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Big Bend


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Got home from my latest trip out to the Big Bend. I've been out there several times and this time got to see a lot of the Park I'd never visited before. There's so much land out there that it's just incredible. If you like mountains, high desert, canyons and rivers, you need to make the trip out there.

Here's some pics I posted on my blog for your enjoyment!


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I've done both - back country hiking and the last two times I've hit the back country roads, camping in the back country with all of our gear in the car and then taking day hikes. You get to see a LOT more of the park that way.

The big challenge to back country hiking is water. You've basically got a couple of choices - go there with two cars - put one on either end of the trail and then hike across country to the other car. Considering you'll need a minimum of a gallon of water a day - at 7-8 lbs a gallon you start running out of options really quick. There are little to no reliable water sources in the Park so to be perfectly safe, you need to carry what you're going to need. Option B for back country hikes is to either make an out and back or a loop, in which case you're not going to see a lot of the Park. There are a couple of options for loop trails into the back country in the Chisos mts that you could do in 3 days, depending on your route.

The last time I went there (3 years ago or so) was the first time I've done the back country roads and then day hiked from camp. Much easier and all you need to carry is your water and food needs for the day; and an additional benefit is you get to cover a LOT more ground. This latest trip was the 2nd time I've done the Park this way and I'll definately continue to do so as you get to see so much of the diversity of the Park. This time we hiked in totally flat, almost sandy conditions to a canyon; a mountainous trail to the window; and a rolling desert hike through small valleys to the Chimneys - 3 totally different eco-systems with a massive difference in scenery each time.

You are still massively isolated by doing the back country roads - so if you want to 'get away' from everyone it's very easy to do on them. I think the whole time, over 5 days in the Park on the back country roads we might have seen less than 10 other people.

Edited to add:

The backcountry car route requires a high clearance vehicle with VERY sturdy tires. 4x4 is not necessarily required except for a couple of roads, but tough tires are a must.

Edited by Catfish
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Good tires are a must! We had two tires go down on the new Tahoe 4x4 we were in. The guy at the only tire shop in Terlingua (about the closest "civilazation" to the park) tell us that the best tires he'd seen hold up out there were 10 ply tires, and not necessarily the mongo off road stuff...

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