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Big Bend Spring Break

Old Feb 27th, 2011, 10:57 AM
  #1  
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Big Bend Spring Break

Will be at Big Bend Sat, Sun, and Mon Spring Break March 12, 13, and 14. Have reservations at Chisos Lodge. On Sunday we have reservations with Big Bend River Tours for a rafting excursion, that will take the better part of the day. This tour goes to the Hot Springs, so we will probably soak there. I had planned to hike to the springs, but probably won't do that since, we will be there by boat anyway. The Window Trail looks like something we might do. We normally tackle about any type of day hike. Mild or wild is normally ok. I know this is the busiest time of year and that is also the weekend that we loose an hour(time change).

My big question is--Are there any "must do" hikes in the park? I called a ranger and she said that flowers probably aren't going to be that great this year, as it has been dry. I had thought of driving the Dagger Flatts road, but now might not since probably not blooming much. I thought I would eat in the lodge for the most part. Perhaps a breakfast at Kathy's Kosmic Kafe.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old Feb 27th, 2011, 05:13 PM
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The Window is a popular trail and I would say it is worth it. If there is water running, it is a little more interesting. I will have to consult my maps to refresh my memory of others we have done...
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Old Feb 27th, 2011, 05:23 PM
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Also considering Emory Peak, Lost Mine Trail, Dog Canyon, Santa Elena Canyon, Boquilas Canyon, and the trail to Balanced Rock.
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Old Feb 27th, 2011, 06:34 PM
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"Also considering Emory Peak, Lost Mine Trail, Dog Canyon, Santa Elena Canyon, Boquilas Canyon, and the trail to Balanced Rock."

Thanks for reminding me. Yes, have done Santa Elena Canyon, too. It might have been my first BB hike. Did Hot Springs (and soaked my feet therein) and Boquilas Canyon.

The latter is one of the more memorable. The kids had fun climbing and sliding down a hugh sand drift in the canyon. Also, here you can see MX commerce at work. Merchandise is left on the US side with a coffee can cash register while the artisans await on the southern shore.

Regarding the Window, there is an ancillary trail (Oak Spring Trail) that climbs to a lookout point above the Window. I was there with one of my sons and three of his friends. We did this hike late one evening, stopping at the Window and then climbing Oak Spring to watch the sun go down in the distance before hiking back with the aid of flashlights. That was my most memorable of several trips to the Window. All too vividly I remember that as I started to photograph the vista, I dropped the digital camera that promptly exploded on the rocks at my feet. The next day, I called DW from Rio Grande Village where we were camped to give her the bad news. She was due to leave for England shortly afterward our return and had to rush out and purchase a new camera for her trip.

On that same trip, the boys and I climbed Lost Mine Trail. This involves a lot of climbing, but rewards with some good views.

We have a 4x4 and also did some backcountry driving on one trip.

I love being there, but getting there is a 10hr drive! We have combined BB with other West Tx "locals" like Ft Davis SP, McDonalds Observatory or Balmorhea SP.

In addition to camping at Rio Grande Village, we have also stayed in the Basin at a Roosevelt Stone Cottage, the one with the huge round boulder just outside. The Basin also has a basic store. I thought the food service was fine there.

One more bit of advice, check the website or call and ask about construction when planning your logistics. The Park is huge and driving around at 30mph under normal circumstances can take a while. But when there is construction, it can be a real heart breaker. I was there when the road between Panther Junction and RGV was being paved. It was closed to two-way traffic a long time. And, as you know, you are going during a very crowded time.

I hope this wasn't too much of a brain dump. If this is your first trip, you may have other questions and I'll try to help.
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 03:42 AM
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I had read a little about Balmorhea SP, Looks interesting. But can't find much about it on the web. This is my first trip to BB. This will be National Park #26. I am on a quest to see all of them. I don't normally rush through them just to check them off my list, but try to stay at most of them for 3 or 4 days.
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Old Feb 28th, 2011, 06:05 PM
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Your goal is a great way to enjoy the heritage of the US parks. At 26 parks, I think you are about half way to achievement?

The focal point of Balmorhea State Park is the San Solomon Spring which spews about 25 million gallons a day into the desert, making the park a unique oasis. The spring supplies a very large pool...see http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/f...rks/balmorhea/

We pulled our camper trailer to BSP and left it there while we took side trips to Carlsbad and Guadalupe Mtn Nat Park. The latter, of course, is the location of the highest peak in TX, a must-do ascent for all us Texans!
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Old Mar 1st, 2011, 03:15 AM
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I've been to Carlsbad Caverns twice. Wild Cave tour there is pretty good. Going again in June and taking my 11 year old nephew. We are going to spend two day in Guadalupe(haven't been to that one yet). I live near the OK/AR state line. We are flying to BB and driving to Carlsbad/Guad. I might go back to Guadalupe in the fall, it looks like the fall colors in Mckrittick canyon would be really good.
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