Friends of Big Bend National Park
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.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Water Report: area bounded by Kit, Bee, Pena, & Tule Mtns, and Burro Mesa

  • 1 Replies

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3028
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Just filing this away where it can be easily found by anyone that needs it, now or in the future.  I surveyed all these sources during the week of December 9-14, 2018, after a wet summer and fall. There were plenty of pools of water in most washes, much of it left over from rains that had occurred in the previous couple days. Several tinajas were quite full and several springs were running for hundreds of yards below their sources.

*Chimneys Spring – no sign of it; never found it; no idea where it is, would love for someone else to give it a look

*Kit Springs (south of The Chimneys) – didn’t find the spring; did find a large grassy, muddy pool slightly downwash: might have to dig in order to collect water, very muddy, might dry up in warm months

*Bee Spring – brush-choked, lots of wildlife activity, no sign of water at the spring or in this wash, but lots in the larger wash it empties into, others have found this to be a flowing spring in winter

*Tres Spring – surrounded by lots of thick, thorny vegetation, wildlife tracks and scats, but no sign of water, might be deep inside the impenetrable thicket, no water flowing in the wash

*Dos Spring – not where my University of New Mexico map data said it was, Badknees’ map is almost certainly better. This seems to be an issue only with springs added in the 1995 survey.  This spring is probably located in the southwest-trending drainage just to the west of the Tres Spring wash. Hopefully someone else will get out there and find it.

*Pena Spring – marked by a string of cottonwoods and other trees, several upwellings up and down the deeply shaded wash, very productive, I drew water here, and it’s probably available all year long, keep your eyes peeled for the large cairn on the south side of the trail just before it drops down to the west, the cairn marks the descent into the wash where the easiest-to-reach upwelling can be found under grasses.

*Pena 2 Spring – same as Tres Spring, but no evidence of wildlife visitation, might be inactive

*Linda Spring – water flowing for a mile downwash, several small tinajas in a gorgeous box canyon, the spring spills from above in a narrow waterfall over a large pouroff at the end of the box, which is climb-able. Above the box canyon, the wash tightens up for a half-mile or so and is filled with all kinds of tinajas (little, big, and a sinuous series that I called The Narrows). This last is fairly deep and shaded and might hold water for a long, long time.

*Wright Pool – again, a water source from the 1995 survey, and not where my UNM map said it was, but easily found later up the main wash. Wright is a HUGE tinaja, but faces southwest and might dry up in spring and early summer

*Red Ass Springs – marked by three groups of large cottonwoods each with its own spring and several seeps coming out of the north sedimentary beds, along with a few other upwellings here and there, most with good clean water, and a few tinajas with muddy water, this complex probably has water all year. Bear in mind that the huge, state-record cottonwood at the highest-elevation spring, though still impressive in DBH, is now a broken off trunk without a top and cannot be seen from a distance.

*South Spring – Same as Pena 2 Spring, possibly never productive

*North Spring – marked by several groups of cottonwoods, clear water wells up among the roots of the westernmost trees, spring is best approached from downwash where water flows for almost a quarter mile (but is scummy at the western end), might be productive all year long.

*Tule Springs – three separate, very productive springs emptying into HUGE collection pool w/ good water, should be water all year long. The water from Tule Springs was flowing all the way down to the southeast edge of Tule Mountain!

*Heading Out Spring – same as Chimneys Spring, never found it, but it's close to the Burro Spring trailhead and Burro Spring wash, so definitely worth a quick trip out there to investigate.

*Burro Spring – water running downwash for over a quarter mile from a perennial spring at base of huge pouroff, but bees!!! HUGE hanging tinaja up above at the top of the pouroff. Unbelievable amounts of rainwater collected there, but you'll need a cord in order to drop a bottle or bucket or other reservoir into it to collect water.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 05:13:53 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."


Offline bacon_on_top

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 12
THANK YOU for such an amazing resource! You rock!

Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat



All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal