Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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April 13-16 Itineraries

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Offline scotmotzny

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April 13-16 Itineraries
« on: February 26, 2012, 06:07:24 PM »
Hi Everyone,
Three friends and I are meeting in San Antonio on the 12th of April and heading to Big Bend. We expect to make it to Terlingua in the late evening on the 12th. We were thinking that we would like to do a river rafting trip on the first day (13th) and then hike on the 14th and 15th.

We are all somewhat experienced hikers and campers and have spent weeks in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota as well as a week in the Canyonland's Maze District in Utah. Now that we all have kids, long weekends are the best we can do.

Can anyone make some suggestions as to a nice two or three day itinerary that would get us some good views and solitude. We will have a high-clearance four wheel drive vehicle and would prefer to set up a camp by the vehicle and then take a couple of day hikes to keep our packs as light as possible during the day.

Thanks in advance for any information and help.

Sincerely,

Scot

PS - I'm also trying to decide if my low cut merrills are good enough or if I need to get some boots with more ankle support.
Scot Motzny

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Offline elhombre

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Re: April 13-16 Itineraries
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 07:26:38 PM »
It's going to be hot out in the low lands of the desert by then.  I would suggest you pack your kids with some water and head up into the Chisos for cooler weather.  Laguna Meadows is ONLY 2.5 hours walking from the trail head.  If you could carry up all your water for that short time, you could use it as a base camp for getting up to the rim as a day hike.  Start working out now and you can make it up to the South west rim in a little over 4 hours. 
If other countries on the planet want to see America suffer and ultimately destroyed, who are they cheering for right now?  Trump, or the leftist democrats and their media supported hate machine?

Seek out the facts for yourself.  Begin by using Startpage.com,  not google.

May God Bless America!

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Offline Al

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Re: April 13-16 Itineraries
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 07:28:48 PM »
If an important part of your car camping experience is remoteness, you might consider camping at Roy's Peak Vista and hiking into Tornillo Creek and Pine Canyon 5 and hiking into Pine Canyon.  Two very different areas but both interesting.  If you don't mind staying in a campground with others then the Basin would be a great way to go with numerous hikes including day hiking up into the high Chisos.  It's a matter of priorities.  You can always stay at a Primitive Site and drive up into the Chisos for your day hike.  It's simply a matter of priorities.

Al

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: April 13-16 Itineraries
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 07:46:38 PM »
Low cut Merrels are fine for any of the trails.  Trail runners work even.

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Offline Geezer

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Re: April 13-16 Itineraries
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2012, 11:08:50 PM »
April may well be hot in the desert. Temperature does vary a lot depending on fronts coming through. You can track weather on the Park's web site. If it's going to be hot, car camping in the basin is a good option. If you drive all the way down to vicinity of Campsite 60 (see map on Park's website) you will be far from the generator zone. From the Basin, lots of great hikes in the Mountains are available. Lost Mine trail is stunningly beautiful, though it may be crowded. You should go up Emory Peak. It's a walk-up except for a small scramble at the end. Also, try the Rim. Both of these are reasonably ambitious, though my 75 year old neighbor has done both with me -- not on the same day. Warning: he's a genetic freak. Water probably won't be available in the mountains, so carry what you will need.

Have fun!

Geezer

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Offline catz

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Re: April 13-16 Itineraries
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 11:25:10 AM »
I agree that it will likely be hot in the desert, doubly so because, with very few exceptions, there is little to no shade down there.  Therefore, I second staying in the Basin and camping/exploring the Chisos.  If backpacking is in your plans, there are some places you can set up camp in the Chisos where it is unlikely you will see anyone.  I'm thinking mainly of the Laguna West (LW) sites, but I'm sure there are others.  As for the desert, some of the shorter hikes are possible, but be sure to start early.  Pine Canyon is one of my favorites and inside the canyon itself there is actually shade.  All the other desert hikes are shadeless but still doable as long as you plan on finishing by noon.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline Homer67

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Re: April 13-16 Itineraries
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 12:23:59 PM »
I have been the past two Aprils...it was warm but not unbearable in the desert.  Compared to the last week of September, it was downright nice. 

If you aren't taking your kids along, hikes in the desert are not out of the question. Marufo Vega was a bit warm last time I did that hike in April. Perhaps a light tarp could be brought along for some makeshift shade, if necessary. But, as always, pack plenty of water. 

Mule Ears Spring (~2 miles in on Mule Ears trail) is very reliable and there are some nice spots to camp just beyond the spring which would allow for some nice day hikes.  One can filter water at the spring and also find a nice cool spot to get out of the heat.

We also hiked Blue Creek, looped in the Chisos and back to our vehicle at the Homer Wilson Ranch Overlook (which is along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive) last April; it was a glorious hike! We had to pack all our water for this one, however.  There may be water in Boot Canyon (tinajas) or at Boot Spring --- I would not count on it!

Here are some pics of these areas:

Mule Ears Spring:

Mule Ears Spring by Superhomer670, on Flickr

Tree at Mule Ears Spring, viewed from east of spring:

Tree at Mule Ears Spring by Superhomer670, on Flickr

Tree at Mule Ears Spring as one hikes in on the trail:

ME Spg Pano (Medium) by Superhomer670, on Flickr

And here is one very nice camp spot just beyond the spring:

Mule Ears Spot Pano (Medium) by Superhomer670, on Flickr

Marufo Vega:

SandiMVPan from 2nd turn in by Superhomer670, on Flickr


Sierra del Carmen El Pico from South Trail by Superhomer670, on Flickr

Blue Creek (which includes Red Rocks Canyon):

1st 2 miles is up a wash! by Superhomer670, on Flickr


In Red Rocks Canyon by Superhomer670, on Flickr


Cave along Blue Creek trail by Superhomer670, on Flickr


Beautiful Woodland along Blue Creek trail by Superhomer670, on Flickr

Here are a couple of views as one climbs out of Blue Creek and into the Chisos:

BC Climb by Superhomer670, on Flickr


View back during climb out of Blue Creek by Superhomer670, on Flickr

These are just a few of my faves! There are many reports on this site of hikes in the Chisos with many great photos!

Have a great adventure!




Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

 


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