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Going to big bend ranch state park and National Park, recommendations?

Discussion in 'Texas' started by USDashCamera, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Jan 9, 2019 at 9:00 PM
    #1
    USDashCamera

    USDashCamera [OP] Put it in H

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    Going the week of Feb 10th. Worried that gov will still be shut down so we're planning on camping in the state park. Seems like it's all primative camping with no toilets or pit toilets. I could probably deal with this but probably not my family.

    Anyways, looking at recommended hikes and trails for off roading on GAIA but looking to see if anyone here has some MUST see trails. Everyone going is reasonably fit to do some hard hikes, done many in Montana and Wyoming, but they'd have to be day hikes.

    My truck is decent, 2017 TRD OR with 2-3" lift, bfg KO2s. But we will be traveling in just one vehicle. If there are any 4x4 trails worth seeing that'd be good to know.

    Lemme know of any recommendations or concerns, thanks!
     
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  2. Jan 10, 2019 at 6:03 AM
    #2
    CedarPark

    CedarPark Master of Destroying CVs

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    Might as well do Black Gap in the national park to check it off the bucket list. It’s not hard but worth doing if you’re there for views on views. There’s a really nice hike on the Far East side of the national park as well. Past the little travel center a few miles in
     
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  3. Jan 10, 2019 at 7:34 AM
    #3
    TexasTacoma713

    TexasTacoma713 Well-Known Member

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    Black gap and old ore are the best off road trails there
     
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  4. Jan 10, 2019 at 8:58 AM
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    str8-shooter

    str8-shooter Well-Known Member

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    I think it was called the window or something to that affect. Was a pretty easy hike and ended with an awesome view.

    IMG_0834.jpg
     
  5. Jan 10, 2019 at 10:44 AM
    #5
    USDashCamera

    USDashCamera [OP] Put it in H

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    we are definitely there for the views and hiking. I am going with my parents, I am driving us in my truck. They would be interested in going for a trail ride if there were good views.

    thanks for the suggestions.
     
  6. Jan 10, 2019 at 10:54 AM
    #6
    TexasTacoma713

    TexasTacoma713 Well-Known Member

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    Old ore is def more scenic than black gap IMO
     
  7. Jan 11, 2019 at 1:14 PM
    #7
    08tacomike

    08tacomike Active Member

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    Fresno Canyon is a great drive that terminates in an area with several hiking trails, old homesteads, springs and falls. I'd recommend Rincon 1 or 2 campsites in that area - both have picnic tables and shade shelters but it's a bag up your crap and haul it out kind of place. The Las Burros campsites are amazing but the trail out to them is extremely rough and tight if you value your paint. Gaul 2 is probably one of the most popular campsites because of the vistas but expect wind. The Solatario area area is pretty barren and flat. Road to No Where is a good 1/2 day trip/photo op and that end of the park has some interesting mines. The Cinco Tinajas and Leyva Escondido trails off the main park road are quick but worth stopping for. I was there last week and didn't see another soul until I was leaving the park.
     
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  8. Jan 11, 2019 at 2:40 PM
    #8
    Beretta4x4

    Beretta4x4 Ex-Army Dude TTC #0114

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    I did Big Bend a couple years ago with some buddies. If you plan to camp in the National Park, you have to check in with the Visitor center to let them know where you plan on camping and reserve the campsites. My friends and I stayed at the southernmost campsite and were able to see the Mexican ranchers on their horses on the other side of the Rio Grande. It was real windy in the southern part of the park and the wind ended up destroying my Academy awning. The rangers will give you a safety briefing about the conditions when you make your camping reservations.

    I would recommend making sure your gas tank is full as there is only a few fuel pumps, one at the north close to the visitor center and the rest located at the small towns just outside the park. Bring plenty of water, as there is little/no shade in most of the park. I'd recommend you just plan a circular route and stop at anything that catches your fancy. It's beautiful there. Definitely go down Black Gap Road. I did and it wasn't difficult but it is not maintained at all, so depending on recent weather, it can get hairy in a couple spots. It was good fun for my friends who have never been off-roading in anything other than a Humvee. Go to Santa Elena Canyon and follow the trail all the way down. It is fantastically beautiful and you can actually walk across to Mexico from there lol.

    P.S. My avatar is a pic from that trip
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  9. Jan 11, 2019 at 2:52 PM
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    Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster Gon Campin'

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    +1 for old ore. Stretch your legs at Ernst Tenaja near the southern exit of that road -there's some cool geology going on there.

