Big Bend Chat

Big Bend or Bust! => Suggested Itineraries => Topic started by: steve on March 25, 2008, 08:29:11 AM

Title: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: steve on March 25, 2008, 08:29:11 AM
I will be in BB for 2 weeks in August with my brother. I am looking fo route ideas, safety tips, caching info, etc. For example, to get up to the South Rim, how much should we be caching at LM?

 I have lots of hiking expeience, but mostly in Canada. Last summer I spent 2 weeks in Guadalupe Mountains NP, and had a great time. However, having dug through this forum, I must admit the limits of my wisdom, and so would greatly appreciate yours.

Title: Re: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: jeffblaylock on March 25, 2008, 09:29:23 AM
I have lots of hiking expeience, but mostly in Canada. Last summer I spent 2 weeks in Guadalupe Mountains NP, and had a great time. However, having dug through this forum, I must admit the limits of my wisdom, and so would greatly appreciate yours.

I'm glad you've experienced the desert mountains before, since Big Bend is nothing like what you'd experience in Canada.

August is a very hot month in the desert, with most days easily reaching the 90s if not the 100s. Most of the lower elevation backpacking routes are not recommended. There is very little shade or water in the desert. Some of the shorter hikes are feasible if you get a very early start and get back to your vehicle before the heat of the day. The backroads are usually washboarded from summer rains and very hot and dusty.

Definitely hike Lost Mine, The Window, and the South Rim up in the Chisos Mountains. Shady spots in the lower elevations include Dugout Wells, Cottonwood campground, Rio Grande Village's cottonwoods, and the Nail Ranch.

Drink lots of water. Rest during the heat of the day. Hike in the mornings and evenings. And find or make shade.
Title: Re: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: RichardM on March 25, 2008, 10:17:34 AM
I will be in BB for 2 weeks in August with my brother. I am looking fo route ideas, safety tips, caching info, etc. For example, to get up to the South Rim, how much should we be caching at LM?

Are you planning on hiking to the South Rim from the Outer Mountain Loop or from the Chisos Basin?  The OML can be brutal if not deadly in August, so I'd highly recommend sticking to the higher elevations and hiking to the South Rim from the Basin.  It can be done as a long day hike or overnight without having to cache anything.  It's more enjoyable as an overnight, or better yet a multi-night.  That requires finding and filtering/treating water, so if that's a concern you might just want to do it as a day hike.
Title: Re: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: sleepy on March 25, 2008, 03:05:14 PM
what Richard and Jeff say about the heat is true.  However, it is the rainy season and possibility of awesome rain watching.  Wife and I had a great time in August on the S. Rim two years ago.  Watched storms march across the desert from a 1000 foot perch.  If you get a chance, watch (from a safe distance) a desert flash flood.  The bridge over Tornillo Creek down near Rio Grande Village is a good spot. 

If you set out early for the S. Rim, you can be in shade a good portion of the way.  But, yes, the heat is brutal at lower elevations. 
Title: Re: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: badknees on March 25, 2008, 03:52:06 PM
I agree, stay away from the lower elevations for all but short hikes in the mornings. PDH!

If you're fortuanate and the rain gods are merciful in the earlier part of the summer you may be able to find water in the Chisos at Boot Spring, Boot Canyon or Cattail Canyon.

Summer is surprisingly pleasant in the Chisos but can still be hot in the afternoons.

If there has been rain the Chisos will be lush.
Title: Re: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: The Scorpion on March 25, 2008, 04:04:04 PM
going up laguna meadow is the easy route up, but how much you should cache will depend on how long you will be in the upper chisos trails and where at.

usually 1 gallon of water per person per day is the general rule

James
Title: Re: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: steve of the North on March 25, 2008, 05:49:42 PM
All of this is very helpful. Thanks.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park was hot, so we got up very early each day. After a week, we seemed to adjust to the temperature. However, I have the feeling BB is much hotter, especially at lower elevations.

Where it is in high resolution, google earth allows me to get some idea of the terrain, and look for heatstroke victims. :icon_wink:

Does anyone know what condition the road to the Chimneys West is likely to be in by August?
Title: Re: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: badknees on March 25, 2008, 07:21:27 PM
Does anyone know what condition the road to the Chimneys West is likely to be in by August?

The Maverick Road can be good (but bumpy) and passable with a car, unless it rains, then all bets are off.

Check with rangers before attempting any backcountry roads after rain.
Title: Re: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: BigBendHiker on March 25, 2008, 08:38:54 PM
Agree with the previous posts.  In August, the park will be empty.  We visit BIBE during the sumer and have stayed there in early August.  You will have 800,000 acres to yourself.  However, the desert highs will reach 100 and hiking in those areas could be deadly.   Any hikes in the desert need to be done early morning.  As mentioned, the hikes in the High Chisos will be just fine.  Overall, it is a great time to be there...just have to be aware of the heat issues in the desert areas.

BBH
Title: Re: August 2008 suggestions appreciated
Post by: MarkB on March 25, 2008, 10:31:03 PM
The last time I was in the Bend in August was a few years ago,
and the temp guage I carried showed a temp at
114-116 degrees in the desert. It is a very dry heat, so it can
be somewhat deceiving.  I am sure it gets even warmer at certain times.
Other than very experienced desert hikers, I recommend staying out
of the desert,  at that time of year (other than driving thru)  and enjoy the
cooler Chisos. I also take a five gallon jug of water for my vehicle  (as well as
other supplies)in case of an emergency if needed, or for others (if you are feeling generous)
in addition to your normal daily water supplies for personal use. This was recommended
to me many years ago by one of the park rangers and it has come in
handy on more than one occassion.   :icon_smile: