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BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit

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Offline NudeLobster

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BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« on: August 04, 2017, 03:51:17 PM »
Hey guys!

First off, Hey! my name is Justin and I am planning a trip for labor day weekend for myself and 2-3 other friends for one of their 30th birthdays. We will all be in seperate vehicles- Lexus GX470, Jeep LJ, and Chevy Colorado ZR2. All wearing ATs or MT's, everyone has high lifts, we will have an air compressor for airing up/down, the Jeep has a winch, we have traction boards, etc.

I am looking to keep our days packed full of wheeling, *some* worthy hiking, and camping. We will be meeting at the Fort Leaton office for our camping license and then starting our trip West ot East. Where I need help is where to plan our day breaks/camp sites, mostly. I'm going to list my idea of order and my ballpark day breaks/camps. Please correct me if there are better camp sites or ordering! I am totally guessing in the dark on timeframes of each trail/travel.

Starting from Fort Leaton:

Friday
Cienega Mountains
  • West Casa piedra trailhead up Alamito Creek.
  • Cat and/or Chupedero Springs  (worth it or skip?)
  • Around Cienega Creek Loop (CW or CCW?)
  • Across to Papalote de La sierra
  • Down to Casa Ramon
  • South to East Casa Piedra Trailhead
  • Take 169 to Main road into SP
  • Break South at Agua Adentro Pens
  • Camp at Rancherias

Saturday
  • across Javelin Trail
  • Up to Main Road and head East to Solitario

Solitario
  • McGuirks Loop, West to East
  • Road to nowhere
  • uranium/Molybdenum Mines
  • Los Almos loop, East to West
  • Head due west on Main road
  • Camp at Los Ojitos

Sunday (BBNP)
  • Drive from Los Ojitos to BPNP via 170
  • Panther Junction to pick up our camping license
  • The Window foot hike
  • Head SW to pick up River Road West
  • Across River Road, West to East
  • Up Black Gap road
  • Down River Road East from Black Gap
  • Hot Springs around sunset Sunday Night *schedule pivots around this*
  • camp near hotsprings (campsite suggestions?)

Monday Morning
  • Up Old Ore road  to Persimmon Gap
  • Depart to Tucson/ San Antonio


So, do yall have any changes you would make for better time spent or better trails/views/campsites to be experienced? Any foot hikes along/near any of these trails that are worth the stop? I'll keep updating this itenery as changes are suggested/made.

Pic for attention :)


Thanks in advance,
Justin
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 11:49:21 PM by NudeLobster »

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Offline Txlj

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2017, 09:03:49 AM »
Try the state park. Miles and miles of "roads".

Sent from flat land


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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 01:09:34 PM »
Hey guys!

First off, Hey! my name is Justin and I am planning a trip for labor day weekend for myself and 2-3 other friends for one of their 30th birthdays. We will all be in seperate vehicles- Lexus GX470, Jeep LJ, and Chevy Colorado ZR2. All wearing ATs or MT's, everyone has high lifts, we will have an air compressor for airing up/down, the Jeep has a winch, we have traction boards, etc.

I am looking to keep our days packed full of wheeling, *some* worthy hiking, and camping. We will be meeting at the Fort Leaton office for our camping license and then starting our trip West ot East. Where I need help is where to plan our day breaks/camp sites, mostly. I'm going to list my idea of order and my ballpark day breaks/camps. Please correct me if there are better camp sites or ordering! I am totally guessing in the dark on timeframes of each trail/travel.

Starting from Fort Leaton:

Friday
Cienega Mountains
  • West Casa piedra trailhead up Alamito Creek.
  • Cat and/or Chupedero Springs  (worth it or skip?)
  • Around Cienega Creek Loop (CW or CCW?)
  • Across to Papalote de La sierra
  • Down to Casa Ramon
From there, is the wheeling worth going back up to papalote De la Sierra from Casa Ramon or going West back toward the springs? Or should we just head south the the East trail head?
Then toward:

Bofecillos Mountains
  • Agua adentro Pens to Rancherias
  • Rancherias across Javelin Trail
*HOLE IN ITENERY* Continue East toward Mexicano Falls Trail for hiking, or elect to skip and head North to head to Solitario?

Solitario
  • Los Almos loop
  • McGuirks Loop
  • uranium/Molybdenum Mines
  • Road to nowhere
  • Lower Shut up trail
  • Camp somewhere in Solitario or further west in the camp to decrease our travel to BBNP on Sunday Morning

Sunday (BBNP)
  • Through Terlingua ghost town
  • Panther Junction to pick up our camping license
  • The Window hike
  • SW to pick up River Road West
  • Across River Road
  • Up Black Gap road
  • Down River Road East
  • Hot Springs around sunset Sunday Night *schedule pivots around this*
  • camp near hotsprings (suggestions?)

