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Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?

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Offline raptor()

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Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« on: November 24, 2009, 09:32:20 AM »
I'll be doing the Outer Mountain Loop trail around Thanksgiving.  Does anyone know the water situation in both Boot Spring and Fresno Creek? 

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 10:34:01 AM »
I haven't been lately but a year ago Thanksgiving. Fresno Creek is reliable. Possible pools of water in Boot Canyon above the spring even if spring is dry. Upper Juniper Spring typically reliable. Dodson Spring overgrown. No other sources from Fresno west to Blue Creek and back to the Basin.
Jeff Blaylock
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Offline raptor()

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 10:50:41 AM »
I haven't been lately but a year ago Thanksgiving. Fresno Creek is reliable. Possible pools of water in Boot Canyon above the spring even if spring is dry. Upper Juniper Spring typically reliable. Dodson Spring overgrown. No other sources from Fresno west to Blue Creek and back to the Basin.

Thanks Jeff.  I've heard from lots of folks that Fresno is pretty reliable, I am more concerned about Boot Springs.  Also, we're not doing the typical loop. From the Dodson, we're turning south on the Smokey Creek trail then head off-trail to the Mule Ears parkig lot.  Any idea if there's a reliable source between Fresno and Mule Ears?  I see Mule Ears spring on the map but have no idea how wet it actually is.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 10:52:20 AM by raptor() »

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 11:57:26 AM »
Mule Ears is the best spring in the desert, water for sure.  There should also be water on the Smoky Creek trail in the lower "Black rock" canyon section.

This is a good thread on Upper Smoky creek
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/hiking-the-desert/upper-smokey-creek-t2668.0.html
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minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
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Offline badknees

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 12:27:28 PM »
I haven't been lately but a year ago Thanksgiving. Fresno Creek is reliable. Possible pools of water in Boot Canyon above the spring even if spring is dry. Upper Juniper Spring typically reliable. Dodson Spring overgrown. No other sources from Fresno west to Blue Creek and back to the Basin.

Thanks Jeff.  I've heard from lots of folks that Fresno is pretty reliable, I am more concerned about Boot Springs.  Also, we're not doing the typical loop. From the Dodson, we're turning south on the Smokey Creek trail then head off-trail to the Mule Ears parkig lot.  Any idea if there's a reliable source between Fresno and Mule Ears?  I see Mule Ears spring on the map but have no idea how wet it actually is.

Agree with Mule Ears about Mule Ears :icon_biggrin:. The spring at Mule Ears is the "King of the Desert". I have never seen it dry. The water is good there and easy to get to. Having said that, it is only about an hour from the trailhead at the parking area, so it probably would only useful in an emergency.

There are many opportunities for water along the Smoky Creek trail from the Dodson junction as to the point where you exit the Quemadas.

Water may be possible about 1 mile south of the Dodson junction, In the drainage East or South of Sugarloaf Mtn, and I have found good water @ N29.17957 W103.35991, and @ N29.17776 W103.37933.

Be warned that nothing is guaranteed (except Mule Ears Spring) and plan accordingly.

Since there was a bit of rain recently, I suspect that the pools above Boot Spring are holding some water, but I wouldn't count on the spring itself. Again, plan accordingly.
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Offline championbaum

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 03:32:10 PM »
mule ears spring is the coolest spring in big bend....but that is practically at the end of your hike but it will be cool to check out. i have done that exact hike last winter...or spring.. and there was water in various spots throughout smokey creek, not huge amounts but enough to fill a few liters easy enough. i didnt get water in boot canyon on that hike, or upper juniper (couldn't find it, but have since)....i just refilled at fresno and towards the end of smokey creek. mule ears was really cool, so i ended up getting to the parking lot and turning around to camp on a ridge above it for that night. i dont know how much ground you plan on covering but you could start and finish the first day at the juniper camp pretty easy, find the spring and refill there. but if you plan on staying a night in the chisos water in boot canyon will be nice, and i havent been up there since earlier this year so i am of no help.

The rangers wont tell you if there is or isnt btw, they will always say there isnt. If you are counting on water in boot springs, i have never seen it flowing...BUT i have been able to find pools of water in the creek about 90% of the time. I have extrordinarily good luck though and try to cover enough ground so if one water source is dry i can make it to the next one. that hike is really fun, smokey creek is really fun because you are always asking yourself if you are really in smokey creek or took a wrong turn. You cant really see many landmarks in long sections of it so its kind of exciting, but you usually come to a cairne and then do it all over again.

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Offline raptor()

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 03:52:21 PM »
Thanks guys, that is great information.  I'll be sure to report on the water sources when I return.

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Online Robert

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 03:53:53 PM »
Keep in mind there were a lot of water flowing from '08 rain that was evident in the winter and on into the spring. But since then the rainfall has fallen off. So I would hesitate to tell anyone that some of the lesser springs will be flowing unless there is a more recent report. Fresno and Mule Ears are two of the most reliable springs that we know of. After that I would guess that you have a good chance at the Black Rock canyon but wouldn't bet my life on it. So make sure you have enough water to get you to the next "known" source.

