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october trip

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Offline jim2

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october trip
« on: July 07, 2006, 04:18:57 PM »
i'm planning a solo trip to b.b. this october. this will be my first solo trip and my first truck camping trip .all of my prior trips have been family trips and we stayed in the basin or at the b.b.motor lodge. thanks to  the members of this board i have a pretty good idea of where i wan't to camp. pine canyon 4 at least one night, maybe two ,paint gap 5 ,chimmeys west  . considering one night on the old ore road , but i want to avoid( the swicthback ) .is ersnt tinaja 1 south of the swicthback ? i drive a two wheel drive ranger ,not looking to do any thing wild.   i have not done much hiking on the east side ,alto relax sounds interesting. anyone been there? our prior trips have very planned ,so we can see and do as much as possible . this trip i just want wake up in big bend and do whatever i feel like doing .  are the only showers at rio grande village ? i'm hoping to have five days in the park ! i think i've read every post and looked at every picture on this board . you guys are great  ,coming to this board can really change my day .thanks . can you believe some people think my obsession in big bend is weird ? any advice is welcome .

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Offline Roy

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october trip
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2006, 04:48:17 PM »
Ernst Tinaja is north of the switchback,  but don't let that stop you.  I've only seen it impassable once, and that had to do with a very heavy rain event and the design of the road bed.  Check with the Rangers when you get to the Park;  your vehicle should do fine on the Old Ore Road 99% of the time.

There are no trails up Alto Relex;  the Telephone Canyon Trail crosses over to the east of it, and I know some people have scaled it from that side, but it's basically rock scrambling.  The trailhead leads from the Telephone Canyon drive in campsite which is on a side road off of the Old Ore Road.

Regarding PG 5;  there are only 4 sites along Paint Gap Road;  PG 4 is located near Dripping Springs, the northern end of the road.

Try this link for more info, and pick up a copy of the Road Guide to Backcountry dirt roads of the Big Bend; you can get this online from several places.

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/backcountry/bccamps/roadsides/roadsidecamps.htm

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Offline Picacho

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october trip
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2006, 09:17:14 PM »
Well if you really want to get off the beaten path, I have a suggestion.  This one will have no trails and will require some stout bushwhacking, including a little climbing.  Otherwise it is fun and seldom visted but will have tremendous views.  Try this.  Pine Canyon 4 will be the perfect location to start this climb.  You can also from the same location try this.

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Ray52

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october trip
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2006, 09:17:56 PM »
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/index.php?topic=886.0

Jim, I asked a very similar question a few weeks ago to help me plan my next (2nd ever) trip and the response was tremendous.  I think you'll find it helpful in planning your trip too.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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october trip
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2006, 09:59:57 PM »
Your 2WD Ranger should be just fine on the Old Ore Road or River Road but not a good idea on Black Gap.  I always bring along a long rope and old shovel just in case but so far have never had to use either.

My opinion is that the Old Ore Road is more scenic and has better sidetrips than the River Road or Pine Canyon and walking out of sight of your truck solo near the River is a little creepy.  If you do the Old Ore Road you can do some short (1-2 hour) sidetrips up the Telephone Canyon Trail to the old damsite or backside of Alto Relex or you can stop at Roy's Peak Vista site and hike down the drywash to the first flowing Spring (see topo).  You can also park at McKinney Springs and walk from the road downstream in the dry wash to a flowing spring or keep going and hit Tornillo Creek and walk upstream to Cottonwood Springs.   There are also a number of shorter (15-45 minute) places to explore along the road like the old La Noria Site, Ernest Tinaja, the grave, Willow Tank, Carlota Tinaja and a big pour-off on the West side of Alto Relex easily reached from the road.   A liesurely relaxed pace with a few side trips will take a full day.   Give yourself plenty of time and don't rush it or you destroy the experience and stress out.  Carlota Tinaja is one of my favorites and you can go either upstream into the canyon or downstream to Tornillo Creek.   I would not recommend you plan to bushwack up any major peaks solo in the summer, that's the kind of stuff that only experienced cross-country desert bushwackers and daredevils do.  Even then solo in July is much riskier than solo in October.  Most of the heat-related deaths in the Bend have been by solo hikers in the Summer.  You can get heat-stroke, get confused, lose your way, and that's it.  By the time anyone can reach you it's way way too late.  Carry lots of spare water, a map, and try to stay within an hour or two of the truck at all times.  Never leave your truck without your day pack even if your just going "over that next hill" and carry extra ice water in a small cooler in your truck at all times - don't leave it at the campsite.  Please post a trip report when you get back.. TWWG