Monday Morning
  • Up Old Ore road  to Persimmon Gap
  • Depart to Tucson/ San Antonio


SO, as stated, my main holes/questions are where to break the day Friday/Saturday and where to camp? Do yall have any changes you would make for better time spent or better trails/views/campsites to be experienced? Any foot hikes along/near any of these trails that are worth the stop? I'll keep updating this itenery as changes are suggested/made.

Pic for attention :)


Thanks in advance,
Justin
What a fantastic trip you've got planned!
I have yet to make it to the Cienega mountains.  My last trip we went into the park to Solitario and worked our way west.  We cut the trip short due to inclement weather.
Cienega mountain area is the most remote part of the park. Based on your photos and equipment list, I presume y'all are wheelers.
Casa Ramon is supposed to be a good group campsite.
Tres Papalotes is also a great campsite in the Solitario.  We stayed at Mexicano 2, south of the Ranger Station and really liked that spot.
4x4 Trails to consider in the State Park: all around the Cienega Mountains,  Botella Trail (Didn't get the chance to do those two, but they are supposed to be rugged)
Paseo Al Solitario I've done, it is rugged - medium.
Javelin trail is easy, but fun, as is the Road to Nowhere.
The mines are easy trails up in the rigs, but be aware there isn't much room at the top for 3 rigs.  Turning around on the Uranium mine was a little tricky and we almost lost a Jeep due to error and loose dirt at the top of the trail.
Black Gap Road is a fun trail.  Take it North to South and then head toward the Mine to explore.
I haven't been on Old Ore Rd myself, but hear it's very doable, just a half day trip.

I'm hoping to hit Casa Ramon and that whole area this year the day after Xmas.
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

www.txpedition.com

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 01:16:10 PM »
Here's some long videos of my last trip:
Paseo Al Solitario is north of the Solitario off of the main road.  It wasn't very well traveled, so there are some rough spots.  As of now, it is my favorite trail in the park.


Javelin trail is an easy, fun trail. We took it east to west, from the Javelin Pens toward the Oso Loop.


I strapped the gopro to my rig to give folks an idea of what to expect and also to re-live the trails now and again.  Be warned, they are about an hour each.
Feel free to email me at BlindWilly  at G Mail dot com  if I can help in any way.
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

www.txpedition.com

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 02:25:45 PM »
I am guessing that trip itinerary is more of a menu? I certainly would not try to do everything that you have lined out for BBRSP all in one day. Realistically, any ONE of those sub-headings could take all day at BBRSP. Also, if you plan to go into the Cienegas, make sure and bring loppers and a saw to cut the brush that has narrowed this road to a trail.
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline halljf

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 06:31:38 PM »
Itinerary


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Offline halljf

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 06:34:06 PM »
Take Tim's advice.  If you try to cover all that ground you will probably live to regret it in regard to maintaining the integrity of the underside of your vehicles.


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Offline presidio

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 12:01:05 AM »
Also, if you plan to go into the Cienegas, make sure and bring loppers and a saw to cut the brush that has narrowed this road to a trail.

Imagine the NPS reaction if that was tried at Big Bend. :icon_eek:

You sure wouldn't be told to do such a thing by the overlords of numerous prohibitions.  :eusa_naughty:

Anybody want to guess how many tickets would result?
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 09:15:57 AM »
I am guessing that trip itinerary is more of a menu? I certainly would not try to do everything that you have lined out for BBRSP all in one day. Realistically, any ONE of those sub-headings could take all day at BBRSP. Also, if you plan to go into the Cienegas, make sure and bring loppers and a saw to cut the brush that has narrowed this road to a trail.
That's good to know for those trails.  I'll have to add them to my equipment list.
I was looking at a folding saw just last weekend actually.

"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

www.txpedition.com

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 09:23:21 AM »
I'm with Tim, that's a pretty ambitious itinerary.
Cienega, by the looks of it, is pretty much an all day trip.
Just getting from the entrance of the park to Tres Papalotes takes quite a few hours. 
And don't speed trying to get where you're going via the main roads.   8)
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

www.txpedition.com

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Offline NudeLobster

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2017, 03:38:39 PM »
I am guessing that trip itinerary is more of a menu? I certainly would not try to do everything that you have lined out for BBRSP all in one day. Realistically, any ONE of those sub-headings could take all day at BBRSP. Also, if you plan to go into the Cienegas, make sure and bring loppers and a saw to cut the brush that has narrowed this road to a trail.

