Big Bend Conservancy
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Did a huge loop from from Fossil Bone up Tornillo Creek, down Rough Run to Dike Tinaja and back south of Slickrock Mtn., Croton Peak, Painted Gap Hills and Grapevine Hills to Fossil Bone. Trip report to come. There obviously has been lots of rain in the park this year and fall. I went in the day after PJ got 1.2" and the Basin got 1.7" so take all of this info with that in mind.Tornillo creek had a small running stream all the way up on 12/8 but was dry when I came back to Fossil Bone on 12/14. The best chance of water in Tornillo is the tight rocky U shaped curve about 7 miles up between Tornillo and Creek on the map, from trtlrock and satellite it seems to always have some water at least in pools.Dripping Spring had two medium pools above the drop into the trees, it was barely trickling over.Painted Hills spring was running for some distance, I did not walk down it.Onion spring had some water in the small pools in rocks above the cottonwood and house, did not fight my way in to see if the spring was running.While there were pools here and there in Rough Run but the only real water was about a half a mile below the Oak Creek junction. It ran for a long way over rocks into pools in a tight rock layered section. I did not go look at Christmas spring or Serendipity springs.Dike Tinaja had a full pool and it ran all the way down the wash to Rough Run. It was quite milky but I used it.Cottonwood creek had two long sections of running water from the cut in the ridge to the east down about a mile, each about a 1/4 mile long.Slickrock canyon had huge pools with flow in between them.Croton Spring drainage had lots of milky yellow water from almost the junction with Oak Creek up to Croton spring itself and in fact the marked springs didn't seem really be putting out much water. I found some tinajas on the ridge east of Croton peak over to Painted Gap Hills but will describe them later in the trip report.Lorn Spring, NW of the Grapevine Hills/Balanced rock parking area, has never been reported on that I know of. It is at the bottom of a high sandstone pouroff and had a dripping flow from about 5 feet above two small pools and no run off down the wash. There was a hanging fern garden along the drip zone.The surprise (to me) was no water at Neville spring despite the big cottonwoods. Looked over the edge of the wash at Fertile Sands, dry and no sign of Hannold 1. I looked for the old Quail spring from a distance high on the rim of the wash and saw no indication of water or vegetation the would be associated with water. I some how walked right by Hannold 2, so did not see it and likewise with Richards spring because I was not going to head back up wash.All for now, I will try to get a trip report started later this week. Great walk, 74 miles.
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