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Offline homerboy2u

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october trip
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2006, 11:26:12 PM »
TWWG...You forgot to mention: Say your prayers at night :!:  :!:  :roll:
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline jim2

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oct trip
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2006, 02:42:47 PM »
thanks roy, for some reason my home computer won't let  me log on .that last post ,and this one i made at the library. without my map and hiking big bend i couldn't remember whether  p. g. had 4 or 5 sites. what i had thought about on  the old ore road was camping at ersnt tinaja 2 and hiking the telephone canyon trail until it is time to go back .     thanks attm ,but ,i won't be scaling any peaks . great photos ,i particularly like the crown mt. shot from elephant tusk, by viper . while at p.c. i might explore the west side of pummel peak.   twwg i hadn't considered driving the entire old ore road ,but ,i like the idea .maybe as a two day trip .is the pour off south off  roys peak and north of willow tank ? i have the trails illustrated map .the pour off appears to be just south of the o in alto ? is the old ore road done easiest south to north ?  thanks twwg.   homer keep those prayers handy , i might need them . ray,i have read that thread 4 /5 times ,that thread and curt r 's input are the inspiration for my trip. thanks ray.

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Offline Al

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october trip
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2006, 09:15:56 PM »
Here are some pictures from the two day hikes I recommend from the primative campgrounds at Alto Relex.

http://groups.msn.com/bigbendphotos/telephonecanyon.msnw?Page=1

Coming in there is one streambed that will probably cause pause before attempting on Ore Road from the North. We've made it without a problem with a 2 wheel drive S-10 and small Toyota trucks. Just hit it at an angle and keep moving. Bring a shovel just in case.

The Big Bend Sunset is from zone camping around Elephant Tusk which is a bit south of Pine Canyon. Pine Canyon is a great primative campsite to enjoy a Big Bend Sunset and view of the del Carmens. Your Ranger will easily get you there in my experience.

Al

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Offline Al

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Ore Road
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2006, 10:26:02 PM »
I would have to say Ore Road is easier from the south only because of the hill climb south of Ernst which when coming from the north is up hill.  But it doesn't really matter in a Ranger.  We've made that hill in a compact rent car: it took a couple of tries and a more experienced driver on the second try.  I don't recommend it in a compact car but a Ranger should have no problem.

In a couple of spots, scout it first,  pick your path, maintain forward motion, and try not to spin your wheels too much.  Should be a piece of cake and not in the French sense.

Most of Ore road is a super highway. There are only a few places that are even challenging.  The main thing you have to watch out for is going too fast on the straight stretches and having a drainage (dip) across the road sneak up on you before you slow down.

Al

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Offline jeffblaylock

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october trip
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2006, 01:26:57 AM »
I drove the Old Ore Road in a Saturn in 1999, so I think any high-clearance vehicle will make it without incident, and 4WD might help on a couple of climbs out of washes where erosion has made the ascent a little steep and soft.

I generally agree with previous commenters that the Ore Road is more scenic on balance than the River Road.

To me the chief draw of the River Road is the Mariscal Mine ruins. One of my favorite nights in Big Bend was spent at Fresno, the backcountry site near the mine, when the moon was full. My camping buddies and I toured many of the lower ruins by light of the moon. Here's the view from Fresno

Back to the Ore Road, there's a nifty little trail leading out of the campsite near Ernst Tinaja that gives some great views from the top of the Cuesta Carlota. You can see into Ernst Basin and, via a short side trail, into Ernst Canyon, which houses the famed tinaja. It's not the Alto Relex, but the views are pretty good, and it makes for a great morning hike.