I know I have everything for BBRSP listed under one day- Friday, but I don't have anything listed under Saturday. I was hoping to hit all the BBRSP areas I listed across Friday and Saturday, I just don't know how/where to break it up. I was thinking Cienegas Friday for the meat of Friday, Solitario for the meat of Saturday, and Bofecillos spanning between those two to help keep us busy on the the way to Solitario from Cienegas. I am just unsure where is a good break point to camp for Friday night- both time and location wise. That's where I was hoping to get some help from y'all with experience.

I wasn't sure if Cienegas would be a true full day and to camp up there Friday night, or if we should try and make our move East Friday evening and camp somewhere like Rancherias then start Saturday morning with Javelin trail due East? Or do y'all think we could manage Ciengas Friday morning/afternoon, shoot South/East down toward Javelin trail, hit Javelin trail eastward around evening/sunset and set up camp somewhere just east of Javelin, such as Mexicano 2? I'm willing to make changes, additions, or removal of plans to accomadate ending days at specific campsites if there are certain campsites that are must-do's over all others...

I'm kinda mentally envisioning the days to a 6-7am start, breakfast and pack up, ~12-13 hrs trails/travels with a stop for lunch in between, and 6-8pm-ish camp set up and dinner. Obviously this is flexible to make it to specific campsites at the end of the day.

I've reorderd the Salitario leg in my original post to help shorten the trip from salitario to the NP a touch, please review! I have us camping at Los Almos but do y'all think we'd have time to drive the 1-1.5hrs west on main road after Los Almos loop and camp somewhere closer to the park enterance in order to reduce our drive to the NP on Sunday morning? If so, what would be a good, scenic, quiet campsite on the West side?

@BlindWilly, did you see the Los Almos campsite when you did Paso Al Salitario? (also, is the Los Almos loop and paso Al Salitario loop one in the same? I see Paso Al Salitario campground as part of what's labeled as Los Almos loop..) Wondering if It's worth it to stop there or if I should reorder to try and camp somewhere else.

I've been pulling all my mapping and info from the Texas Park and Wildlife 'Roads to Nowhere' document but that is pretty vague on timeframes so I'm kind of in the dark as I plan the SP. The NPS webiste is a bit more informational with time budgeting so I'm pretty confident/comfortable with the NP leg.

With that said, some experience may be nice to help point us toward a preferrable campsite near the spring in the NP for Sunday night, as well  :eusa_pray:

Thanks so much to all of you for the help and input!

-Justin
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 04:06:48 PM by NudeLobster »

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 09:59:41 AM »
Have to read the Roads to Nowhere yet? It may be useful in clearing up some questions that you have. Also, the Campsites of Big Bend Ranch is a useful companion to the map in terms of describing exactly what to expect at the campsites.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_p4501_0152k.pdf

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_p4501_2059.pdf
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 01:45:55 PM »
@NudeLobster I did not see that campsite. We went south to north up to the Los Alamos residence, then straight to the main road.
My group at the time was ready to hit the ranger station, grab a late lunch and head toward our next campsite, which was Mexicano #2.

I've found out that a week long trip to the area still doesn't give you enough time to do everything.
Last time didn't give me time for Cienegas & Casa Ramon, so I'll do that.  I also want to explore Pinto Canyon Road.
Another place I want to visit is Black Gap WMA. If I have time, I might add that into the next trip or make it a trip all on it's own.
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

www.txpedition.com

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Offline NudeLobster

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 10:46:58 PM »
Have to read the Roads to Nowhere yet? It may be useful in clearing up some questions that you have. Also, the Campsites of Big Bend Ranch is a useful companion to the map in terms of describing exactly what to expect at the campsites.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_p4501_0152k.pdf

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_p4501_2059.pdf

I have read Roads to Nowhere, which is what I used to help work on the SP portion of this itenerary :) Like I mentioned in my last post, it's not nearly as telling about time frame/scale of the roads as compared to the NPS website for the NP portion, which is really what I'm needing the help with. If I have a ball park of what each trail/loop requires in terms of time, I would be pretty darn well off to finalize the itenerary   :steeringwheel:

I have not seen the campgrounds booklet, that should be a great help! Thanks!

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Offline NudeLobster

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Re: BBRSP and BBNP 3 night 4x4 Adventure; First visit
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2017, 12:36:49 AM »
After reading the campgrounds booklet, I've chosen some campsites for each nite in the State Park. Can Y'all run through that latest itenerary and tell me if everything seems feasible in terms of time budget per day, assuming roughly 12 hours of travel each day with a lunch in the middle?

The only major hole I have if everything up there checks out is which campsite to use Sunday night near the hot springs in the NP?

And lastly, any glaring must-does or must-sees along the itenerary that we should plan to accommodate? Such as foot hikes, specific scenic spots to stop for lunch, etc?

Thank's so much for the help and input!
Justin

 


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