Big Bend Anyone?

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Tray

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Looking to gauge interest in a Big Bend Trip. Targeting somewhere between Sept 13 and Oct 18. Understanding that Oct 4,5,6 will be blocked out. looking for 5 to 10 rigs. Routes and trails to be discussed. Show of hands with some dates!
Busy time of year for me, but get some set dates and I’ll see if I can make it.
 
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Road

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Been going to and camping in The Big Bend for about 15 years, just spent 17 weeks there, camping and exploring back-country and off-pavement about 90% of that time, and have been asked to consider being a volunteer by both National Park and State Park officials because of my experience in the area.

I'd like to offer a friendly suggestion. . .

- Please keep in mind there are next to no places for 5-10 vehicles to camp together or close to each other unless you are in one of the developed campgrounds or go to a private place on the land between BBNP and BBRSP, known as Terlingua Ranch. Black Gap WMA east of BBNP has remote hunting and fishing camps, but they are not suitable for more than a couple vehicles at a time.

- Please also keep in mind that Rangers in the parks may actively discourage groups of more than a few vehicles at a time together on a trail. Having more than 4-5 vehicles on a trail in a convoy at the same time does more damage than if all those vehicles were to do the trail at separate times on different days. Rangers have privately said they wish convoys of vehicles would limit themselves more.

- Contrary to popular belief there is NO dispersed camping in Big Bend NP or Big Bend Ranch SP. ALL back country sites are designated, marked, and need permits before camping.

- There was a burn ban in all of Brewster County (all of BBNP and part of BBRSP) the entire time I was there. I'd check before camping if a burn ban is in effect when you are there.

Though desert environments may seem harsh and desolate, the Chihuahuan Desert--any desert, really--is a fragile ecosystem easily damaged by vehicles and fire and trash. It can take years for tracks from careless rigs and inconsiderate campers to heal or go away.

If not already well-versed in Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace principles, a visit to these sites will be helpful and worthwhile.

Tread Lightly 4x 4 Tips .pdf

Leave No Trace 7 Principles

T.R.E.A.D. Poster:

treadlightly-800.jpg


roaddude_nightsky-4367-900.jpeg
 
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StoneyJeanz

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Work probably won't like it but how many days were you thinking? Me and my wife did a week and hit most of the trails except for a couple of them.
 

darrenc

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Been going to and camping in The Big Bend for about 15 years, just spent 17 weeks there, camping and exploring back-country and off-pavement about 90% of that time, and have been asked to consider being a volunteer by both National Park and State Park officials because of my experience in the area.

I'd like to offer a friendly suggestion. . .

- Please keep in mind there are next to no places for 5-10 vehicles to camp together or close to each other unless you are in one of the developed campgrounds or go to a private place on the land between BBNP and BBRSP, known as Terlingua Ranch. Black Gap WMA east of BBNP has remote hunting and fishing camps, but they are not suitable for more than a couple vehicles at a time.

- Please also keep in mind that Rangers in the parks may actively discourage groups of more than a few vehicles at a time together on a trail. Having more than 4-5 vehicles on a trail in a convoy at the same time does more damage than if all those vehicles were to do the trail at separate times on different days. Rangers have privately said they wish convoys of vehicles would limit themselves more.

- Contrary to popular belief there is NO dispersed camping in Big Bend NP or Big Bend Ranch SP. ALL back country sites are designated, marked, and need permits before camping.

- There was a burn ban in all of Brewster County (all of BBNP and part of BBRSP) the entire time I was there. I'd check before camping if a burn ban is in effect when you are there.

Though desert environments may seem harsh and desolate, the Chihuahuan Desert--any desert, really--is a fragile ecosystem easily damaged by vehicles and fire and trash. It can take years for tracks from careless rigs and inconsiderate campers to heal or go away.

If not already well-versed in Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace principles, a visit to these sites will be helpful and worthwhile.

Tread Lightly 4x 4 Tips .pdf

Leave No Trace 7 Principles

T.R.E.A.D. Poster:

View attachment 112094


View attachment 112098
.

Thank you for taking the time to comment and share that information. It will help in making plans going forward.
 
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MOAK

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Been going to and camping in The Big Bend for about 15 years, just spent 17 weeks there, camping and exploring back-country and off-pavement about 90% of that time, and have been asked to consider being a volunteer by both National Park and State Park officials because of my experience in the area.

I'd like to offer a friendly suggestion. . .

- Please keep in mind there are next to no places for 5-10 vehicles to camp together or close to each other unless you are in one of the developed campgrounds or go to a private place on the land between BBNP and BBRSP, known as Terlingua Ranch. Black Gap WMA east of BBNP has remote hunting and fishing camps, but they are not suitable for more than a couple vehicles at a time.

- Please also keep in mind that Rangers in the parks may actively discourage groups of more than a few vehicles at a time together on a trail. Having more than 4-5 vehicles on a trail in a convoy at the same time does more damage than if all those vehicles were to do the trail at separate times on different days. Rangers have privately said they wish convoys of vehicles would limit themselves more.

- Contrary to popular belief there is NO dispersed camping in Big Bend NP or Big Bend Ranch SP. ALL back country sites are designated, marked, and need permits before camping.

- There was a burn ban in all of Brewster County (all of BBNP and part of BBRSP) the entire time I was there. I'd check before camping if a burn ban is in effect when you are there.

Though desert environments may seem harsh and desolate, the Chihuahuan Desert--any desert, really--is a fragile ecosystem easily damaged by vehicles and fire and trash. It can take years for tracks from careless rigs and inconsiderate campers to heal or go away.

If not already well-versed in Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace principles, a visit to these sites will be helpful and worthwhile.

Tread Lightly 4x 4 Tips .pdf

Leave No Trace 7 Principles

T.R.E.A.D. Poster:

View attachment 112094


View attachment 112098
Thanks,, the maximum number of vehicles permitted in a group at Canyonlands NP is three. Big Bend & Big Bend Ranch will soon follow suit. Here in Pa St Forests the number is 10, which the rangers are learning very quickly is too many. I keep the tour that I host at 6, much to the chagrin of the organizers of the larger event. If the “large convoy” trend continues managers of public lands will be forced to limit the number of vehicles permitted. BTW, we can’t wait to get down to Big Bend again. Tis a magical place.
 
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Road

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Thank you for taking the time to comment and share that information. It will help in making plans going forward.
Thanks,, the maximum number of vehicles permitted in a group at Canyonlands NP is three. Big Bend & Big Bend Ranch will soon follow suit. Here in Pa St Forests the number is 10, which the rangers are learning very quickly is too many. I keep the tour that I host at 6, much to the chagrin of the organizers of the larger event. If the “large convoy” trend continues managers of public lands will be forced to limit the number of vehicles permitted. BTW, we can’t wait to get down to Big Bend again. Tis a magical place.
.

My pleasure.

I never know how it will be taken when I make a suggestion like this. I'm sometimes considered the downer in a group when I bring up Pack It In/Pack It Out, alternatives to cat-holes (discouraged a lot of places now because too many people don't do it right), not disturbing or removing artifacts (yeah even rocks or arrow heads), plants, or animals, and what most with long experience have learned are better ways to explore with vehicles. Even here in OB I was called a troll and told I was trying to ruin the party when some wanted to set up a huge invite-all "it'll be epic!" event in the desert because "it won't hurt anything there."

I could go on at length, but this thread is more about organizing a trip to Big Bend. There's a ton of wonderful places to go in the general area.

Make your adventure your own and take your time and savor it; in my experience the Big Bend has a way of creeping into your experience like few other places.
.
 
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FireMedicPQ1

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Following this thread. We visited BBNP last spring (stayed at the Lodge). It is a beautiful and special place. I'd like to explore the backcountry a bit. I was looking at the map and it looks like you could get out from the crowds for a few days. I'd be interested in the routes you take. Keep us up to date.
 
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darrenc

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Work probably won't like it but how many days were you thinking? Me and my wife did a week and hit most of the trails except for a couple of them.
3 to 5 would be ideal for Us. Our Son is in San Antonio s could always plan a visit tacked on to the back end of the trip.
 
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darrenc

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.

My pleasure.