    Also, everybody hikes at least one trail in the basin area, for good reason. Emory peak can be done in a single day, but that's pretty much all youre doing that day.
     
  10. Jan 14, 2019 at 10:34 AM
    #10
    USDashCamera

    USDashCamera [OP] Put it in H

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    thanks everyone for the suggestions, we will be camping outside the parks because my family isn't gonna wanna camp where there are no pit toilets and will just drive in for day trips. also with the government shut down we don't expect there to be any services.

    how long does ole ore and black gap take? I want to make sure we have a good balance of more hiking, with 1 or 2 off road trail rides. those 2 seem to be the top 2 suggestions.
     
  11. Jan 14, 2019 at 5:25 PM
    #11
    bakerla

    bakerla Man, Myth, Legend

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    Sounds like alot of driving, timewise into and out of the park. Where exactly are you camping?
     
  12. Jan 14, 2019 at 6:57 PM
    #12
    Beretta4x4

    Beretta4x4 Ex-Army Dude TTC #0114

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    It will take a while to drive in and out. The highest showed limit I remember was 45 and there's a lot of washboard on the dirt roads that will limit your speed. Black Gap took me 6 hours as it was very washed out when I went. The other trails I don't think I went over 40 mph very often.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  13. Jan 17, 2019 at 7:41 AM
    #13
    USDashCamera

    USDashCamera [OP] Put it in H

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    hmmm if its too much of a pain we might wanna consider our back up florida fishing trip.

    my stepdad said there are private camp sites in the area between the state park and the national park. so each day would be an all day thing going in and out to some hiking trails or 4x4 trails.

    looks like the goat pens at cigar springs ranch is pretty close. gotta find out if we can still reserve spots less than a month in advance probably tho.
     
  14. Jan 17, 2019 at 7:50 AM
    #14
    TexasTacoma713

    TexasTacoma713 Well-Known Member

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    Half of the campsites at chisos are first come first serve and rio grande village almost always has campsites open. Both have pit toilets and rio grande village is the only site with showers
     
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  15. Jan 17, 2019 at 7:53 AM
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    TexasTacoma713

    TexasTacoma713 Well-Known Member

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    I would totally choose Big bend over Florida bc you can go to Florida all year long but big bend is only ideal time to visit is between thanksgiving and spring break.
     
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  16. Jan 21, 2019 at 9:56 PM
    #16
    TheIsh

    TheIsh Well-Known Member

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    20190120_092151.jpg we were just there this weekend was pretty cool all the way around we also did Christmas mountain trail we. Did some trails at night since the government shut down take a bunch of water I might decide to go again soo. Let me know
     
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  17. Jan 22, 2019 at 12:16 PM
    #17
    USDashCamera

    USDashCamera [OP] Put it in H

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    im definitely bringing a 10x10 pop up canopy. It was a life saver last spring in the badlands when it was hot with no shade.

    ive done primitive camping before and had to use those double lined poo-bags w/e they call them. I know walmart sells a generic version. But it definitely is something we'd like to avoid which is why we wanna camp at the private sites outside of the parks and make day trips. I bring a 7 gallon jug of water usually, might be worth bringing a second just incase we get stuck somewhere.

    my stepdad said big bend ranch supposedly has a few camp sites with bathrooms but i didnt see any.
     
  18. Jan 22, 2019 at 12:18 PM
    #18
    USDashCamera

    USDashCamera [OP] Put it in H

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    how busy does it get? we plan on going to the private camp sites and driving into the parks for the day for all day rides/hikes. is it necessary to reserve sites in advance at these private camp grounds? we would be there sunday night thru thursday night which we are hoping shouldn't be as busy since we wont be there friday or saturday either weekend.
     
  19. Jan 22, 2019 at 12:36 PM
    #19
    TheIsh

    TheIsh Well-Known Member

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    Well it was getting pretty packed last week, my recommendation is to book in advance to make sure but the park was filling up. Also right now you should book because of the government shutdown the camp grounds inside the park are completely closed.
     
  20. Jan 23, 2019 at 8:23 AM
    #20
    USDashCamera

    USDashCamera [OP] Put it in H

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    were you there during the week or weekends?

    Looked at Chisos and Rio Grande camp sites and both are part of the park system and say any reservations may not be honored and others might take your sites, nobody to enforce it. I noticed some of them do have bathrooms like Chisos, but will those be locked up during the shut down? Some parts up here in MN during the winter lock the bathrooms, but some dont. Obviously during the winter its super dead so they're virtually shut down.

    Gonna call up one of the private ones.
     

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