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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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Marufo Vega-one day or two?

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Offline chris

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Marufo Vega-one day or two?
« on: January 06, 2009, 09:25:48 AM »
Hi all, I joined this forum this morning after browsing its contents for a few weeks at work and have found a great deal of helpful info.  I have been to BIBE four times that I can recall from the age of 10 until the present (being 22 as of now) and the most recent was during spring break 2008 in which I was accompanied by 3 friends (posthumous trip report perhaps?) and was the first trip I had planned on my own (i.e. not being planned by or traveled with my dad).  I had been planning another spring break trip assuming I can get off work again but realized this weekend that I have MLK Jr. day off and am not working Saturday the beforehand so I decided I might as well head out west before it's too hot and hit some desert hikes that I haven't done before.

I have an '03 Volkswagen Eurovan that was able to do the Maverick Road on the westside of the park with no issues but I'm kind of hesitant to do a ton of offroading like River Road so I'm kind of limited as far as true desert backcountry hikes at this point I think.  At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I am in pretty good physical shape as I get in about 10 hours a week on my bicycle training for racing season in addition to other weight and cross training I do weekly and had no problem doing the South Rim hike in one day last March.  We also did the Boquillas and Santa Elena Canyons that I'd done previously on another day that trip so I'm leaning toward desert hikes before it gets too hot.

I am heading out again next week with a few friends who are all in decent enough shape as well and was wondering if hiking the entire Marufo Vega trail in one day was a bit overambitious; one friend who will be going has never been to BIBE and I don't want to totally ruin the park's image in his mind, but...I'd love to do the hike myself personally  :icon_biggrin: We will have limited time as we're leaving at daybreak Saturday and heading back to central Texas on Monday morning.  Given the limited time, I was wondering if anyone here would advise trying to cram in the entire hike on Sunday or would acknowledge that this is a potentially terrible idea as I understand it can be quite difficult terrain wise and it's not as well traveled as other trails like on the South Rim.  I suppose I can always do the hike when I have more time rather than rush it, after all it's not going anywhere.

I'm still weighing the options right now and would appreciate any input; otherwise we may do a shorter hike Saturday afternoon after we arrive (something like Lost Mine, the Window etc) and then the Old Ore Terminal or something shorter but still desert based on Sunday as a more rational alternative.  Thanks!!

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Marufo Vega-one day or two?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 09:56:11 AM »
Given the amount of daylight you have to work with, I'd say that doing MV as a dayhike is too ambitious. The terrain is more taxing than it appears.

Personally, I would hike the south fork, drop my packs at the Split Rock campsite on the rim, then hike down to the river, explore, and return to the campsite on Day 1. Watch the sunrise, then hike out Day 2. The north fork is challenging and largely view-less -- it occupies a narrow, steep-sided canyon with some pretty wicked drops in elevation.

Some folks feel compelled to do the "whole" trail, so if you are one of those, I'd recommend going down the north fork and going up the south fork, camping at the river.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline westtex

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Re: Marufo Vega-one day or two?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 10:23:31 AM »
If you are in good shape, Marufa Vega in a day is not a problem.  But, it is up to you to define "good shape." 

Also, if you spend the night out there you can catch some great sunset views. 

Either way, you can't go wrong. 
resist much, obey little

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Offline slsutton

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Re: Marufo Vega-one day or two?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2009, 12:36:18 PM »
I don't think you would enjoy all it has to offer in one day, not to mention how you might feel due to all the energy it would require.

i did half of it in two and still felt a little rushed, but two was great for what i saw.  if anything, make it down to the river down the south fork.  and of course back up :icon_smile:

 


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