If you camp further south, at Candelilla, there is a nice hill just south of there which provides one of the best places in the park to watch the sun set. You get great views of the Sierra Del Carmen's pastel hues and the Chisos Mountains. When I was last there, a thin crescent moon was setting over the Chisos.
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 Casa Grande

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october trip
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2006, 10:00:09 AM »
i drove old ore in a 4door sedan once, once. i made it from the north all the way down to Mckinney spring and passed the big wash down there....then the rocks came and I quickly decided it was time stop scrapping the bottom of my car and turn around.....you could actually get to the overlook just up the hill from the Mckinney campsites in a car, but after that, forget it.

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Offline jeffblaylock

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october trip
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2006, 11:08:33 AM »
Quote
I drove the Old Ore Road in a Saturn in 1999


Probably should've added the disclaimer, "But I don't recommend it." High-clearance is definitely better for your enjoyment, and your vehicle's.
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 TheWildWestGuy

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october trip
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2006, 09:39:20 PM »
The Big Pour Off is a short 15-30 minute side-trail from the Old Ore Road about 1/2 way between Telephone Canyon Campsite and Willow Tank.   The pour off is easily visible from the road and their is a vehicle pull-off point.  You literally can't miss it.  There is no "official" trail but a rough rock scramble will take you near the base of the pour off where towering cliffs rise on 2 sides.  When I was there in April 2006 I saw 2 small bighorn ewe's appear on the ridgeline above the pouroff and they were probably looking for water.  I yelled at my friend "Deerstalker" to look-up and they dipped out of sight.  Should have kept my mouth shut and got my camera out instead!  The worst area of the Old Ore Road (in my opinion) was between Candelilla and the Grave but people have taken rental cars/passenger cars out there so you will be OK with your Ranger as long as you are mentally prepared for the trip:
1- plenty of time, no rush, no worry, no driving to fast, this is not a race.
2- lots of water, a tow rope and shovel to help someone else, proper permits, and some good music.
3- don't forget your camera and don't be paranoid about your truck - break in's are very rare along the Old Ore Road compared to most areas of the country (including your hometown/driveway/street).  But don't be stupid either.
Have a great trip, wish I was going... TWWG

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Offline tjavery

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Re: october trip
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2006, 12:13:44 PM »
Quote from: "jim2"
i'm planning a solo trip to b.b. this october. this will be my first solo trip and my first truck camping trip...


Awesome! I think you'll definitely have a rewarding and amazing experience. I decided to take a very similar trip last April, and it was spectactular.

Pine Canyon #4 is one of my favorites. I think you'll enjoy it.



The view from the campsite is great, and it's so peaceful and relaxing. The hike into Pine Canyon is one of the best in the park, IMO. Just be sure to DRIVE from the campsite to the trailhead  :D  The current park maps do not show the campsite location accurately. The campsite (#4) has actually been moved over 1 mile down the road from the trailhead.

I've camped on the east side twice (Ernst Tinaja and La Noria). Both were great places and I would advise you to go for it! Old Ore road is a little rough, but can be done easily without 4x4 provided it's dry.

And both times I was out there (east) I was completely alone. The hike into Ernst Tinaja (starting from near the #1 campsite) is short but sweet. The canyon isn't big (compared to others in the park), but it's very interesting and beautiful. Go at sunset  :D



And yes, the only public showers are at RGV - $1.50 in quarters for about 5 minutes. But it'll be the best $1.50 you spend in the park  :D

Quote from: "jim2"
...can you believe some people think my obsession in big bend is weird ? any advice is welcome .


Yep, but they just haven't been there yet  :D Once you spend a night or two in BBNP, you're life is forever changed  :D

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Offline Casa Grande

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october trip
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2006, 03:01:25 PM »
nice pano of Pine Canyon, TJ!

 


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