Big Bend Conservancy
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I was at Dominquez Springs in early April this year and hiked up Fisk Canyon all the way to within 2 miles of Smokey Creek Trail (to the top of the dry pass overlooking Smokey Creek Trail). There was water flowing from Dominquez Springs and from a spring where you branch off of Fisk Canyon to go around Dominquez Mtn to E. Tusk. The rangers warned me about break-in's at the trailhead as there had been one in Jan-Feb of this year where $1200 worth of gear was stolen. I didn't have any trouble and break-in's are a rare event but they do occur even miles from the river. But this will be the least of your worries. The trail to Dominquez enters a dry wash after ~4 miles and finding the trail on the reverse trip is tricky as it is not well marked and you can easily walk right past it so be careful to memorize your route and/or flag it. If you do miss it (like I did in April) you can keep walking South and you will eventually hit the River road in about the same distance. Your plans sound a little too aggressive as it is likely to be very hot and take much longer than you think to do these things. A basecamp at Dominquez is a good idea and then dayhike from there. I don't think you can hike in, make a basecamp, and get up on Dominquez Mtn in a single day. Its a long drive in, a long hike into Dom. Springs, and you probably won't start day-hiking until 2-3 in the afternoon. That leaves you 3-4 hours of hike time assuming you want to make it back to camp ~hour or more before dark to have a liesurely dinner and enjoy the cool shade near the old damsite. Fisk Canyon is a great dayhike and you can always cut East towards Elephant Tusk at the springs. I would stay away from the lower desert in front of the Mtn Front and stay away from the dry peaks in the summer - especially this summer. I can give you more details about the hike from Dom. to Smokey Creek if you want.A high Chisos hike might be better this year - its so dry out there its dangerous for solo hikers. Why not make a basecamp at LW1 and go down Upper Cattail Canyon to the big pour-off. I posted some recent photo's of this in my photo album on MSN Groups Big Bend Photos site. The Dam is dry but there is water in several big Tinajas near and downdip from the old dam. You could do the entire hike in 1 full day and then have a relaxing night under the tree's at LW1 looking at Emery Peak with a cold beer in your hand. Sounds a lot better than the near-death experience you are planning... TWWG
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