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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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Fresno Creek, Dodson Spring, Upper Juniper Spring, and Boot Canyon: July 14-15

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
I was in the park last weekend and have water updates for the following sources:

1. Fresno Creek: flowing, but almost imperceptibly. The two drainages to the west, and the one to the east had several small, extremely shallow pools, practically nothing but water slicks. I do not advise counting on any of these for water. I think most of the surface water was left over from last week's thunderstorms and will soon be completely evaporated. There are a couple of collection pools in the bedrock several yards downstream of the actual Bonito Spring/Fresno Creek crossing. Given that Bonito seems to still be flowing, these pools MIGHT continue to hold a little water, but I certainly wouldn't count on it.

2. Dodson Spring: still flowing, barely, but I saw only a muddy and very shallow pool which would require a great deal of time and digging to acquire a small amount of very foul water. Wouldn't count on it. I did not check Adler or any of the other springs off-trail.

3. Upper Juniper Spring: flowing, but slowly. Perhaps barely a half-liter per minute at most. No water at all in the cement collection basin.

4. Boot Canyon: fair amounts of scummy algae-laden water in bedrock pools up and down the canyon. Definitely available if you're willing to prefilter to clean it, and filter or pill to sterilize it. The pipe was flowing but at a very, very slow rate. I did not use it.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Online mule ears

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  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Awesome report.  Do you think that further down the Fresno wash there would be bigger pools?
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline VivaTerlingua

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I was in the park last weekend and have water updates for the following sources:

1. Fresno Creek: flowing, but almost imperceptibly. The two drainages to the west, and the one to the east had several small, extremely shallow pools, practically nothing but water slicks. I do not advise counting on any of these for water. I think most of the surface water was left over from last week's thunderstorms and will soon be completely evaporated. There are a couple of collection pools in the bedrock several yards downstream of the actual Bonito Spring/Fresno Creek crossing. Given that Bonito seems to still be flowing, these pools MIGHT continue to hold a little water, but I certainly wouldn't count on it.

2. Dodson Spring: still flowing, barely, but I saw only a muddy and very shallow pool which would require a great deal of time and digging to acquire a small amount of very foul water. Wouldn't count on it. I did not check Adler or any of the other springs off-trail.

3. Upper Juniper Spring: flowing, but slowly. Perhaps barely a half-liter per minute at most. No water at all in the cement collection basin.

4. Boot Canyon: fair amounts of scummy algae-laden water in bedrock pools up and down the canyon. Definitely available if you're willing to prefilter to clean it, and filter or pill to sterilize it. The pipe was flowing but at a very, very slow rate. I did not use it.

I was in Boot Canyon the 12 and 13th.  Got water from the pipe on the 12th without any problem.  Water was flowing between the on the 13th and I would have had no problem filtering some for usage.

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Offline PacingTheCage

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Thanks for the report. Heading out there a week from Monday. Looks like Big Bend may get rain late next week. Hoping for water at Boot Spring but that doesn’t sound favorable at the moment.

There are at least two other groups going out there before my son and I go. Looking forward to their reports too.


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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Awesome report.  Do you think that further down the Fresno wash there would be bigger pools?

Yes. Probably. But I didn't look. Still, Bonito WAS flowing, albeit at an almost imperceptible rate, for as far as I could see under the conditions I was in, and I'm assuming that water is collecting where it will: there are some nice catchments further down the drainage. Is the flow rate exceeding the evaporation rate right now?  Ehhhhhhh.........

I was in Boot Canyon the 12 and 13th.  Got water from the pipe on the 12th without any problem.  Water was flowing between the on the 13th and I would have had no problem filtering some for usage.

Yeah. My report wasn't as clear as it should have been, especially given the critical importance of the info at this time of year. My apologies. In my defense, I've only just returned from the Bend and I'm still heat-addled. To clarify: while I did collect from the other sources mentioned, I did NOT collect from the pipe; my assessment was made from the trail above. Meaning: VivaTerlingua's observation is the more trustworthy.  The pools below and above the pipe were definitely covered in a layer of algae and leaves (I like algae and leaves!) on the 15th, but they were also plenty deep enough to last a week even without additional input. Predicted rains in the next week should extend their lives. And with the pipe flowing at any rate at all, there should be some water available independent of upcoming rains in the next couple weeks.

Thanks for the report. Heading out there a week from Monday. Looks like Big Bend may get rain late next week. Hoping for water at Boot Spring but that doesn’t sound favorable at the moment.

Again, my apologies for being unclear. I sent you a PM with better info. There is plenty of water in Boot Canyon, both in rain-fed bedrock pools, and flowing out of the pipe. The pools all have algae and leaves, but they should not present any problem to filters, or even pilling (especially with any kind of basic prefiltering).  Good luck!!!
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline PacingTheCage

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Thank you!


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