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Quemada Water Report

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Offline BradATX

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Quemada Water Report
« on: November 11, 2016, 10:46:54 PM »
Hi everyone, first time poster here.  Just finished a 4 day backpack in the Sierra Quemada today, and wanted to give back for all the great info from this forum.  I'm a long time hiker in the park.  The short version is that there is plenty of water right now.

My hike was Mule Ears to Dominguez to Double Spring to the Waterworks and back via the Dodson and Smokey Creek.

In the order of my trip:

Smokey Spring was flowing and filterable but a little green.  Dominguez is running strong over the dam.  Double Spring is also strong.  Elf Spring as well.  Elephant is marshy.  There is plenty of water above Zapato Tuerto, where the ET trail hits the wash from the south.  It's flowing like a creek from there all the way to Skip and Jump.  Smokey Creek has lots of water from above the dam to past Witch Spring.  Again flowing like a creek in many stretches, though it looks like the water levels aren't as high as they were recently, so that may not continue.  More water intermittently to Willow Spring, easily filterable.  Went to check out Rhyolite Spring, but there was too much vegetation to get close enough.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who posts regularly on this site.  It's a wealth of information on one of my favorite places.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Quemada Water Report
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2016, 11:19:27 PM »
Outstanding info!  Thanks for paying it forward, Brad.  I'll be in that area soon.  This is golden.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Quemada Water Report
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2016, 05:47:04 AM »
Awesome report Brad and welcome to the board!  Don't be shy about participating and a trip report with pictures would be even better.  It is great to know that there is good water all over right now, yours is the first from that area so even more valuable.  Thanks!

 :welcome:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline elhombre

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Re: Quemada Water Report
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 09:07:31 AM »
Thanks for the report!  With Witch and Willow running, Smokey Creek trail should be a fine hike over the winter months. 

Great route for those looking for an off trail hike.  Did you make it to Doniquez in one day?
First Russian Collusion, then Mueller, then Obstruction, then illegal payment to Stormy Daniels, then tax returns. Now no formal vote on impeachment for a 30 min. phone call to Ukraine

No crime. No evidence, just more secret investigations

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Offline Robert

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Re: Quemada Water Report
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 09:17:01 AM »
Nice job Brad, thanks for posting. Of course, many of us are jonesing for details; pictures, where did you camp,  more details on route, pictures, etc. As a long time hiker was this your first serious off trail hike or have you done others?


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Offline stevebo

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Re: Quemada Water Report
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 02:10:13 PM »
That is GREAT info!  By the way, where is the dam?  Is it close to the Dodson Trail?  Is it off-trail or on Smoky Creek Trail?

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Quemada Water Report
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 04:33:49 PM »
It is in the Smoky Creek wash not too far from the Dodson

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temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline BradATX

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Re: Quemada Water Report
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2016, 05:14:03 PM »
Thanks all!  I know that the season is upon us, so I wanted to get the info out quickly.  My quick post last night was from Terlingua, after a fun evening at the Starlight listening to The Hot Flashes.  My hiking buddy took all the pictures, so I'll post a trip report once I get those from him.  I should have GPS tracks to share as well.

This was my second off-trail Quemada hike, longer than the first.  In my earlier Big Bend days, I did a lot of exploring in the Strawhouse-Telephone Canyon-Ernst Basin-Ore Terminal area.  I love that part of the park, but it's a lot of water to carry to be there any length of time.  Off-trail at many other parks as well.  I've done the OML many times and been to the MDA once.  Now that I have kids, I've (been forced too?) become familiar with many of the short dayhikes in the park.

We made great time for the whole trip, and made it to Dominguez on the first day with plenty of daylight to spare.  That was the one off-trail section of this trip I had done before.

The dam I'm referring to is on the Smoky Creek Trail and fairly close to the Dodson.  It's quite slick with algae right now.

I'll add to my report that I think Cuatro Spring (near Witch Spring) is also flowing.  There's a small stream coming on to the trail from that direction.  We refilled from that source, rather than go down to Witch and retrace.  But I could both see and hear water at Witch from the trail above.

 


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