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Offline Drifter

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2009, 06:59:35 AM »
I was on the Elephant tusk loop Nov. 4, 2009 and the ET spring, which has "always" run like a trout stream, was dry as an Anasazi bone.  When I got back to PJ and spoke to the ranger that had taken my money and solo form he told me that the rains were different this year.  Just like in San Antonio it would rain hard for an hour or so and then not rain for several months.  Not a great way for water to reach and replenish the water table and springs.  Although we may get the "average" total rainfall this year I would not rely on past experiences to plan my water stops.  I made the mistake of relying on ET spring to rewater so I carried less.  It was a mistake that made me turn around and change my plans.  But the Chili cookoff was fun and I found Chini Hot Springs.  One caveat is that I walk the desert and not the mountains or Basin so the Boot may be full.  Be safe on the solo reach. Drifter
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Offline mule ears

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2009, 08:48:47 AM »
I was on the Elephant tusk loop Nov. 4, 2009 and the ET spring, which has "always" run like a trout stream, was dry as an Anasazi bone. When I got back to PJ and spoke to the ranger that had taken my money and solo form he told me that the rains were different this year. Just like in San Antonio it would rain hard for an hour or so and then not rain for several months. Not a great way for water to reach and replenish the water table and springs. Although we may get the "average" total rainfall this year I would not rely on past experiences to plan my water stops. I made the mistake of relying on ET spring to rewater so I carried less. It was a mistake that made me turn around and change my plans. But the Chili cookoff was fun and I found Chini Hot Springs. One caveat is that I walk the desert and not the mountains or Basin so the Boot may be full. Be safe on the solo reach. Drifter

Drifter is right on here and I doubt we will even get close to average rainfall this year, at least at PJ where they keep the official park numbers. At this date at PJ they are only at 70 percent of average (10.4" compared to the average through Nov. of 14.77").

Robert is also correct in saying:

Keep in mind there were a lot of water flowing from '08 rain that was evident in the winter and on into the spring. But since then the rainfall has fallen off. So I would hesitate to tell anyone that some of the lesser springs will be flowing unless there is a more recent report. Fresno and Mule Ears are two of the most reliable springs that we know of. After that I would guess that you have a good chance at the Black Rock canyon but wouldn't bet my life on it. So make sure you have enough water to get you to the next "known" source.

That is why I continue to encourage folks to give us detailed spring reports in the El Salon area, like this they will be especially helpful in the up coming winter hiking season.

Have a great hike and we look forward the report!
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Offline raptor()

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 12:16:10 PM »
I got back from my trip and can confirm there is plenty of water not only in Boot Springs and Fresno, but also in many places along the Smokey Creek trail between the Dodson and Mule Ears trail. 

We started in the Basin, went up Laguna to the South Rim, down Juniper canyon, along the Dodson, down the Smokey Creek trail, and then ended at Mule Ears parking lot.  Total of 3 nights, 34 miles.  I had a great time and will try to post some pictures when I have time.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 01:49:15 PM »
I got back from my trip and can confirm there is plenty of water not only in Boot Springs and Fresno, but also in many places along the Smokey Creek trail between the Dodson and Mule Ears trail. 

We started in the Basin, went up Laguna to the South Rim, down Juniper canyon, along the Dodson, down the Smokey Creek trail, and then ended at Mule Ears parking lot.  Total of 3 nights, 34 miles.  I had a great time and will try to post some pictures when I have time.

Sounds like the trip went well, was the water in Boot Spring itself or in the pools in the canyon upstream? Look forward to the trip report.
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Offline badknees

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2009, 02:30:45 PM »
I got back from my trip and can confirm there is plenty of water not only in Boot Springs and Fresno, but also in many places along the Smokey Creek trail between the Dodson and Mule Ears trail. 

We started in the Basin, went up Laguna to the South Rim, down Juniper canyon, along the Dodson, down the Smokey Creek trail, and then ended at Mule Ears parking lot.  Total of 3 nights, 34 miles.  I had a great time and will try to post some pictures when I have time.

Did you happen to get coordinates for water along the Smokey Creek section?
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Offline raptor()

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2009, 08:50:35 PM »
I got back from my trip and can confirm there is plenty of water not only in Boot Springs and Fresno, but also in many places along the Smokey Creek trail between the Dodson and Mule Ears trail. 

We started in the Basin, went up Laguna to the South Rim, down Juniper canyon, along the Dodson, down the Smokey Creek trail, and then ended at Mule Ears parking lot.  Total of 3 nights, 34 miles.  I had a great time and will try to post some pictures when I have time.

Sounds like the trip went well, was the water in Boot Spring itself or in the pools in the canyon upstream? Look forward to the trip report.

We got ours at the pools where the Juniper Canyon trail intersects.  There was also plenty in the pools nearer the south rim but a little harder to get down to.  Oh forgot, there was also water in Juniper spring.  There's a sign just a long the trail, then just have to go through some brush then up to a little pipe.  Just past that is the spring.

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Offline raptor()

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Re: Water in boot spring/Fresno right now?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2009, 10:19:47 PM »
I got back from my trip and can confirm there is plenty of water not only in Boot Springs and Fresno, but also in many places along the Smokey Creek trail between the Dodson and Mule Ears trail. 

We started in the Basin, went up Laguna to the South Rim, down Juniper canyon, along the Dodson, down the Smokey Creek trail, and then ended at Mule Ears parking lot.  Total of 3 nights, 34 miles.  I had a great time and will try to post some pictures when I have time.

Did you happen to get coordinates for water along the Smokey Creek section?

I don't have a GPS so this will be kind of approximate. Also, we didn't do the trail as is shown on the Trails Illustrated map, we veered off to the left (southeast.) First pools were around N29.17707 W 103.34167. Second pools were where we camped the third night at N29.16402 W103.36380. Again, this is very approximate. This location is just a little NE of where there is a huge pouroff that we had to hike around. Then when we got down to the bottom we bushwhacked a mile or so to the Mule Ears/Smokey Creek intersection (my sleeping pad that was sticking off the bottom of my pack is in shreds - glad it was the $10 Wal-Mart variety.) But I was really surprised at how much water we came across. I never had to carry more than 3 liters at a time the whole trip. That is also due to the fact that we had someone with us who was very knowledgeable about the area and knew all the right spots to check for water.





 


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