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Homer Wilson - Fresno Creek - Smoky Creek 3 days/2 nights

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Offline quibs

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Homer Wilson - Fresno Creek - Smoky Creek 3 days/2 nights
« on: December 09, 2018, 07:19:22 PM »
Hey there, first post here!

My girlfriend and I are trying to decide on an itinerary for our trip the last week of December. We thought about doing the OML but ultimately decided it may be a bit much for us (this is her first time backpacking, and I haven't been backpacking since Philmont in high school 8 years ago, though we frequently hike in the Sam Houston National Forest).

Day 1: Park at Homer Wilson, hike east on Dodson all the way to Fresno Creek where we'll camp nearby (from the current and old water reports it looks like that should be flowing when we get there).
Day 2: Hike west on Dodson to the Smoky Creek trail, camp where the trail meets the creek.
Day 3: Hike back to Homer Wilson.

CalTopo here: https://caltopo.com/m/VTR8.

I'm not concerned with the mileage, we're good with distance, and this route I feel takes away the elevation changes that concerned us with the OML.

I've seen a few different posts about the Smoky Creek Trail here-- is it hard to find? I notice CalTopo only has some of the trail on the map builder, while the NPS map shows it connecting down with Mule Ears.

Thoughts? Concerns? Compliments? Jokes?


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Offline elhombre

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Re: Homer Wilson - Fresno Creek - Smoky Creek 3 days/2 nights
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 09:34:08 PM »
You say that mileage is not a problem, but elevation is a problem.  The Dodson is a grind in both respects.  Remember that 2/3 of the people who hike it bail out after doing the Dodson portion at Homer.  I would recommend finding two nights up on the rim somewhere.  The Dodson is not where I would take a first timer unless you are rock solid in your own experience with desert backpacking.  Sure, the 2nd or better yet, 3rd trip out, just not the first.

If you have to get out in the desert, I would start at Mule Ears.  Trail is still very rocky, but the elevation is much less.

The trail intersection with the Dodson and Smokey is obvious with a big metal sign.  Smokey going south is not very obvious at all.  You will need a good map and map skills.
If other countries on the planet want to see America suffer and ultimately destroyed, who are they cheering for right now?  Trump, or the leftist democrats and their media supported hate machine?

Seek out the facts for yourself.  Begin by using Startpage.com,  not google.

May God Bless America!

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Offline dprather

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Re: Homer Wilson - Fresno Creek - Smoky Creek 3 days/2 nights
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 10:11:14 PM »
elhombre - please recommend a good map of Smokey Creek
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline quibs

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Re: Homer Wilson - Fresno Creek - Smoky Creek 3 days/2 nights
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2018, 07:57:08 AM »
You say that mileage is not a problem, but elevation is a problem.  The Dodson is a grind in both respects.  Remember that 2/3 of the people who hike it bail out after doing the Dodson portion at Homer.  I would recommend finding two nights up on the rim somewhere.  The Dodson is not where I would take a first timer unless you are rock solid in your own experience with desert backpacking.  Sure, the 2nd or better yet, 3rd trip out, just not the first.

If you have to get out in the desert, I would start at Mule Ears.  Trail is still very rocky, but the elevation is much less.

The trail intersection with the Dodson and Smokey is obvious with a big metal sign.  Smokey going south is not very obvious at all.  You will need a good map and map skills.

Thanks for the advice. Yeah looking at Dodson again that may be a bit difficult for us. I like the idea of starting at Mule Ears, we've done that trail before as a day hike. I'm good with a map and compass, so maybe finding a loop starting from there is a good idea.

By a couple nights up on the rim, you mean the South Rim area, right? I'm keeping that in mind as an option, but I know the Chisos campsites tend to fill up quickly-- anyone know if the first week of January is as crowded as the week between Christmas and New Years is?

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Homer Wilson - Fresno Creek - Smoky Creek 3 days/2 nights
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2018, 08:15:59 AM »
I haven't bought maps in a long time, or even looked at what they offer now, but I have one I purchased from the PJ visitor's center one time.  It has the Emory Peak quad on it as the center, but is expanded on either side to grab Juniper Canyon drainage on the right, and Mule Ears parking on the left.  It was even plastic.  Short of that, the Emory Peak quad. 

South Rim indeed.  Many schools are out the entire first week of the year, so that is a little different this go around.  Christmas is busy, but if you can get up early, and get to the PJ visitor's center earlier in the day, you have a good chance at a site somewhere in the Chisos complex.  You never really know.  Chisos first option, Mule ears the second.  Packing is the same.
If other countries on the planet want to see America suffer and ultimately destroyed, who are they cheering for right now?  Trump, or the leftist democrats and their media supported hate machine?

Seek out the facts for yourself.  Begin by using Startpage.com,  not google.

May God Bless America!

 


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