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Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers

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Offline Imre

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2016, 05:08:56 PM »
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Personally, I think the view from the South Rim is better than from Emory.

I think the peak is overrated. I'd much rather go to the South Rim. 

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As scrambles go, it is really not that hard.

Thirty years ago it wasn't that difficult for me either. Today I don't know whether I am limber enough.  :(

-Imre
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 06:21:57 PM by Imre »
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
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Offline RichardM

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2016, 09:22:08 PM »
You can get to the base of the peak itself and decide then, of course.  While steep, the trail to that point is not otherwise that difficult (or scary).   It is only the last 20-30 feet or so where scrambling is required to get to the very tip top.  As scrambles go, it is really not that hard.  Going down a scramble is always more difficult that going up.  The very top is a little dicey because there's not much room up there and it's a long way down.

Personally, I think the view from the South Rim is better than from Emory.
Ditto on the view being better from the Rim.

The new re-routed trail is great, but not necessarily much smother than the old one.


The other time I climbed Emory Peak, with my Dad in 1994, I found what was then an easy scramble to the top by going around to the right. Maybe it was the 19 years, 30+ more pounds, or the recent hernia surgery (or probably all 3), but this time was definitely not easy. Jennifer was a trooper and quickly overcame her fears and followed Susan up to the top.


...

Since I neglected to take any pics of the face of the summit before we climbed up, here's the view looking down from the top.


Here's a good way to see what it's like up there.
http://virtualbigbend.com/big-bend-virtual-tour/#/Emory-Peak/
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 02:42:27 PM by RichardM »

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2016, 10:08:06 PM »
My neighbor summited Emory when he was 80. Richard's photo, otherwise admirable, makes the scramble look a lot steeper than it really is.

There are two peaks. The one on the right (viewed from upper portion of trail) is the highest by a few feet. It has some aerials on top.

Go for it!

You won't be sorry.

Geezer

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Offline billh

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2016, 05:34:39 PM »
I echo much of the above. I'd reiterate:
South Rim/must do
Lost Mine Trail, good hike, best bang for the buck
Cat tail falls, SPECIAL place. Columbines and Maples in the same canyon.

I love Santa Elena Canyon, often combined Cat Tail and that in a day.

I'd recommend one non mountain hike is good: Mule Ears is Great, 5 mile RT, nice reliable Spring

oh, and did anyone mention the HOT SPRINGS? Worth doing as is a trip across to Boquillas.

ENJOY. you will, i know.

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Offline Flash

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2016, 07:00:38 PM »
All the suggestion are good. Agree on the Mules Ears Spring trail. Another similar in length and very interesting if you like volcanic geology is the Ward Spring trail. Timing is important for Santa Elena Canyon with morning or evening being the best times, avoiding the oven-like cooker inside the canyon during the heat of the day (noon to 5 pm).

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Offline CDNJehn

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2016, 06:55:36 AM »
Wow, thanks everyone for the input!  I've done some research on Cattail Falls (no wonder it wasn't on my list!) and found how to get to the trailhead.  How far is this hike, roundtrip? 

re: Emory Peak - your posts and pictures are awesome!  We watched some online videos as well.  I think we'll just see how the day goes.  If we're feeling up to it after the south rim hike we'll give it a go.  I know hubby would just absolutely love it ... even if I just stay at the base (though I'll still be a nervous wreck with him up there).  Is the trail up to Emory Peak 1.2-ish miles each way? 

So perhaps our first day still starts at Santa Elena Canyon (@Flash - we'll be there first thing in the morning) and then on to Cattail Falls or Ward Spring, with a peek at Mule Ears and Tuff Canyon.  Up to check-in at the lodge and then do Lost Mine Trail.  Grapevine Hills if we have ANY energy left.  Second day stays South Rim via Laguna Meadows with Emory Peak a possibility. 

We are early risers (we get up at 5am for work) and that doesn't normally change on vacation.  So I'm hoping that on both days we can be up and out early in the day.  Not hoping ... we will.  ;) 

oh, and did anyone mention the HOT SPRINGS? Worth doing as is a trip across to Boquillas.
Unfortunately we only have two days in the park and I don't think we'll make it to that side of the park.  We'd have to cut a significant part of the other two days to make the trip to Boquillas.  It was something we really wanted to do, but I'm just not sure I want to cut day one in favour of that.  :(

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Offline billh

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2016, 03:23:04 PM »
Great itinerary. I would give Mule Ears the edge over Ward. It's a nice hike, NO shade, so be prepared. Cattail is about a 2 mile round trip, pretty easy hike. The last time I drove it the road was rough, but we took it slow in our Honda CRV. It is worth doing though. I agree about doing more on West side, and leaving the hot springs for when you return, and YOU will return. I predict you will be as hooked as all of us.

I've been hiking there since I was in my 20's, multiple camping trips with my babies (now 25 and 28), many great memories, and we'll be back.

Enjoy. Oh, and I imagine you'll go through Marathon, which now has a nice coffee shop for lunch. James eVans photo gallery is worth a visit if you have time.

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Offline Demon Deacon

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2016, 03:36:56 PM »
Cattail was slightly over 3 miles roundtrip from the parking lot if my recorded GPS track was accurate.  We took our time at the falls and made various stops for pictures along the way and did it in just about an hour and 45 minutes.  It's well worth it in my opinion.

I haven't followed all of the discussion here, but if you are talking about doing the South Rim on day two, then I'd skip Lost Mine the day before and get a view of something different, like Grapevine Hills as you said.  Or skip both and check out the Hot Springs area on the other side of the park.  I know you feel like you don't have time, but it doesn't really take that long to get over there from the basin, and you don't have to make the crossing at Boquillas to make that side of the park worth it.  The short hike to Boquillas Canyon is nice as well.

And welcome by the way! I'm certain you'll love it.

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Offline jake.the.snake

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2016, 11:39:35 PM »
When my girlfriend and I went, I was the same way in trying to fit in as much as I possibly could. We got a lot done, but not nearly as much as I had hoped, as when we got to several spots we just had to sit and eat lunch and enjoy the beauty of everything around us. Trust me after your first trip, you will be wanting to plan your second one, as the Beautiful BiBe will knock you off of your feet.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat mobile app
"We don't follow no crowd, it follows us."

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Offline jake.the.snake

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2016, 11:46:21 PM »
Boquillas canyon, cattail falls, lost mine, and the hot springs on a chilly night are all some pretty special things. I had picked a couple desert, a couple mountain, and a couple river hikes to experience some of the diversity the Bend has to offer.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat mobile app
"We don't follow no crowd, it follows us."

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Offline CDNJehn

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2016, 11:09:14 AM »
Gosh, you guys aren't making this any easier. ;)


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat mobile app

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Offline catz

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Big Bend 1st Timers
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2016, 10:45:53 AM »
With only a couple of days in the park, your plan to hike the Rim one day and then go along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive down to Santa Elena is a good one.  There's a whole lot else to see and do but this is an excellent choice.
Wake me when it's time to go.

 


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