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!


3 days in January: Mariscal Canyon, Cross Canyon Trail, Mariscal Rim Trail

  • 28 Replies
  • 14678 Views
*

Offline DJ

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 51
And with that, I have floated all three canyons.

After my 10 hour drive, I arrived at PJ at 1:30, January 22, 2010. I made my way to the permitting counter and explained my itinerary. As I knew from experience it would be, my plan was met with a furrowed brow and a negative head shake. The rangers seem to act with an over abundance of caution rather than just providing some common sense advice. One ranger responded: "Where should we send your body after we recover it?" Here is what the park staff found so disturbing:

Day 1: Drive River Road East, camp at Solis 2
Day 2: Drive to Talley, inflate kayak, float Mariscal Canyon, take out at Solis landing, camp at Solis 2
Day 3: Hike Cross Canyon Trail to Mariscal Canyon Rim Trail to Talley, retrieve vehicle, drive back to Solis to retrieve kayak and camping gear

I felt like I had done my homework so the trip seemed reasonable. I did travel alone and that always adds an element of risk, but I was willing to take that risk.

Following is a pictorial essay (with captions).

Day 1


385 south of Marathon

River Road East

RRE, El Pico

RRE, Moon Scape

Solis Road

Camp Site, Solis 2

Day 2


Sun rise, Solis

Rainbows on RRE going to Talley

Rainbows on RRE going to Talley

Rainbow over Mariscal Mine

Death comes to us all

Sun shining on Elephant Tusk

Looking downstream at Talley

Cat track ?? at Talley

Entrance to Mariscal Canyon

Rock Pile

Rock Pile, another view

In the canyon, looking upstream

In the canyon, looking downstream

In the canyon

Looking upstream just before Tight Squeeze

Tight Squeeze, looking upstream

Tight Squeeze, looking downstream

I thought I had come out of the canyon when I got here only to find out I was about half way

A photo I took of myself. Is my nose really that big?

Calm water. My kayak stood still.

More calm water. There were times when the wind howled

Back at Solis 2. The truck is still at Talley. The float trip took 5 hours.

Day 3


Sunrise at Solis

Cross Canyon trail head

A dam in the Mariscal Mountains

The junction of Cross Canyon and Mariscal Rim trails

Looking at Mexico from the MC Rim Trail

Looking west at the Rio Grande from MC Rim Trail

Mariscal Canyon from the Rim Trail

Looking down at Tight Squeeze

Another view of Mariscal Canyon

Descending westward on the Rim Trail

Ruins at Talley

A sight for sore eyes (and legs) after my 6 hour hike

The parking lot at Talley. Nothing was stolen.

Yours truly

After all of that, I "camped out" at Easter Egg Valley.

What a trip. I probably say this after every new adventure in Big Bend, but the view of Mariscal Canyon from the Rim Trail is about the most spectacular thing I have seen in the Park.


« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 03:07:45 PM by DJ »
Tranquility, solitude, serenity...

*

chisos_muse

  • Guest
WOW!!!!    :eusa_clap:

Good for you DJ! Personally, I would have gone back to the rangers and told them what a great trip it was...

Looks like you had perfect weather too!  :icon_biggrin:

*

Offline dkerr24

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1424
  • The worst day hiking > the best day in a cubicle.
Awesome set of pics! Did you have to carry your raft past the tight squeeze, or were you able to get through it?  Looks like the Solis road could get washed out by the next deluge.



*

Offline bjbriggs

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 259
A good trip report and photo's, some people in here were talking about what you just done and were wanting to do it.  That was neat trip. Glad no one broke into your truck. :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:

*

Offline Catman

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 14
Way to go WC! Wish I had been there. Darn...No flats this time and no sleeping in the truck bed at RGV.  I think the Canadian needs to make a return trip, and soon.  

Thanks for the great report, I am now a worthless POS sitting in my cube trading nat gas.  See ya soon buddy!


Catman

« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 11:56:20 AM by Catman »

*

Offline DJ

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 51
Awesome set of pics! Did you have to carry your raft past the tight squeeze, or were you able to get through it?  Looks like the Solis road could get washed out by the next deluge.




The river was at about 4.5 feet (RGV) so just paddled through tight squeeze. I think you are correct about the road at Solis being washed away.

