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First time trip to BBNP from Houston

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Offline Blueboxfj60

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First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« on: March 16, 2018, 01:20:55 PM »
Hello all,
First time post here.
Me and a few friends (5 adults, 1 toddler) have been planning a 9 day excursion to BBNP for the last year. Below is a very abbreviated schedule of what we plan on seeing/doing. (I have a 12 page document with full details and notes)

We have reserved campsites at all sites that allow it and will be in two 4wd trucks with roof Top Tents.

We leave March 30th but would lobe to get any last min tips or suggestions from the group.


Aprx 1465 miles total --- 190 miles in the park --- 125 off paved roads
Day 1: Houston to Seminole Canyon State Park
Day 2 -3: Check in to Big Bend National park; camp and hike in Chisos Mountain Basin
Day 4: visit Terlingua; camp at Terlingua abajo; Explore Santa Elena Canyon
Day 5: Santa Elena Canyon; River Road West; Camp at Johnson Ranch
Day 6: Travel to Hot springs vis River Road East (51 miles total); Camp at  Gravel Pit or La Clocha
Day 7: Old Ore road to camp at Grapevine Hills
Day 8: Leave Big Bend; Camp at Garner State park
Day 9 Drive home to Conroe Tx

Thanks
Kyle

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Offline Jalco

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 04:05:12 PM »
That is a cool trailer

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Offline Blueboxfj60

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 04:08:04 PM »
That is a cool trailer

Thanks! been building it for the past yer and am pretty proud of it now.
BBNP will be its first big, high mileage, multi day test.

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Offline catz

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 04:12:09 PM »
I notice that your not planning on spending any time in the Chisos Mountains.  Why not?
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline Blueboxfj60

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 04:15:13 PM »
I notice that your not planning on spending any time in the Chisos Mountains.  Why not?

we are, 2 days/2 nights :
Day 2 -3: Check in to Big Bend National park; camp and hike in Chisos Mountain Basin

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Offline RichardM

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2018, 04:17:47 PM »
I notice that your not planning on spending any time in the Chisos Mountains.  Why not?

we are, 2 days/2 nights :
Day 2 -3: Check in to Big Bend National park; camp and hike in Chisos Mountain Basin
Plenty of time to make you want to come back. ;)
I assume you're planning on hiking the Lost Mine Trail and Windows Trail, at a minimum?

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Offline Blueboxfj60

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2018, 04:24:07 PM »
I notice that your not planning on spending any time in the Chisos Mountains.  Why not?

we are, 2 days/2 nights :
Day 2 -3: Check in to Big Bend National park; camp and hike in Chisos Mountain Basin
Plenty of time to make you want to come back. ;)
I assume you're planning on hiking the Lost Mine Trail and Windows Trail, at a minimum?


Yep, with a toddler and a few not so "outdoorsy" friends we will be sticking to shorter hikes this trip.
My wife and i plan to come back by ourselves for some more of the longer hikes and sights.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2018, 04:40:05 PM »
Nice plan, Bluebox. Looks like you've done a great job of accommodating the less adventurous members and a toddler and still seeing a LOT of the park.  My only question: why Grapevine Hills on the final night?  It's a cool area, but a bit out of the way after exiting the Old Ore Road. What's your thinking on that one? Something particular drawing you to it?
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Blueboxfj60

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 04:48:56 PM »
Nice plan, Bluebox. Looks like you've done a great job of accommodating the less adventurous members and a toddler and still seeing a LOT of the park.  My only question: why Grapevine Hills on the final night?  It's a cool area, but a bit out of the way after exiting the Old Ore Road. What's your thinking on that one? Something particular drawing you to it?

Didn't want to leave the park without seeing the balancing rocks. We kind of forgot about it when we started planning and threw it on later in planning.
Additionally when we started planning this trip there was four to five vehicles and it was hard to find Backcountry sites that commented that many trucks. But in the last two months three of the trucks dropped out.

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Offline Mesquito

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 05:08:52 PM »
Id move Grapevine to day 3 or 4.   Then stay at Roys Peak or McKinney on that last night.  The Ore Road will be a lot to tackle with a trailer. 

