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Guesses on BBNP at end of January?

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Offline Gearhead Jim

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Guesses on BBNP at end of January?
« on: January 06, 2019, 08:59:23 PM »
The last ten days of this month (January 2019) we'll be driving from Chicago area to Phoenix, with a planned stop in BBNP.
Our plan is-
1-28:  Arrive Marathon (have reservation at The Gage).
1-29:  Drive to BBNP, check in at Chisos Mtn Lodge (have reservation), drive to/from Rio Grande Village, dinner and night at Lodge.
1-30:  Check out, drive to Santa Elena Cyn overlook, backtrack and drive to Terlingua/Lajitas/Presidio/Marfa.  Overnight at Hotel Paisano (have reservation).
1-31, etc:  Continue toward Phoenix.

We don't have a 4x4, just a rear-wheel-drive car with all season tires; if there was snow/ice then we might not be able to get up some of the steep grades.  Just hoping that doesn't happen.
Our schedule doesn't leave much time for hiking, but in the chilly weather our time in the open may be limited anyway.
I understand that the gas stations in the park are still operating and expected to continue.

The bigger question is how the govt shutdown will affect the park if it's still going on.    So far, the places we plan to go and things we plan to do are mostly unaffected except for the Visitor Centers.  But after a month of shutdown, things could go seriously downhill or the park might be closed completely.

Suggestions or predictions?
Thanks.

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Guesses on BBNP at end of January?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 10:31:31 PM »
You've done some pretty extensive research and are hitting the highlights.  At the Gage, I prefer Los Portales rooms, but make sure to get a room away from the highway.  The train rolls through  just across the highway several times during the night.  You'll hear 'em without earplugs.

The drive across the park is deceivingly slow due to the low speed limits.  Those speed limits are enforced.  You'll be doing a lot of driving.  To break it up some, I'd skip the drive to the Rio Grande Village in lieu of a hike on the Lost Mine Trail, which is in the Basin area. It's not rugged at all. You don't have to go all the way to get some nice views.  If you want something longer, try the Windows trail.

The Ross Maxwell highway to Santa Elena Canyon is the crown jewel of drives in the Park in my book.  Again, it takes longer than you'd think. It's rare that the park gets ice, but it could happen.  The steepest grades will be climbing up to the Basin, but you'll be going slow with switchbacks.

Your guess is as good as mine about the shutdown.  The Santa Elena Canyon trail is currently closed though.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline Gearhead Jim

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Re: Guesses on BBNP at end of January?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 04:18:47 PM »
Thanks for the comments.
Our rooms at the Gage are away from the street, thankfully.

BTW, I'm not sure I put this thread in the proper section of the Forum.
Should it be moved to get more replies?
If so, who can do that?

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Guesses on BBNP at end of January?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 05:55:47 PM »
Thanks for the comments.
Our rooms at the Gage are away from the street, thankfully.

BTW, I'm not sure I put this thread in the proper section of the Forum.
Should it be moved to get more replies?
If so, who can do that?
That'd be me. :ranger:
Of course, this won't guarantee any more replies. ;)

I concur with skipping the drive to RGV, as it doesn't look like you'll have enough time. Better to make lots of short stops along Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.

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Offline Gearhead Jim

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Re: Guesses on BBNP at end of January?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 08:07:55 PM »
Thanks, please move.

 


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