Solis 2 is a little over a mile from the river. I hiked up Solis Road to get back to my camp site. I had broken down all my gear and stashed it behind some bushes just to make it more difficult for any would-be thieves. It would not have been any fun to return and find my gear stolen with my truck 11 miles away on the other side of the Mariscal Mountains. The next morning I hiked back down to the river to pick up the trail head.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 02:26:05 PM by DJ »
Tranquility, solitude, serenity...

*

Offline homerboy2u

  • The Chipewa Cris tribe,Canada:
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 5103
One ranger responded: "Where should we send your body after we recover it?" Here is what the park staff found so disturbing:

 What encouraging words from the park office , before tackling a beautiful river trip........Adverti sed in Texas Highways Magazine. Excellent photography too.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 11:41:46 AM by homerboy2u »
Stay thirsty, my friends.

*

Offline bdann

  • Creosote
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1863
Awesome!  
WATER, It does a body good.

*

Offline randell

  • Coyote
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2032
  • Purveyor of Fine Hats
Outstanding trip and pics!  What is up with the rangers!  Just because they get a lot of outdoors newbies doesn't mean everyone is a newbie.  Some people just want to have fun and know how to do it right!
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

*

Offline mule ears

  • Global Moderator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4269
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Absolutely brilliant!  :eusa_clap:

What a great way to solve the shuttle problem and hike the mountain.  I hope to hike the mountain, including Cross Canyon down to the river next winter and yours are the first pictures I have seen of the Cross Canyon trail, with that metal sign at the junction of Cross Canyon and the Rim trail it looks more developed/maintained than I had imagined.

Thanks DJ!
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline DJ

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 51
Re: 3 days in January: Mariscal Canyon, Cross Canyon Trail, Mariscal Rim Trail
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2010, 12:15:13 PM »
yours are the first pictures I have seen of the Cross Canyon trail, with that metal sign at the junction of Cross Canyon and the Rim trail it looks more developed/maintained than I had imagined.



ME,

Cross Canyon trail is very faint in spots but well cairned all the way. The sign at the junction is just leaning against the rock...it needs to be secured...though I guess if one makes it that far one would know which way is which.

Here is another shot on the Cross Canyon Trail looking back to the east at El Pico.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 12:21:18 PM by DJ »
Tranquility, solitude, serenity...

*

Offline TexasAggieHiker

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1214
  • The road goes on forever & the party never ends...
Re: 3 days in January: Mariscal Canyon, Cross Canyon Trail, Mariscal Rim Trail
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2010, 12:24:50 PM »
AWESOME!!!   :eusa_clap:

*

Offline fartymarty

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1146
  • Lovin' BiBe for 48 years.
Re: 3 days in January: Mariscal Canyon, Cross Canyon Trail, Mariscal Rim Trail
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 01:26:11 PM »
Thanks DJ! Excellent trip and report! :eusa_clap:

I was not familiar with your type of pontoon-raft-kayak so I did some searching and came up
with "PaddleSki", is that what it is?

Can you tell us about the other 2 canyon trips? Were they solo or commercial trips?
If solo did you use the same watercraft?

The pictoral essay is a great format, thanks again.  :icon_biggrin:
Fort Worth

*

Offline DJ

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 51
Re: 3 days in January: Mariscal Canyon, Cross Canyon Trail, Mariscal Rim Trail
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2010, 01:38:17 PM »

I was not familiar with your type of pontoon-raft-kayak so I did some searching and came up
with "PaddleSki", is that what it is?

Can you tell us about the other 2 canyon trips? Were they solo or commercial trips?
If solo did you use the same watercraft?



Marty,

Yes, a Paddleski. Is this what you found: http://www.seaeagle.com/PaddleSki.aspx

I have taken my Sea Eagle up Santa Elena canyon a few times. The river level needs to be just right for that boomerang trip. We made it to Fern Canyon, then gently floated out. Also, I have taken a commercial trip through Santa Elena Canyon putting in at Lajitas. The river was up over 10 feet when we did that trip so we were able to make the entire float in one day (Big Bend River Tours). I was with others on all of these trips.

When I was a boy my dad took me through Boquillas Canyon twice. One time we were in canoes and another time we were in a raft.

Love the river trips!
Tranquility, solitude, serenity...

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4374
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: 3 days in January: Mariscal Canyon, Cross Canyon Trail, Mariscal Rim Trail
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2010, 03:21:01 PM »
Incredible trip. Glad to see all these trip reports from little visted places.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

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

Facebook Comments