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2018, 12:19:28 AM »
Nice plan, Bluebox. Looks like you've done a great job of accommodating the less adventurous members and a toddler and still seeing a LOT of the park.  My only question: why Grapevine Hills on the final night?  It's a cool area, but a bit out of the way after exiting the Old Ore Road. What's your thinking on that one? Something particular drawing you to it?

Didn't want to leave the park without seeing the balancing rocks. We kind of forgot about it when we started planning and threw it on later in planning.
Additionally when we started planning this trip there was four to five vehicles and it was hard to find Backcountry sites that commented that many trucks. But in the last two months three of the trucks dropped out.

Makes sense, Bluebox.  But I do agree with Mesquito that driving the OOR with a trailer is going to be a mighty slow and tortuous affair, particularly north of Ernst Tinaja. And Grapevine Hills is a long drive from the northern exit of the Old Ore Road.  You could be getting into camp real, real late that evening. If you're committed to seeing the Grapevine Hills and the Balanced Rocks (a nice landmark, I admit), I think it might be better for you if you could work it as an out-and-back trip at some point earlier in your itinerary.

If it were me, I'd set up my itinerary so that on Day 4, I'd leave the Basin as early as possible, drive to Grapevine Hills, dayhike to the Balanced Rocks, then drive to Terlingua for a late lunch and some folkloric sightseeing, then drive back into the park and slowly down the mind-blowingly beautiful Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to Terlingua Abajo for that night's camp. Depending upon your timing, you might want to stop at the Sotol Overlook for sunset: it's one of the best vantages in the park. I'd save exploring Santa Elena Canyon for the next morning (Day 5) - an hour or two is more than enough time to explore the canyon - and then drive to the Johnson Ranch campsite along the River Road.  Should have no problem reaching Johnson Ranch by dusk, if not sooner. Day 6, I'd keep it just as you've planned it. Day 7, still drive the Old Ore Road, checking out Ernst Tinaja along the way, and maybe the graves at La Noria, but instead of camping that night at Grapevine Hills, I'd take Mesquito's advice and camp at McKinney Springs or Roy's Camp or even at Nine-Point Draw up along the main park road. Morning of Day 8, I'd stop on the way out of the park and dayhike to nearby Dog Canyon (easy short-ish hike, probably do-able by a toddler if it's not too hot and carrying the child is an option if necessary, a beautiful site with mind-blowing geology).  Then return to the vehicles and drive to Garner State Park just as planned.

Just my two cents.......
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 12:24:58 AM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2018, 01:12:50 AM »
 Love the trailer

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Offline elhombre

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2018, 09:18:02 AM »
Too much moving camp around for my taste.  Pick a spot for a few nights on one side of the park and stay for a few days.  Trailer or no trailer, you are going to spend/waste a bunch of time packing up, and unpacking each day. 

You won't have a problem getting sites.  Sure sounds like a bunch of time spent behind the wheel.  I would plan less each day and decide what you want to do each morning so you don't get all in a rush.  It's a big place.
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Offline badknees

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2018, 09:34:28 AM »
Too much moving camp around for my taste.  Pick a spot for a few nights on one side of the park and stay for a few days.  Trailer or no trailer, you are going to spend/waste a bunch of time packing up, and unpacking each day. 

You won't have a problem getting sites.  Sure sounds like a bunch of time spent behind the wheel.  I would plan less each day and decide what you want to do each morning so you don't get all in a rush.  It's a big place.

What elhombre said. Dragging a trailer across the River Road that time of year seems to be a long dusty slog to me.

But to each his own.........
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline Cookie

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Re: First time trip to BBNP from Houston
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2018, 12:33:43 PM »
Too much moving camp around for my taste.  Pick a spot for a few nights on one side of the park and stay for a few days.  Trailer or no trailer, you are going to spend/waste a bunch of time packing up, and unpacking each day. 

You won't have a problem getting sites.  Sure sounds like a bunch of time spent behind the wheel.  I would plan less each day and decide what you want to do each morning so you don't get all in a rush.  It's a big place.



What elhombre said. Dragging a trailer across the River Road that time of year seems to be a long dusty slog to me.

But to each his own.........

Our first few trips to Big Bend we would get a different campsite each night. We thought we could see more if we moved location. What we found was it was better for us to set up a home base (usually at a site off Glenn Springs Rd.) and drive off in different directions each day. It was nice to know we had a relaxing evening ahead and just had to drive up and chill out. 

~Cookie

 


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