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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.

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Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?

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Offline alexanderrey

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Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?
« on: March 13, 2013, 10:09:40 AM »
How does this itinerary look to some of you experienced folk? Is it too ambitious or just about right?

I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!


Thursday (Day 1):

Drive from Austin to Marathon. Stay at Marathon Motel.

Friday (Day 2):

Set up Chisos Basin Campsite.
Do the [Lost Mine Trail]. Maybe [the Window].
Drive out of the park to the McDonald observatory.
Return to Campsite at night for sleep.

Saturday (Day 3):

Pack everything out of Chisos Basin.
Hit the South Rim Via Pinnacles Trail and Boot Canyon Trails.
See [Emory Peak and South Rim].
Set up backcountry campsite nearby.

Sunday Morning (Day 4):

Catch the sunrise.
Pack out of South Rim area.
Hike back to the Chisos Basin.


I'm leaving Sunday night. Not sure if there's much time for anything, but getting out of the South Rim that day.

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Offline Flash

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Re: Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 10:25:36 AM »
It's a long drive from the Basin to McDonald Observatory, whichever way you go, very scenic nonetheless, if done in daylight. The drive back in the dark will take at least 2 hours, if not more. Maybe a night at Davis Mountains State Park would be easier or do the Ft. Davis area on another trip.  :)

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 10:30:24 AM »
Honestly, I would skip going to the observatory. Thats a lot of windshield time (close to 300 miles round trip) that could be used for hiking. :great:

http://goo.gl/maps/SEbmO

It might be better off if you plan your visit to the observatory on the drive in, or the drive out.

you can do both the window and lost mine in the same day plus something else if your up for it. Go do lost mine first in the early morning. get back to camp and rest up/have lunch.
then hit the window trail later. Along the window trail, there is a spur trail called Oak Spring. you can go up to top and look out over the west side of the park for some really good views. its only about 1/4 mile, but it is UP hill.


your south rim trek seems good. just know you have to pass the trail head for emory peak to set up camp somewhere else, then back track to it. Not saying there is anything wrong with that, jusy more of an FYI.
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 10:50:35 AM »
For some people the observatory is a must see; AND, consider this--the VLBA radio telescope is right there as well, off Sproul Road across from Ft. Davis State park's Indian Lodge; on Tuesdays are maintenance days and they do tours up into the telescope; pretty cool. 

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Offline catz

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Re: Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 11:28:46 AM »
You can get to Ft. Davis from Austin just about as fast as getting to Marathon.  Therefore, I would drive to Ft. Davis the first day and visit the observatory that night. Sleep at Ft. Davis lodging (or at the state park lodge). The next day, head for the Chisos, set up camp, and hike one (or maybe both) of the trails you mention.  Then the south rim.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 12:21:56 PM »
forgot to mention, the drive from the observatory down to Ft. Davis is excellent its a good twisty road with some good sights. The drive from Ft. Davis on down to the Park comes and goes as far as the scenery. But is is still a drive worth making.

Another option is staying at the Prude Ranch. Its near Ft. Davis State park.
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline Quixote Kid

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Re: Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 01:41:33 PM »
If you really want to see the observatory, I second the motion to see it first thing on the way down. I think the original adobe rooms at Indian Lodge are just as nice as The Gage.

Occasionally my wife will suggest spending our last night in Big Bend in Marathon. After 7-10 days in the desert, it's a good lead back into 'civilized life' before hitting all the traffic in Austin.

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Offline alexanderrey

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Re: Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 03:07:36 PM »
thanks for the tips.

i think what we'll do is scratch ft. davis from this trip. i'll have to save the observatory for another time, it still is a must see.

hopefully everything else pans out. i've been wondering what the available of backcountry permits in that zone will be like.

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Offline Flash

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Re: Itinerary -- First Timer -- How does this look?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 03:22:02 PM »
i've been wondering what the available of backcountry permits in that zone will be like.
For the High Chisos campsites? Next week, after spring break, should not be a problem. Just have 2 or 3 sites in mind as you go to get your permit.

 


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