Friends of Big Bend National Park
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.

+-Calendar for sale

2020 Big Bend Chat Calendar

 2020 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?

  • 7 Replies
  • 646 Views
*

Offline GWHayduke

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 4
Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« on: January 12, 2020, 10:34:59 AM »
I am torn between these two hikes (Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila). It is a 3 day/2 night trip at the end of January (2020). Outer Mt Loop looks like a well defined trail with easy water caches. Of course, I have a GPS. (Does anyone hike without this nowadays anyways?) It would strenuous, but I feel it's still in my ability. Overall, it looks like a 'standard' backpacking trip.

Mesa de Anguila is a different story. I know it's tough and requires GPS navigation. (I have Gaia GPS, and will bring a detailed paper map. I found a map file of the MDA through this forum too.) Does anyone have input about the terrain and/or comparisons to Marufo Vega (besides being difficult)? (I did the Marufo Vega trail solo as a dayhike earlier this year and want of the harder terrain/navigation.) I"m going to ask about the tinajas at Panther Junction. From previous posts it doesn't seems to say this is an issue in January. I wouldn't be canyoneering or anything of that sort-just hiking/camping. I had one idea of a base camp at the sinkhole area via a suggestion on another thread. Day 1: Get to sinkhole base camp. Day 2: Hike to the Point and back. Day 3: Explore Fern Canyon/Smugglers or maybe the Northern part of the mesa?, hike out.

TL, DR; Is it better to do Outer Mt Loop or is Mesa de Anguila do-able with lower mileage expectations?

*

Offline Robert

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1015
  • He who limps is still walking. - Stanislaw J. Lec
Re: Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 12:39:00 PM »
Plenty of people hike without a GPS. My guess is that most of the OML hikers don't have one.  You also really don't need a GPS to do the Mesa de Anguilla, especially if you just go out to the point and back. That being said, there is no defined trail past the 3 Sisters to the point and a pre-loaded route that keeps you from dropping into drainages until you get to the rim would save you some time and effort. Also loading tinaja coordinates would be good to have.

Not sure how to respond as to which one is better. Of course, they are both doable. Depends on your experience and physical condition. The water on the MDA is not easily found even with a GPS, and is not guaranteed. You might not get any information from park rangers and assume they would tell you to take all you need with you.

My typical response would be for someone to get more backpacking experience in the park before tackling the MDA. So if you have not done the OML, that would be a great hike and you will not be disappointed.

I've hiked both the MDA and Marufo Vega. If just going to the point, MV might be more difficult because of the elevation gain/loss but it is all on trail. But both are difficult hikes for most people.

*

Online dprather

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2562
Re: Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 12:44:06 PM »
Hi.  I'm Don, and I hike without GPS.  That's my self-introduction at my Anti-technology Anonymous (AtA) meetings.  We meet every Tuesday evening at the Methodist Church. 
----------
The "hard" factor of all three trips (OML, MV, and MdA) is comparable, but different.

With the OML there is the grind of longer length and more nights on the trail.  The MdA has that rough first hump, but then it remains uphill all the way in.  The me, the MV has the toughest short section - that climb up out of the wash and into the Dead Horse.  I don't think you see anything up on MdA that is radically different from what you saw on you MV solo, maybe just more of it.

Each of the trails has a diferent feel from their different views.  The MV has the views into the Rio Grande gorge.  The OML has the mountain-desert contrast.  To me, the MdA has the most expansive feel with long undulating views over the Mesa about as far as you can see.

Although the Dodson and parts of Blue Creek and Juniper Canyon are exposed, much of the OML is forested.  Neither the MdA nor the MV have much cover at all.

You mentioned the relative abundance of water along the OML as compared with the others.
----------
Just my opinion - plan on doing both (more than once) and add some more MVs for good measure.

Just my suggestion - do the OML first just because the Dodson seems to acclimate you to the MdA.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

*

Offline GWHayduke

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 4
Re: Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 02:17:47 PM »
Hi.  I'm Don, and I hike without GPS.  That's my self-introduction at my Anti-technology Anonymous (AtA) meetings.  We meet every Tuesday evening at the Methodist Church. 

I meant no offense to those who don't hike with a GPS. I do a lot of solo hiking. Gaia GPS and Garmin Mini InReach is a must (for my mother's sake  :icon_lol:).  I would be taking all the necessary water on the MdA regardless of what the Rangers said. Hence, the idea of a base camp to help offload some. I was trying to gauge how difficult the off trail navigation is on the MdA with this post.

With the OML there is the grind of longer length and more nights on the trail.  The MdA has that rough first hump, but then it remains uphill all the way in.  The me, the MV has the toughest short section - that climb up out of the wash and into the Dead Horse.  I don't think you see anything up on MdA that is radically different from what you saw on you MV solo, maybe just more of it."

The OML grind sounds great!  I've done two thru hikes on the shorter side and daydream about another one. I love the grind. Thanks for all the feedback!




*

Online mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4529
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2020, 07:19:59 AM »
The GPS and navigation discussion has been moved to the GPS Gear and Tips board.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline Lissa

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 176
Re: Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2020, 09:55:58 AM »
Speaking to your question, I havenít gotten up on the MdA yet (had plans, but in grand Big Bend tradition, things changed ,) but have done both the OML (2 nights) and MV dayhike.  No guarantees obviously, but my guess is youíll run into other folks somewhere along the OML while youíll have the MdA to yourself.  And that the OML would be more thru-hike style while the MdA would be more poke around and explore.  So the other consideration is which of those types of trips is what you need in your life right now.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 11:58:52 PM by Lissa »

*

Online House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3215
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2020, 11:14:41 AM »
Speaking to your question, I havenít gotten up on the MdA yet (has plans, but in grand Big Bend tradition, things changed ,) but have done both the OML (2 nights) and MV dayhike.  No guarantees obviously, but my guess is youíll run into other folks somewhere along the OML while youíll have the MdA to yourself.  And that the OML would be more thru-bike style while the MdA would be more poke around and explore.  So the other considerations is which of those types of trips is what you need in your life right now.

^ Wise advice.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline Keepa

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 221
Re: Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2020, 01:08:52 PM »
Physically, OML and MDA are about the same (MDA is slightly easier -- once past the initial climb to the Mesa, there are no big elevation changes).

The difference is in the logistics and navigation, and that requires experience.

On the MDA there is no well defined trail past Three Sisters. You will need a good map and map reading reading skills, or a GPS (nothing wrong with that so long as you have a backup). Water on the MDA is going to be the main problem. There are a few reliable tinajas, but some of them can be difficult to access, and you will need to bring rope with you to lower your bucket/canteen into them.

The OML is very established, the trail and water sources are known, and the logistics are well understood.

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

2020 Big Bend Chat Calendar

 2020 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments