I could do, in your opinion, and not damage a stock truck? Thanks

I recently did Old Ore Road in my (non-4X4) F-150.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

 


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