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First Time Visit in October with kids

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Offline kelvey7

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First Time Visit in October with kids
« on: July 09, 2018, 08:53:51 PM »
Hi all,

We are planning our first visit in October with our kids (9 and 6 yrs old).  Here's what I have tentatively planned so far.  I'd love advice on things we should definitely see or do, and especially advice on which hikes are must do with kids (since we will have to prioritize our mileage given a 6 yr old who gets whiny after more than 1-1.5 miles at a time).

Day 1 - Drive from Austin, stay in Marathon
Day 2 - North Side of Park, Chisos Basin
   ○ Morning - breakfast in Marathon
   ○ North Side of Park
       Persimmon Gap Visitor Center
       Fossil Discovery Exhibit
       Panther Junction Visitor Center - Panther Path self-guided trail?
   ○ Chisos Basin - Check into Chisos Lodge, Go one hike(s) - Chisos Basin Trail Loop, Grapevine Hills Road/Balanced Rock, or Lost Mine Trail (only hike to Juniper Canyon)?
   ○ Eat dinner at lodge
   ○ Window View Trail to see sunset
Day 3 - Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, Santa Elena Canyon
   ○ Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive - Sam Neil Ranch, Sotol Vista Overlook, maybe one hike?
   ○ Castolon Visitor Center/Historic Area - eat picnic lunch
   ○ Santa Elena Canyon - Hike into the canyon
   ○ Return drive - Ross Maxwell Scenic drive, or Old Maverick Road
   ○ Dinner at lodge
Day 4 - Rio Grande Village, Boquillas del Carmen, Hot Springs
   ○ Eat breakfast at lodge
   ○ Drive to Rio Grande Village, hike Boquillas Canyon?
   ○ Visit Boquillas del Carmen - Eat lunch
   ○ Soak in Hot Springs, and/or Hot Springs Historic Trail
   ○ Drive back
      ○ Stop at Dugout Wells Oasis/Windmill?
   ○ Eat dinner at lodge
Day 5 - Full Day Colorado Canyon River rafting trip, Terlingua
   ○ Eat breakfast at lodge, drive to Terlingua
   ○ Full Day Rafting through Colorado Canyon (7:45am - 4pm), includes lunch
   ○ Explore/Dinner in Terlingua - Starlight Theater Restaurant and Saloon?
   ○ Drive back to lodge
Day 6 - Marfa, Fort Davis, McDonald Observatory
   ○ Eat breakfast at lodge
   ○ Drive to Marfa, Explore Marfa/Chinati
   ○ Drive to Fort Davis, check into hotel, explore Fort Davis
   ○ Eat dinner in Fort Davis - Fort Davis Drug Store and Hotel?
   ○ Star Party at McDonald Observatory
Day 7 - Balmorhea, Drive to Austin
   ○ Breakfast at hotel, check-out of hotel
   ○ Drive to Balmorhea state park to swim (or skip and just drive home)
   ○ Return drive to Austin

Thanks for your advice!



Online Flash

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Re: First Time Visit in October with kids
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2018, 09:01:55 PM »
Hi looks like fun! Couple quick comments: 1) Not likely to be able to eat breakfast at the lodge and start a river trip at 7:45 unless a time warp opens.  Might want to eat in your room. 2) Balmorhea last I heard was closed for repairs. Check the TPWD website for details of reopening date.

- Flash


Online mule ears

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Re: First Time Visit in October with kids
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 05:49:56 AM »
Day 3 on the RMSD walk down to the Wilson ranch house to check it out, the kids will like it.  Also stop at Tuff canyon for at least the overlook or maybe walk down into the canyon.  Also could do the short walk up to the Dorgan house before Santa Elena.

It is a bit longer but spectacular to drive the river road to Presidio and then up to Marfa.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water


Offline Hang10er

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Re: First Time Visit in October with kids
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 08:41:22 AM »

Day 2 - If I was going to do Grapevine Hills (it is neat) I'd knock it out before heading up into the Chisos.  If you skip it, then your other choice, Lost Mine is a really good trail as well.  Panther Path trail is good, especially for the kids.

Day 3 - I agree with Mule Ears on Tuff Canyon.  Short trail and the canyon is nice and shady.  After Santa Elena I'd make a loop and go back via Old Maverick Road.  I really enjoyed imaging what life was like as I walked around Lunas Jackal. 

Also agree on taking the river road when you leave Big Bend.  The views are a nice way to leave the area. 



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