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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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Where should we go?

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Offline TXdave

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Where should we go?
« on: September 19, 2008, 12:57:25 AM »
Hi. I'm glad that I recently stumbled on the site. I've convinced my wife to come with me to Big Bend. It'll be my first time there in at least 10 years. Her first time ever.
I have "my list" of things I want to see, mainly the South Rim, Boquillas, and maybe that trail that takes you to the bottom of the waterfall under the Window. I know there's a lot more, don't worry. I know what will happen when we get out there- I'll attempt to see the entire park in 5 days.

So- my question is what are the other "must see" areas of Big Bend? They have to fall under day hikes, unfortunately. We're not equipped to do any real backpacking.

We're going the 3rd week of October, for 4 or 5 days- I hear the weather is nice, but could be chilly?

Thanks,

TXdave

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Offline Sanjuro82

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2008, 07:16:03 AM »
If you have the time drive out to the Mariscal Canyon trail head, and hike up to the canyon rim.  Absolutely stunning!!!

The hike up to the Window pour-off is a good one, but I'd recommend the Pine Canyon pour-off trail before the window one.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2008, 08:02:27 AM »
I would probably skip the window pour-off because you can't really get close to the pour-off without scrambling through a boulder field (no trail) and there is something about hearing and seeing people up above me in the slot that makes me uncomfortable.  It just kind of ruins the experience.
Pine Canyon Pour-Off  is a good idea, high clearance vehicle required.
Grapevine Hills is a shorter closer-in hike.
Ward Spring is another nice less-traveled route
Burro Springs is another nice shorter hike.

Just kind of depends how many miles you want to go in a day and what your interests are.
I would expect the River Road, Maverick Road, and much of the area down near the river to be flooded or damaged so I would just cross those off your list right now.  The river is about 20 feet above flood stage and likely to cause a lot of washouts and problems that will take months to repair.  Better plan to stick to the paved roads, Old Ore Road, or the highground roads away from the river like Pine Canyon or Juniper Canyon... TWWG

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Offline TexasAggieHiker

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2008, 11:00:58 AM »
Here was my itinerary for my last trip (all day hikes)
day 1 - arrived at park, Hike Lost Mine Trail
day 2 - hiked to The Chimneys, halfway to Mule Ears, Santa Elana, all the sites along the Ross Maxwell Road
day 3 - Hiked to Emory Peak, the south rim, and back
day 4 - Boquiallas Canyon, Ernst Tinaja, Hot springs, and anything else we could find on the east side
day 5 - drove home  :icon_cry:

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2008, 11:07:50 AM »
I assume by Boquillas you mean Boquillas Canyon, but if not, it will dishearten you to know that the town of Boquillas is legally inaccessible. There informal border crossing and understanding which existed during your last visit are no longer recognized. It's very sad, but the days of park visitors enjoying cervezas across the river are over.

Lost Mine is a great warm-up for the South Rim. You might also consider hiking to the Window from the Basin trailhead. There's a cool overlook above the pouroff (though you can't see the pouroff from it) that offers outstanding views -- that trail eventually heads down to the desert.

Pine Canyon is wonderful but requires high clearance.

Dugout Wells is a great place for a picnic.

If it's cool enough (<80 degrees), consider the Ore Terminal Trail, which is about as empty and quiet a place in the park as possible.
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 TXdave

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2008, 12:49:14 PM »
Wow good info, thanks.

I am disappointed to hear that the River Road might be a no-go. I was really looking forward to leaving that way and driving up through Marfa. Guess we'll have to see :(

I was aware that you can't cross the river any more, and it makes me sick. The first time I did it, I was 11 or 12, with a group of boyscouts. Quite a sight to see- a dozen para-military children striking across the river in a rowboat, to be met by a group of Federales that were hanging in the shade with their rifles. They couldn't care less, and we had some good enchiladas and cold bottles of coke. Another time we ran into a couple of guys hauling hundreds of cantaloupes into TX. I think that was over at Santa Elena.

I was referring to Boquillas Canyon, the sand pile is so unique.

Sounds like we should check out Pine Canyon and Mariscal Rim. I was hoping to try that at some point anyway.

Thanks!

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Offline Roy

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2008, 01:35:20 PM »
I am disappointed to hear that the River Road might be a no-go. I was really looking forward to leaving that way and driving up through Marfa. Guess we'll have to see :(
Sounds like we should check out Pine Canyon and Mariscal Rim. I was hoping to try that at some point anyway.

The River Road he's referring to is the dirt road in the park, not highway 170 between Lajitas and Presidio, although there could well be some damage there as well.  Maybe call or EMail the park and check the Tex. DOT site in a week or two when they've had a chance to assess damage.  Hopefully, 170 will be fine, but the road in the park is liable to be a real mess for quite some time.  Right now, the park's Daily Report is listing the west end as impassable.


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Offline TXdave

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2008, 08:37:24 PM »
So here's a possible configuration.

Sunday  - Drive to Big Bend
            - Stop at Amistad Damn, pecos river bridge , langtry
            - Arrive 3pm, do the Window
Monday  - Lost Mine, Grapevine Hills
Tuesday - Pine Canyon, visit scenic Terlingua
Wednesday - Mariscal Rim, Boquillas Canyon
Thursday  - South Rim
Friday - Santa Elena Canyon, drive to Lajitas
Saturday - Leave Big Bend

I left in some wiggle room on the last day. Anything in there look impossible? Anything look like we can fit something else in?



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Offline Sanjuro82

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2008, 11:46:52 PM »
The Mariscal Canyon hike will take you the entire day.  The drive to the trailhead and the drive back to your basecamp will take time.  Once your on the hike you'll want to spend as much time as possible up on the rim enjoying the magnificence of the place.

If you want to do Boquillas canyon I'd hike it first when you arrive on Sunday, then after wards you can head up to the basin to hike the Window and have a meal and a cold beer at the restaurant.

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Offline Al

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2008, 11:54:14 PM »
What are you driving?

Al

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Offline TXdave

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2008, 02:42:57 AM »
Good info on Mariscal, my trail book clearly states it's 2 hours driving, one way. Guess I forgot that part.

Driving a 2wd mazda tribute. Basically the same thing as a ford escape. Decent.

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Offline Al

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Re: Where should we go?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2008, 06:33:15 AM »
So here's a possible configuration.

Sunday  - Drive to Big Bend
            - Stop at Amistad Damn, pecos river bridge , langtry
            - Arrive 3pm, do the Window
Monday  - Lost Mine, Grapevine Hills
Tuesday - Pine Canyon, visit scenic Terlingua
Wednesday - Mariscal Rim, Boquillas Canyon
Thursday  - South Rim
Friday - Santa Elena Canyon, drive to Lajitas
Saturday - Leave Big Bend

I left in some wiggle room on the last day. Anything in there look impossible? Anything look like we can fit something else in?




A trip to Terlingua and trip to a Lajitas is for practical purposes one and the same since Lajitas is just a few minutes down the road from Terlingua so I would combine the two. Go past Lajitas toward Presidio as far as you have time it's a beautiful drive.  I'd do all that on Friday when you drive down to Santa Elena.  On your Pine Canyon day, as time allows, go down Old Ore Road to Ernst Tinaja and then as far down Ore Road as you have time.  There is one bad stretch of road before Ernst if you have at least medium back road driving skills with your Tribute it should be no big deal.

Al


 


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