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Big Bend?



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Old 02-15-2006, 05:15 PM   #1
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Big Bend?

Any of you ever hit the 4 wheel drive roads in Big Bend or Big Bend State Park? I am hoping to find a place to do some backpacking/primitive camping and want to do a little wheeling along in the trip. Aiming out on a father/son camping trip. He is 6 and Santa got him a 2000 Cubic inch frame pack Kelty makes to fit 5 to 13 year olds. I am starting to get hit with homework that has a sentence in it like "when are we going camping"? Even pictures of the jeep and a kid next to it with a pack on and tent with some tall bald guy next to it. I guess a trip is needed. Any other parks I need to look at National, State or private I am open to sugestions?
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:37 PM   #2
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A few of us in our cub scout pack have thought about trying to hit Big Bend. I've read a lot of info on the roads and they seem to fit in my newbie wheeling status quite well. Looked like it'd be pretty good for some good hikes and a little history lesson as well.

I've read the camps are pretty well set up, but they can fill up on popular weekends.
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:41 PM   #3
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:18 PM   #4
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If you're looking to avoid the "crowds", I have some land about 30 minutes from the park. It's absolutely in the middle of nowhere, but that's what I like about it. No electricity, no phones, no water, no neighbors, you get the idea. We go camp, kick back and shoot guns or ride ATV's, dirtbikes, whatever. The wheeling is tough on tires so make sure you take a spare.

Miles and miles of dirt roads to explore and mountains to hike if you like. It's not as lush as the National Park area, but you're guaranteed not to see anyone for days. If you want to check it out, PM me.
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:26 PM   #5
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Used to.....Looking to get back there real soon tho!

Trips to Big Bend NP are mainly influenced by the weather / time of year. Spring break is one of the busiest times of the year, but you can still find places to go and places to camp if you can travel off highway. There's 800,000 acres there so finding a place is not too difficult. All of the backcountry roads, but one, are maintained, but road conditions can chage rapidly if there is any rain.

The best places to hike/backpack are up in the Chisos Mountains. Good backcountry roads to drive are Ore Road and River Road. If I was going to combine backcountry driving and hiking/backpacking, I'd drive to either Juniper Canyon or Pine Canyon, camp there, and hike up the backside of the Chisos. I'd definately do this while the temps are cooler.

You can call the park and they will mail out some brochures, but most the info they send is on their website http://www.nps.gov/bibe/.

Let me know when your planning to go out there and what you want to do and I can give ya some more info.
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:30 PM   #6
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What's a good time of the year to go down there? With 3 and 4 year old lil brothers and sisters we wanna be sure and go down at the most "comfortable" times. We spent last 4th of July out at Colorado City st. park with the boys and nearly everyone ended up dehydrated and burnt. We're at least taking the motorhome if we try that one again this year, but I ain't draggin that crap to big bend... lol
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:52 PM   #7
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In the summer it is hot, even for West Texas standardsl!!!!!!!!! Tho you can drive up to the Chisos Mountains where it's usually pretty comfortable. The best time to visit is now, cool nights warm days. For the next month or so it's very pleasant but come april the heat will build up.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:37 PM   #8
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If you stay in the park Juniper canyon trail is great, take the Glen Springs road then second road on the right. The Mariscal mines are cool, and a nice drive getting there. Here are some pics that I took on a trip out there. We drove the River road to Black Gap Rd. then back to Juniper Canyon, Black Gap Rd. is listed as 4X4 recommended, well it's not that bad mainly just some rough spots.

As for when to go, that would be now or fall, cool to cold nights and awsome days.



http://www.4x4republic.com/southwestvoodoo/main/DrydenSanderson1.htm

Some of the pics are from a friends property south of Dryden on the river.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:50 PM   #9
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Here is a good map of the park, it is the one they give you when you sign in.

It is a large pdf.
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/BIBEmaps/BIBE_Map1_SR.pdf
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Old 02-16-2006, 07:44 PM   #10
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Thanks

I appreciate the advice and the offer Glenn, Thanks! I like the idea that in the park, if I get stupid, someone may actually come looking for me, eventualy, since I plan on going with just me & my son.

I have always been atracted to the Dominguez Spring Trail and Elephant tusk trail. I have no real reason, my only idea is from the Map (I have the Nat Geo Trails map).

I have Zone camped in Green Gulch. Even went looking for water (remembering basic training clasroom stuff) and found it. Found a tree in the bottom of an aroyo, I was looking for green, and saw a bush in the distance I could see green. When I get there it is the top of a big tree showing out of a steep banked aroyo. It was growing out of the bottom of the aroyo. The roots were all washed out and the water was about 4 or 5 feet below the top of the root ball. I had left my filter in the truck and packed in my water, but finding it was cool. I used it with my kodak film. It was real close to those ruins at Green Gulch.

I have also went into the Chisos Mountians once from the trails starting at the store. I found myself with my mouth open saying "Oh wow" over and over.

We read a little online yesterday about the park and my son seems pretty sure that a park that is home to Mountain Lions and Bears is really cool. But soon after that started asking if we could go to Enchanted Rock instead. BIG Bend is going to take talking now.
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:30 PM   #11
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i have been all over big bend national park, and over much of Big Bend Ranch State Park

There' nothing in the NP that requires 4x4. Very easy roads, actually.

In the SP, I don't know what they are doing down there now. Used to, you hired a guide to take you into the closed area. It's MASSIVE. It's also FUN! Problem is, that was 6 years ago, and now I can't find the guide, nor can I find any information regarding taking Jeeps into the back country areas. If you can figure it out, it is a worthwhile trip. I really wanted to go back last year, but couldn't get any info about it.
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:26 PM   #12
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This is from crown mountain looking over Juniper Canyon.

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Old 03-03-2006, 10:48 PM   #13
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Aight! I am back in the park for good now. You all let me know if you come down my way. I should have my internet down there going soon.

It was 98 deg. down at the river yesterday!
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Old 03-04-2006, 05:43 AM   #14
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It was 98 deg. down at the river yesterday!

WOW!!



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Old 03-21-2006, 12:45 PM   #15
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Had fun!

Had a lot of fun last week. The wife freaked that her back pack was all of 25 lbs. I had the tent and food and water for 3, but her little overnight pack at 2000 cub in was too heavy. Hit the Pine Canyon trail head with it's Mountain Lion warning sign for a day hike and my son started needing to stop every 10 feet, so we only got about a 1/4 of a mile in. He was able to walk out without stopping though. So, we did alot of desert driving and car camping out of backpacks. I sure could of saved a bunch of money had I just been told. I was fully geared for car camping and fully geared for 2 people to backpack. Had to purchase a women specific backpack, a 3rd light weight sleeping bag, a 3 person light weight tent (I had a 2 person already) to CAR CAMP. As long as you all know I am not bitter.

Hit River Road west at dark:30 and my wife started freaking out (city girl). "Where have you taken me" "If somthing happens we are going to die, there is no one to help us anywhere" "What about the smugglers, we are ON THE BORDER" for 10 miles never getting over 15 MPH. Camping on the river at the Loop 1 site, we had a bunch of 4 legged Coyotes yelling all night.

We went to the mines, she drove all over in her little Rubicon. She wouldn't take Black Gap Road but she drove us into Juniper Canyon camp sites like a pro. On the way into Juniper Canyon we met up with a couple in their SUV warning her they had to turn around cause it was so rough and she shouldn't go any further. When we dove past she said "he shouldn't of bought that Soccer Mom mobile, maybe he wouldn't be such a girl".

We did a few nights at Pine Canyon. Drove into Telingua and drove arond the desert out there. Found some good Mexican Food. Wandered around the old cemetary. Went in to the Canyons down by Rio Grande Village. Was a good tourist.

When I heard "we finnaly used the Jeep for what it was designed" I did point out that we stayed in 4 wheel high never going below drive 2 and didn't even consider the lockers and we have a ways to go to get to "what it was designed for".
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Old 03-21-2006, 12:52 PM   #16
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Sounds like a good trip
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:58 PM   #17
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So would you recommend that road for a fairly stock Suburban on 33's? Our cubscout troop is a bunch of wimps... need to take the woman out for a good camping trip for our anniversary/mother's day....
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:17 PM   #18
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So would you recommend that road for a fairly stock Suburban on 33's? Our cubscout troop is a bunch of wimps... need to take the woman out for a good camping trip for our anniversary/mother's day....
The road crew was just out there last week and cleaned up all of the bad spots (mostly deep sand). River Road is very passable in a stock vehicle, it's usally maintained, but that can chage quickly if a gullywasher comes through the area. In fact, I passed a couple of minivans heading out to mariscal mines last summer. The only psuedo-difficult roads out here are Black Gap and Ore Road, however those are driven by new model four by expeditions on a regular basis.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:26 PM   #19
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Had a lot of fun last week.
Man alive that was the most people I have ever seen in this park. Surprized yall found a place to camp.

Hate to hear that you didn't get to take the Rubi out on Black Gap. Well I suppose you have a good reason to come back.
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:12 PM   #20
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So would you recommend that road for a fairly stock Suburban on 33's? Our cubscout troop is a bunch of wimps... need to take the woman out for a good camping trip for our anniversary/mother's day....
We hit sand in a couple of places that floated the jeep a little. Nothing that really took any skill. Mostly curvy, twisty dirt road. River road east to the mines was almost like a county gravel road in good shape. From the Loop campsites West was more like hill country cow pasture double track. Juniper Canyon was rough, as in big loose baby head size rock. Some slight off cantor trail. Rough enough that we only saw 3 or 4 drive past to the next site or the trail head in 24 hrs. Went right around the corner to Pine Canyon and there was 3 to 6 drive past an hour. Some roads are ready for everyone some roads are rough. Nothing was technical that I crossed. Dont get me wrong It was fun scooting around those curvy steep hilled little roads.
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:34 PM   #21
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Man alive that was the most people I have ever seen in this park. Surprized yall found a place to camp.

Hate to hear that you didn't get to take the Rubi out on Black Gap. Well I suppose you have a good reason to come back.
We had to go out to the Loop camp site on River Rd the first night just to get a spot. Most people wouldn't go there because of all the stuff getting stolen in that area. That is the only reason there was a spot. I really like the site on Juniper Canyon, I wish we would of just stayed there. The Ranger that checked us in kept push Pine Canyon and how nice the site was and you can use the bear box as a table, yada, yada, yada. So.. I said well take it next and then he didn't put us in the log so we had to double camp the first night on Pine Canyon and drive in to get it straightened out for the next night. They had us double booked for both.

I got to keep my wife close to her comfort zone or she will quit quick. If I only push the envelope a little she will have fun and I can push further next time. Last time I used the phrase "its eisier to ask for forgivness..." on this site I got fussed at. If I remember right it was Rastus that... . So I have tried to listen and break her in slow. But her comfort zone is so very far from mine that it has been really really slow. But hey before this the only time she has ever went anywhere remote was the National Seashore on N Padre and the county beach on S padre. Now shes has done desert driving and camping and has put a backpack on, didn't keep it on, but she did put it on.
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:18 PM   #22
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