Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1

  • 10 Replies
  • 2362 Views
*

Offline alpinerockfiend

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 4
First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« on: March 17, 2016, 11:52:51 AM »
Good day,

Wanted to first say thank you for this board and all of the info that is contained in it.  Reading all of the trip reports, area descriptions, and seeing the pictures has ramped up my stoke for this upcoming trip.  I am still a week out, but am vibrating with excitement to experience this part of the country.

My girlfriend and I will be arriving on 3/26, late afternoon, probably 4-5pm.  I snagged one of the last remaining RGV campground sites, so we plan on sleeping in RGV that evening.  I plan to wake early on Sunday the 27th and go straight to PJ to secure permits for the week.  We are totally flexible for the week, but are generally hoping for something like 2 nights on the MV trail, a night of car camping roadside, then 2 nights in the Chisos.  It sounds like early is the name of the game for the busy season.  I plan on having 4 worksheets filled out with trip plans and alternatives, but have a few questions about the PJ permit process.
     -If PJ opens at 9am, when does the line start forming?  If I show up at 8am will I be in a line?
     -I have been following the El Campo site, and think it is pretty nifty.  Does PJ have wifi, or cell access so I can be checking the El Campo site while in line?  Along those lines, where does cell coverage end when driving in from Marathon? 
     -I am also a little unclear about submitting a worksheet on El Campo.  I thought I read something about the system clearing out at a certain point of the day, so if I submit a worksheet on 3/26, while driving to the park, will it be cleared out on the 27th before I get to PJ? 

Our outdoor experience background includes extensive day hiking and camping, but almost none in the desert.  We normally hike in the Tetons during the summer, I have been doing so since 2000.  Our longest day hike in the Tetons was the 16mi round trip to lake solitude.  Most of our overnight trips together have been in the Mark Twain NF, in our native Missouri.  I am into endurance mountain biking, and have dabbled in UL backpacking practices, mostly applied to bikepacking in MO.   Our plan is to take it slow on the trail, and siesta through the hot part of the day.  I think I have her convinced to cowboy camp on the trail, no tent.  I am looking forward to learning alot, getting some good pictures, and most importantly, not having her say "worst trip ever" on the way home.  So my last question, is this an overly ambitious plan? 

*

Offline mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4378
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 12:29:27 PM »
Welcome to the board alpinerockfiend!

You can get your permits at the RGV visitor center, they open at 8:30 so it will save you the drive back up to PJ if you  want to do MV.  Know that MV will most likely be very hot unless a cool front rolls in so you may want to have a plan B on that on.  There is almost no shade out there (a bit in some side washes and some at the Split rock campsite around the rock).

You should also be after the spring break craziness so getting what you want should be easy, the Chisos campsites will be the hardest.  the El Campo system clears itself at midnight so if you  put a request in on the 26th, it will not be there on the 27th.

I will let others chime in on cell phone service.  Have a great trip and let us know how it went.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline Talusman

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 534
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 01:08:11 PM »
where does cell coverage end when driving in from Marathon? 
     

You can get service while you go through Marathon, but you'll lose it fairly quickly as you leave. Probably won't pick up service again until you arrive at the Panther Junction station. Its sporadic around the park, and I've heard different things from different phone providers. I use AT&T and can get service almost anywhere up high in the Chisos, the Basin Road to the main road, places along the road over to Ross Maxwell. I am not sure about the RGV center. 

You'll get a lot of good feedback from many here on your plans and alternate plans, but welcome to the board and listen to your girl friend while you are here!
"To Think is easy. To Act is difficult. To Act as one Thinks is the most difficult!"

*

Offline Hang10er

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 547
  • "Do what you want before it's too late"
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 01:32:06 PM »
I can help define "sporadic" regarding cell phone service.  We camped at Rice Tank where we had no service.  One morning I walk up the hill behind our campsite just to watch the shadows being pushed across the desert by the rising sun and suddenly I get "bing - bing - bing".  I was just high enough and in the right spot that my cell phone (which was in my pocket out of habit) had reception and was receiving all my text messages from the previous day.

It was similar all over the park, certain hills, certain bends in the road and most of the high points in the Chisos.

The store at RGV has Wi-Fi.

*

Offline Homer Wilson

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 562
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2016, 02:07:54 PM »
Talusman gets service in a lot of places I don't yet we both have at&t. Go figure.

*

Offline Geezer

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 668
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 09:21:30 PM »
Using T-mobile I always get service in the parking lot at Panther Junction. Elsewhere it's sporadic, usually on a high point.

Geezer

*

Offline Flash

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2053
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2016, 09:33:57 PM »
Most surefire way that I have found to get a message to the outside world is email over wi-fi near any one of the visitor centers or gas station/stores.  :great:  Sometimes I can get a text out from the Basin. Phone calls may require the Lion/Bear Country or similar pullout in Green Gulch.  :icon_smile:

*

Offline Geezer

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 668
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2016, 10:25:27 PM »
"2 nights on the MV trail"

I've never done the MV trail, but have read a bunch of trip reports and believe ME is right in saying it will likely be quite hot unless a cold front shows up. Also, I believe it is usually done as an overnighter. Doubt you will find two nights on MV entertaining. For an alternative you could spend a night at one of the Pine Canyon sites and hike to the waterfall. See hike reports this site. Or spend three nights in the Chisos.

Geezer

*

Offline ambersdad

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 364
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 05:31:51 AM »
Two of us did the MV the first part of April 2012 as an overnighter on the river.   It was hot!  It didn't really seem all that hot till we got to the river where there was no breeze. But it was HOT. We stayed in the shade of a tree on the bank all afternoon listening to the river and started our hike back out before daylight with headlamps. 

I noticed the high yesterday at RGV was 92. 

http://raws.wrh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/roman/meso_base.cgi?stn=TS645&unit=0&time=LOCAL
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 05:44:13 AM by ambersdad »
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

*

Offline alpinerockfiend

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 4
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2016, 11:04:29 AM »
Appreciate all of the feedback and comments.  Definitely got the gears turning about some things I had not considered.  From the looks of El Campo, I might have a good shot at securing several nights in the Chisos. 

What ever ends up happening, you can count on me for a trip report.

*

Offline Homer Wilson

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 562
Re: First trip to BIBE 3/26-4/1
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2016, 11:56:52 AM »
What ever ends up happening, you can count on me for a trip report.
We'll be holding you to your word.

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments