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DharmaBum

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Helping a family member move to TX at the end of January. After which I will be driving back home from Houston to California. I wanted to take some time (6-7 days) to explore western TX, southern NM & AZ. I was thinking Big Bend Desert, White Sands NP, & I can't quite figure out AZ/ (Maybe Sonora Desert National Monument?) Looking for some dispersed camping and trails a Subaru Forester with almost 10.5” clearance can manage. Any suggestions, tips, or experiences would be greatly appreciated!

M
 
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USStrongman

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Big Bend and then north towards Alamogordo and White sands is very doable. From there head north to I-40 and head towards Flagstaff or head down to I-20 and head towards some of my favorite places for dispersed camping. Between Lordsburg, NM and the AZ border NM SR 80 heads south first in NM and then crosses into AZ and eventually brings you to the Mexico border near Douglas, Az. Just before Douglas, continue on SR 80 west to Bisbee, Tombstone areas and then out to Yuma. The areas around Bisbee to Tombstone are gorgeous, 6-7,000' elevation and lots of lonely trails N/NW of town. Heading further west you could do El Camino Del Diablo which is amazing. It begins in Yuma and ends in Ajo, AZ.

Two things about El Camino. It is nearly impassable for days if it has rained. I am certain they just got rain/snow there with this last system. If the sun comes out and humidity drops, the muddy areas dry out within days. You have to apply for a permit . You have to register before since it goes through several military areas - Luke AFB, Goldwater bombing range, etc.


You will also pass through two Border Patrol forward bases. It is safe and awesome out there. Several YouTube videos online so you can get an idea of what it looks like.

BB to Ajo.pngElCaminodelDiablo-1024x578.png
 
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USStrongman

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When in El Paso you can go more direct through Las Cruces (if you go that way, I'll give you the name of my favorite taco joint in Las Cruces) or you can take a side route on SR 50 around up to Cloudcroft which is at 9'000' elevation above the expanse of White Sands and Hollman AFB. Very laidback, small town with dispersed camping or lots of reasonably priced cabins for a nights rest. Drop down the hill west to Alamogordo, south on SR 50 to El Paso and then West on I-10 to NM/AZ line.
 
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spazegun2213

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Depending on where you are going in California, Mojave was VERY impressive for me. We just came back from a weekend there and I'd 100% do it again! We camped by the Granite hills and I'd do it again in an instant.
 
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spazegun2213

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@spazegun2213 thanks for the idea! I was thinking Joshua Tree but that’s only because I was there recently. Mojave sounds like looking into! Cheers
This is where we setup camp (roughly 34.808551554770716, -115.622718741056). The views were great and it was fairly secluded. Granted we did it over NYE weekend, so there were others nearby, but nothing crazy.
 
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DharmaBum

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@spazegun2213 looks stunning! I’m seriously still contemplating Mojave as the finishing stroke to this trip, which has ballooned into a 2300mi excursion—haha. But my entry point into CA is right near Anza-Borrego and I’m sorry to say I’ve never been!
 

spazegun2213

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@spazegun2213 looks stunning! I’m seriously still contemplating Mojave as the finishing stroke to this trip, which has ballooned into a 2300mi excursion—haha. But my entry point into CA is right near Anza-Borrego and I’m sorry to say I’ve never been!

@DharmaBum If you like "hiking" then try the slot Canyon. Its short (probably ~2 miles out and back?), and is a cool small slot canyon.

Further back into the park (and closer to the AZ border) are the wind caves which you can easily camp at (in the caves themselves if you want).

Past that I haven't explored much more of AB, but I know others on here have.
 

DharmaBum

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@spazegun2213 looks stunning! I’m seriously still contemplating Mojave as the finishing stroke to this trip, which has ballooned into a 2300mi excursion—haha. But my entry point into CA is right near Anza-Borrego and I’m sorry to say I’ve never been!

@DharmaBum If you like "hiking" then try the slot Canyon. Its short (probably ~2 miles out and back?), and is a cool small slot canyon.

Further back into the park (and closer to the AZ border) are the wind caves which you can easily camp at (in the caves themselves if you want).

Past that I haven't explored much more of AB, but I know others on here have.
Brilliant! I’m going to research these wind caves, that may be a a good destination once exiting El Camino del Diablo. Thanks for the insight, it’s greatly appreciated.
 

DharmaBum

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@USStrongman & @spazegun2213 thanks to your input I have crafted a rough draft of this trip! See attachment. I need to solidify some logistics, reservations & permit/passes, but I think this could be one of the best solo trips I will have experienced thus far overloading. I think I will need to add another day as well, ha. Cheers, mates!

@USStrongman: Tacos, yes please.

@spazegun2213: Wind Caves were an awesome recommendation.
 

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DharmaBum

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@USStrongman Cheers! That's unfortunate about the taco place, sadly the restaurant industry has been absolutely perforated due to current events. I think La Posta will suit me just fine! Menu and food all look fantastic.
 
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USStrongman

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Hard to find bad northern Mexico style food in Las Cruces.

As for El Diablo, expect a visit from a Border Patrol truck each night you stay out there, especially if you start a fire or have lots of lights. They are always polite and just want to know what you're doing, sometimes check your permit and ask if you've seen anyone walking around out there. Not a lot of illegals cross in the area, compared to Douglas and Bisbee, but they still check.
 
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DharmaBum

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@USStrongman thanks for the heads up. Every video I’ve watched touches on the BP stopping and saying hello. The video you’re required to watch to obtain a permit made me take a step back, as they casually mention in detail the risks of non-detonated explosives. It made me wonder if I could blow up at any moment, haha.
 

DharmaBum

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@USStrongman @spazegun2213 Well it's with a heavy heart I will be postponing this expedition. My mother (whom I was helping move) has tested positive for C-19 and is experiencing powerful symptoms. If you would, please, put some positive vibes out to the universe, mates.
 
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