Terlingua and Big Bend NP Report T-Day 2019

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USStrongman

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Lubbock, TX 79401, USA
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Bryan
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Hildebrand
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20099

Headed to camp on a friends 1,500 acres adjacent to Big Bend NP on a butte above Terlingua over Thanksgiving. Have never been down that way and from reading, trails are plenty, but unclear what was what. Anyone help me sort out day trips in Big Bend and the surrounding areas? BTW, this is my first post. Member #22099. Be nice... I'm fragile!
 
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justjames

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Lots to see in the area. Plenty of asphalt in BB with the associated traffic. The dirt roads inside the park are much less traveled if that's your thing.

Big Bend Ranch State Park is much more remote and rugged and is just west of Terlingua. If your rig is capable and you're good with solitude, stick to the dirt.
 

USStrongman

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Thanks. Def off the beaten path kinda guy. 2017 JKU with AEV 2.5" and KO2's. Recovery gear, and all the usual necessities for back country travel. We did some exploring earlier this year in Marfa and Alpine and enjoyed it, but looking at the remoteness of BB, I'm a lot more excited.
 

Matt L.

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There is plenty of information about the trails in Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park available at their headquarters and much available online. It can be difficult to decide which trail you want to dedicate your time to. The National Park is easier to get to and the roads can be done in loops, rather than out and back. However, while the National Park is remote, it is not nearly as remote as the State Park, especially on Thanksgiving week.

I wrote this post a few years ago about Big Bend National Park:

Big Bend Info

There are also many County Roads around Terlingua and my maps have never gotten me through them without some guessing. You might try exploring those if you enjoy a navigation challenge.

I hope this helps.

-Matt L.
 

Mrprotaganist

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Round Rock, TX, USA
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Tommy
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Christmas Mountain is a must see. It's about an hours drive to the top with 360* views of the national park and surrounding area. You must obtain the key from Terlingua Ranch Lodge to open the gate(its free). I highly suggest calling to reserve a date and time to go up as only one vehicle group is allowed at a time. Its a narrow road to the top cut out of the side of the mountain. Lake Ament is a fun drive from the lodge with beautiful views.
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USStrongman

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Lubbock, TX 79401, USA
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Bryan
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Hildebrand
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20099

Well... Christmas Mountain didn't happen. Rained all night and morning before we were supposed to head up. We made it out to the south end of the park and it was dry. BB Hot springs and Ole Ore Road all day long.

All in all we shot some amazing weapons (outside the park and with the JoP present) on private property, drank some great beers, ate some terrific camp food and had an amazing dinner at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua with a table of 19. It was packed!

Driving down there is ideal. The topography is absolutely worth the trip. Water and its infinite wisdom creates some pretty amazing things. We found plenty of embedded fossils, sharks teeth and a unique fossil of a foot or wrist bone that the landowner had no idea what it was. We gave to him and he is sending it to a paleontologist to review.

Trail conditions were good-great except Old Ore Road. What an abortion. Hoping BLM and NPS spend a few weeks giving it some love. Really rutted and large runoff areas needing service considering the amount of traffic it sees going out to Ernst Tanaja Trail from the south. Someone in their brilliance took their Prius out there. Watched a redneck in his ranching Dodge Ram pull him across 12"+ rocks in a wash... further into the park. Not sure how he got out. Saw a few others in cars turn around once they saw how bad the road was.

I meant to change out my wheels/tires but simply didn't have time last week due to work. I have AEV Saltas with Patagonias I use when I know I am going way off road. These are the OEM 75th Anniversary wheels in OEM black texture and KO2's. KO2's have 46k on them and did not do well in the mud. We saw plenty of rain.
 

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Matt L.

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Oh man, that sounds great. The Hot Springs and Old Ore are a long drive from Starlight but always well worth the trip.
I like the color of your Jeep, by-the-way.
 

USStrongman

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THanks. Its always a work in progress! Regear is next on the list. If it was just the rig weighed down with equipment, it would be fine, but the 3.73 with a trailer and gear and dogs and daughter and wife... no bueno. Since on OL trailer is in the immediate forecast, regear before we buy a trailer.4.88 should suffice. Mid range between hwy and towing ability. Roads are all 75mph within 3 hours of me so dont want to listen to the higher rpm of 75-80mmph with anything bigger than 4.88.
 

Mrprotaganist

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Round Rock, TX, USA
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Tommy
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Peiser
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It's good to see the hot springs are back. When we were out there in October they were completely covered by the river. Looks like a great trip!