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Thread: Big Bend Nat. Park and area...

  1. #1

    Big Bend Nat. Park and area...

    I've been wanting to check this park out for many years, but I always get sidetracked elsewhere. You have to get there before the middle of March or it's too hot. When I told my friends and neighbors I was going there, no one was even aware of it's existence. You know what's even more obscure than Big Bend National Park? Big Bend State Park, which is the largest state park in Texas and is just west of the national park.

    Hiking in the national, biking in the state. Both parks are HUGE, but the hiking and biking is a bit limited. In the national park, the main trials are in the Chisos Mountains and it's similar to hiking halfway up and down the Grand Canyon. The biking in the state park is similar to Klonzo in Moab. The best of what each has to offer can be done with two days each.

    So...the good. Fantastic views, great hiking for those in good shape, as these trails aren't for beginners. Lots of big up and down. Great mountain biking on trails that aren't heavily used. The night skies are the best I've ever're 100 miles from the nearest small town. I'm talking otherworldly...if I ever go back there, I'll buy and expensive telescope. I spent at least an hour every night drinking tea and looking up at the stars. It's even better than southeast Utah, believe it or not. Even with no moon, you could walk around in the desert without a flashlight. You really feel like you're "out in the boondocks" when you're down there. It's much more scenic than you might think.

    Now the not so good...there's is no public land in the area, which means you must either camp at some RV park or get a permit in either the state or nat. parks. There is absolutely no place to camp for free...the state park charges a camping fee AND a daily use fee. I don't mind the money so much, but it's a pain when you have to go through the logistics each morning if you want to move can't just finish the day and find some place to throw down a bag for the night. All sites in both parks are designated, you have to have a permit. You have to get the permit before they close at 5, or you may be crashing someone else's campsite. I had to do that once, but the couple that showed up after I got there were cool about it.

    Stock up before you get far from the Interstate up north because the pickin's are pretty slim. There's a well stocked grocery in Terlingua, but the fruits and veggies might be a bit sketchy.

    Nice trip, I'm glad I went. Long drive. Here's a few pictures from my crappy point and shoot. I spent 10 days probing all the nooks and cranies so if there's any questions, hit me.
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    Call the cops.

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  3. #2
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    May 2007
    We're all here, because we ain't all there.
    Just went through middle Texas to Carlsbad, on to Guadalupe Mtn's NP, then to El Paso.

    Carlsbad was way cool but I was a bit surprised at the size of Guadalupe mtn.

    Nice report.
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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by oldno7 View Post
    Just went through middle Texas to Carlsbad, on to Guadalupe Mtn's NP, then to El Paso.

    Carlsbad was way cool but I was a bit surprised at the size of Guadalupe mtn.

    Nice report.
    Thanks...I hit Carlsbad Caverns on the way down. I'd been there back in '78 when I was 15 years old, so it was a two hour deja vu. I walked both in and out, which I highly recommend for anyone who can do 800' and avoid the elevator...going out is as mind blowing as going in. A hiker (a Texan, plenty of those down there!) told me the trails in Guadalupe were very good.
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    Call the cops.

  5. #4
    Carlsbad Caverns is awesome! Boy is it HUGE! After a while in there I was like, "ok I have seen enough cave, get me outta here!" It is so MASSIVE!!

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by accadacca View Post
    Carlsbad Caverns is awesome!
    Indeed...for anyone who's never been in a big cave, this is something that I would put on the bucket list. Anyone that lives within a reasonable drive of this place should hit it. I was only there for a few hours because I was all jacked up to get down to south Texas...but when I go back I'll stay for a couple days and do one or two of the ranger led tours. These tours aren't some lightweight thing, they're serious! I heard about and saw pictures of the off limits places they go when I came out to have lunch in the visitor's center. Being there in the summer when all the bats are flying around would be cool, too.
    Call the cops.

  7. #6
    The historical artifacts in Carlsbad were fascinating. The early explorers were crazy.

    I too loved the hike in and out of the cave. Well worth it. I couldn't help but wonder how deep the guano was before they mined it out.

    I sure wished the NPS would give tours of this one:

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