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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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Suggested Itinerary for 2 and a half days in BBNP - First Trip

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Offline quinnnicole

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My boyfriend and I will be going to Big Bend for the first time this Monday through Thursday 03/18-03/21. We are staying in Marathon, Texas and will be driving to Big Bend on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday will be spent driving home. We plan to drive straight to Big Bend on Monday and hopefully do a shorter hike that afternoon. We are both not experienced hikers, but we can handle moderate trails. So any recommendations for how we should spend Monday afternoon, Tuesday and Wednesday? Thank you.  :)

P.S On Wednesday we have a Star Party that we are going to at the McDonald Observatory, so we would have to leave Big Bend in enough time to get to there that night.

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Suggested Itinerary for 2 and a half days in BBNP - First Trip
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2019, 06:37:44 PM »
Lost Mine Trail will get you up into the Basin, and good view of Juniper Canyon.  Not as long or as strenuous as hiking out to South Rim, but a good bang for your buck.
A lot of day hikes along Ross Maxwell - Sam Nail Ranch, Burro Mesa Pour-Off, Ward Springs, Homer Wilson ranch house, etc. - culminating in Santa Elena Canyon.  Don't forget to stop for ice cream at Castolon store.
Not as many day hikes on the east side, but Hot Springs trail, and Boquillas canyon are worth a look.

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Offline TexasLC

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Re: Suggested Itinerary for 2 and a half days in BBNP - First Trip
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 07:10:35 PM »
The park has a newspaper "El Paisano" that is available online.  If has recommendations and ideas if you are short on time.  It sounds like you will have Monday afternoon, all day Tuesday and some of Wednesday.  You will be driving quite a bit.  I would try to spend Monday in the Chisos doing the lost mine trail and possibly catching the sunset at the window.  Tuesday you could either hit Santa Elena canyon or another hike of your choice.  Marathon to Santa Elena canyon is probably over 2 hours and the park to the observatory is probably over 100 miles.  Have fun

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Suggested Itinerary for 2 and a half days in BBNP - First Trip
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 09:05:07 PM »
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/news/newspaper.htm

Ditto on Lost Mine Trail on Monday afternoon. Follow up with dinner at the lodge and a stroll on the Window View Trail. Next day hit the park early and drive down Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to Santa Elena Canyon and do the hike. On the way back stop at all of the pullouts and hike whichever ones look interesting (Tuff Canyon, Sotol Vista, Mule Ears, Lower Burro Mesa Pouroff, Chimneys, etc. Grapevine Hills to the Balanced Rock is really cool.

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Offline ghysdulkc

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Re: Suggested Itinerary for 2 and a half days in BBNP - First Trip
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 10:03:47 PM »
Monday afternoon you should do Devils den. Its an amazing little hike with views of a true slot canyon and it is the closest hike worth doing to marathon.
Tuesday I would agree with others and say take the drive to Santa Elena canyon. I would add the cattail canyon falls hike, parking at Sam nail ranch, it is a 6 mile, easy hike. (Cross the road, hike the dirt road for a mile, and then follow the sign at the trail junction another 1/2 mile down the road) With all the rains the falls will be flowing very strongly.
Wednesday I would again agree with others and do the lost mine trail. Best to get there early because the parking lot fills up and it would give you time to enjoy the amazing basin views and maybe lunch at the lodge before heading out for your Wednesday night plans.
This itinerary leaves you with plenty of time each day and showcases some of the best aspects of the desert, the river, and the mountains with easy hikes.
Let us know what yall end up doing!
It's amazing how quickly the human body deteriorates when you sit around indoors.

 


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