I never know how it will be taken when I make a suggestion like this. I'm sometimes considered the downer in a group when I bring up Pack It In/Pack It Out, alternatives to cat-holes (discouraged a lot of places now because too many people don't do it right), not disturbing or removing artifacts (yeah even rocks or arrow heads), plants, or animals, and what most with long experience have learned are better ways to explore with vehicles. Even here in OB I was called a troll and told I was trying to ruin the party when some wanted to set up a huge invite-all "it'll be epic!" event in the desert because "it won't hurt anything there."

I could go on at length, but this thread is more about organizing a trip to Big Bend. There's a ton of wonderful places to go in the general area.

Make your adventure your own and take your time and savor it; in my experience the Big Bend has a way of creeping into your experience like few other places.
.
Many people get different things out of their trips. We like not only seeing and exploring but the camaraderie of the group and the experience of sharing trips with new friends. Although not new to offroading and what we now call overlanding, organizing and setting up a trip is new to me so I welcome any feedback as long it is done tastefully and not condescending. So I am watching a trip down to Baja after the first of the year. One belief is there is safety in numbers while others believe numbers garner unwanted attention. All depends I guess on your experiences. Similar here, also knowing if we say 5 to 10 rigs (shot in the dark number) the reality is that 3 to 5 will end up going.

Always tread lightly and always strive to leave a place with no trace or better then we found it.
 
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darrenc

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The only trails I have researched a bit are Black Gap/Mariscal/River Road and Christmas Mt, so I am thinking BBNP.
 
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MOAK

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Many people get different things out of their trips. We like not only seeing and exploring but the camaraderie of the group and the experience of sharing trips with new friends. Although not new to offroading and what we now call overlanding, organizing and setting up a trip is new to me so I welcome any feedback as long it is done tastefully and not condescending. So I am watching a trip down to Baja after the first of the year. One belief is there is safety in numbers while others believe numbers garner unwanted attention. All depends I guess on your experiences. Similar here, also knowing if we say 5 to 10 rigs (shot in the dark number) the reality is that 3 to 5 will end up going.

Always tread lightly and always strive to leave a place with no trace or better then we found it.
Very true! Baja eh? I’ve always wanted to do the entire peninsula. In the lower 48 we most always go out and about alone, however, a back road trip down Baja, or up through the Canadien Rockies and over to Alaska? Hmm, it would be better, much better, with a small group, say 3-5 vehicles..
 

darrenc

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Throwing this out , how about sept 20 for travel from San Antonio to BBNP. we can plan each days run to start and stop so there would be easy bail out points but we would stay probably through Monday night.
 

darrenc

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@MOAK don't want to hijack my own thread but let me know if a Baja trip would be in the near future for planning. I would be ready to take it to the next planning level. 3-5 rigs I think would be a must for that area.
 

Road

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Thought I'd let this be replied to more about BBNP first, though have something to say about Baja that may be of help.

You may be surprised how American and safe it is down on the Baja peninsula these days, and how many folks go down in just their vehicle, not a small group. If you're on insta, check out Amie and Matt's Baja and other travels at the_traveling_together_journal as well as my pals Lyndsey and Braden at lifeat90kph . Both couples have have traveled extensively on their own throughout Mexico, though Amie and Matt did meet up with OB folk and traveled together a bit in Baja. Scroll back through both couple's feeds or find Amie and Matt's youtube vids...Baja is nothing to be worried about as far as being solo.

Other advice I've received in person from folks just back from Mexico in general and Baja in particular, when I camped along the border this past winter and spring for so long, is that if I want to go wander in Mexico I might want to scale down my presence (big-assed van and off-road trailer) and not be so official looking. I'm often mistaken for being govt or university research.

Others consistently say that if you travel with a partner in Mexico, you are better off and more well-received. If you travel with a partner and a dog, even better, and if you travel with a partner, dog, and a kid or two, you're golden.

On Baja not as important as the mainland, but nice if you know Spanish or at least show you are trying to learn.

To a person, everyone I've spoken to that has gone to Baja or mainland Mexico for adventuring has had little to no problem.

There are common things one does whenever going to another country and vehicle-adventuring, though, like having duplicates of all legal papers (registrations, passports, license, etc) and keep the originals safe and hidden. Don't take any weapons with you, stuff like that.

Hope you're able to get a trip together! I'll be doing it sometime, as well.