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First Time Spring Break-- Day hikes with the family

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Offline freqz

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First Time Spring Break-- Day hikes with the family
« on: January 08, 2016, 10:25:23 AM »
Howdy y'all!  I'm Mark from Dallas and Big Bend has always been a "one of these days" trips for me.  For various reasons it has never happened but I recently informed Mrs. Freqz that we were going to head down there for Spring break with our boys, 12 and 9.

We're not novice hikers but we're hardly advanced, either.  I'm an experienced outdoorsman and grew up on a ranch in North Texas.  We're quite active and in excellent physical condition.

We have a RV site in RGV reserved (I got the last one for the week...nothing left in the basin which would have been my preference but I think this will work out fine) and have rented a pop up trailer to haul that way.  My preference would have been to tent camp but Mrs Freqz is not so inclined...hence why we're day hiking and not backpacking-- she demands a private potty and a bed.

Either way, I have 4 days in the park to fill.  We will arrive Sunday and depart Friday.  We'd like to have time to cook in the evening/afternoon and kick back and chill in camp a bit.  Or hit the exhibits or whatever else is around near pavement.  We don't need to be busy every single daylight hour.

In no particular order, I'm thinking about the the following days:

1) Chimneys trail and Grapevine Hills for a day in the dessert.

2)  Emory Peak.  We've done covered this kind of distance with the boys in the Rocky Mountain NP a few years ago when our youngest was 6 so the distance doesn't bother me much here.  I just have to carry enough water.

3) Mariscal Mine...the kids are suckers for stuff like that and I am too.  Figure this will be an easy day in the middle of the week some time.  Depends on the conditions on the River Road, I guess?  We'll be in my truck (4WD F150) and I'm no stranger to primitive roads growing up on the ranch and working as an ops engineer in the oilfield for the last decade.  Maybe have enough time to head over to Santa Elena for an afternoon stroll into the canyon and head back via the scenic drive?  I dunno.  50+ miles of gravel seems like A LOT.

4)  Lost Mine?  Devils Den?  Window via Oak Springs?  Ore Terminal?  4 days all of a sudden doesn't seem like  very long...

I'd appreciate any feedback...anything I'm missing that is a must do.  Thanks in advance.


Offline catz

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Re: First Time Spring Break-- Day hikes with the family
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 11:10:02 AM »
These are all excellent choices.  You have to allow at least half of one day to drive the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.   Along that drive, besides Chimneys,  you should check out Cattail Falls at the Upper end and Santa Elena Canyon at the lower end.

Personally, I would hike Lost Mine over Emory Peak.   Maybe combine that hike with the Window Trail, including the side trail to the top of Oak Creek. 

Wake me when it's time to go.



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