Big Bend Conservancy
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You will want to be aware of the proposed new online permit system.I once did a trip in the White Mountains and it kicked my ass, way more elevation gain and loss than a trip to the Rockies and certainly Big Bend. Steepness will definitely not be an issue as long as you remain on trails. The main difference in the desert is that you have to carry more water. What base weights do you guys normally carry? I highly recommend cowboy camping. It can be a little scary the first time, but people have been doing it for years obviously, and there is no risk. Make sure you have a shelter in case of rain, weight-conscious people often just carry a lightweight tarp.As for all the route options, yes it can be daunting. Make sure you have read the OML FAQ and some trip reports. Caching at Juniper Canyon TH is not needed, and I would not want to try it anyway in your Volvo.Marufo Vega and MDA are both great. The latter especially if you want an off trail experience.Frankly, you'll want to watch for water reports as your trip is approaching and your itinerary may change as the water situation comes in to focus. For example, I would not attempt the MDA if there has not been much recent rain.Final advice is to take it easy and don't try to cram too much in. Once you have been you will want to come back.
We'll fill in the rest of our stay with shorter hikes. I'll look into the hot springs trail, elephant tusk and dominguez - any other recommendations?Concerning lodging for are there any options outside of the Chios Mountain Lodge? Nearby hotels or motels for example?
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