Big Bend Adventure

We’ll have four days & nights in Big Bend National Park to explore some of the most scenic country in Texas, heck, the world! We’ll be camping in the group campground in the Chisos Basin. We will have great access to showers, restrooms and all amenities. There’s an abundance of natural riches to explore inside the park and activities include hiking, paddling, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, stargazing, and even a day trip to sunny Mexico. Organized activities will get posted to the BCO/HTXO calendars as we get closer to the trip date and we’ll also have signup sheets available for each day’s activities, the night before.

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We'll have four nights in Big Bend National Park to explore some of the most scenic countries in Texas, heck, the world!

There's an abundance of natural riches to explore inside the park and activities include hiking, paddling, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, stargazing, and even a day trip to sunny Mexico. Organized activities will get posted to the BCO/HTXO calendars as we get closer to the trip date and we'll also have signup sheets available for each day's activities, the night before.

Big Bend National Park encompasses more than 800,000 acres in southwest Texas. For more than 1,000 miles, the Rio Grande forms the international boundary between Mexico and the United States; Big Bend National Park administers approximately one-quarter of that boundary. Within the 118 twisting miles that also define the park’s southern boundary, the river's southeasterly flows change abruptly to the northeast and form the “big bend” of the Rio Grande.

We are camping in the group campground in the Chisos Basin. We will have restrooms and sinks in the group camping area.  There are pay showers near the hot springs that you can use. It's a 45 min drive from camp so we plan for a mid-week shower.  Bring quarters for the showers!

Transportation:

Transportation will be by carpool. A pre-trip meeting will be posted about a month before the trip to allow people to arrange to carpool.

You can drive throughout the night on Friday to arrive Saturday morning, start Friday night and stop mid-way or leave early Sat morning to arrive by dinner.

Meals:

The trip cost includes all 11 meals (Thursday Dinner - Monday Breakfast). Meals will be prepared in a community kitchen at camp. Everyone will be asked to pitch in with meal preparation, cleaning, and camp duties. We will have a sign-up sheet at the pre-trip meeting for this purpose. Bring snacks if you want, and your own beverages.

Please add in the notes section with your RSVP if you have any dietary restrictions. We can accommodate gluten-free/vegetarian/vegan/etc diets upon request.

Dining and cooking gear (pots, etc.) will be provided. It's BYOB for beverages. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Cost:

$145 for members & member guests - includes group campsites and all meals
$195 non-members - includes group campsites and all meals

No Dogs, No Kids.

BCO is bringing:

  • Food
  • Dutch Ovens & Charcoal
  • Camping Stoves & Propane
  • Cooking Utensils and pots for cooking
  • French Press for Coffee

You need to bring:

  • Plate / Bowl / Silverware / cup - something to eat and drink with
  • Tent / Sleeping Bag / Ground Pad (ask about borrowing)
  • Pillow
  • Headlamp or light source
  • Camping Chair
  • Beverages & cooler if needed (no glass, no styrofoam)
  • Clothes - pack in layers. Shoes for hiking, shoes for camp
  • Toiletries (wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, towel)
  • Sun Protection - hat, long sleeves & pants, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Bug Spray
  • Additional snacks you might want
  • Charger / Cables
  • Games
  • Water if you don't want to drink the tap water from the park
  • An ID card
  • Your Passport / Visas - If you go to Mexico for the day, you need your passport to get back. Additional, there is a border control spot on the way out even if you didn't leave the country

Question:  Does anyone have a propane stove we can use?  I can bring a propane tank but there are no campfires allowed in this National Park.

Bring your own plate / cup / eating utensils, plus something to carry your lunches in. We'll make lunch in the morning and then head out for the day.

An air mattress or sleeping pad is highly recommended - the ground is hard out there, and earplugs too - those bears snore pretty loud in West Texas!

Bring your passport, if you have one. The automated border crossing is NOW OPEN into sunny Mexico. Take a day trip into the tiny Mexican town of Boquillas.

NOTE:  Regardless of whether you go to Mexico or not, on the drive back there is a border stop.  If you're here on a visa or green card/etc, please make sure you have your paperwork.  Even if you have a US id.

Tentative Schedule:

Arrive Thursday

If you arrive before dinner, plan to eat at the lodge or bring your own food for breakfast & lunch.  Set up camp and walk around the basin.  Group together as people arrive and do the Window Trail.

Window Trail
"Difficulty: Moderate; Distance, 5.6 miles round trip

Begin at the Chisos Basin Trailhead

This trail descends through Oak Creek Canyon to the Window pour-off which frames panoramic desert vistas. During wetter periods Oak Creek may be flowing and must be crossed several times. Use caution on this trail: the top of the Window pour-off is Slickrock with no railings, and the return hike is uphill."

Balance Rock or check out the Panther Junction Nature Walk 

Friday: 

If you want to backpack south rim 1 night, please reach out to Amy.

Day Hike Option 1 - South Rim
Day Hike Option 2 - Emory Peak
Day Hike Option 3 - Lost Mines & Chisos Basin Loop - EL Amy

South Rim:

Difficulty: Strenuous; Distance 12-14.5 miles round trip
Begin at Basin Trailhead

This challenging trail is well worth the 2,000 foot gain, as midway is the stunning vistas from the South Rim. Ascend either the steeper Pinnacles or more gradual Laguna Meadows Trail. During Peregrine Falcon nesting season, the Northeast and Southeast portions of this trail are closed.

Emory Peak

Difficulty: Strenuous; Distance: 10.5 miles round trip
Begin at the Chisos Basin Trailhead

Ascend the forested Pinnacles trail for 3.5 miles to the Emory Peak trail junction (on your right). Then take the 1-mile spur trail to the peak which has nice vistas along the way. The last quarter mile or so climbs steeply, and the last 25 feet require a scramble up an exposed rock face, but the 360° view from Emory Peak, the highest point in the park, is superb. The antenna and equipment are part of Big Bend's two-way radio system.

Lost Mine Trail

Difficulty: Moderate; Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
Begin at mile 5.1 on the Basin Road, limited parking

This trail serves as an outstanding introduction to the flora and fauna of the Chisos Mountains. With limited time, hike to marker 10 (about 1 mile), where a saddle offers stunning views of Casa Grande and Juniper Canyon. The remainder of the trail climbs steeply in and out of juniper, oak, and pine forest. The trail abruptly levels out at the ridge with superb views of Pine Canyon and the Sierra del Carmen in Mexico.

Chisos Basin Loop Trail

Difficulty: Moderate; Distance 1.8 miles round trip
Begin at the Chisos Basin Trailhead

The trail climbs gradually through shady stands of Mexican pine, oak, and juniper with many outstanding vistas of the window, and mountains surrounding the basin. Dense vegetation in the arroyos provides good habitat for bears and mountain lions; you may see tracks where they crossed the trail. Also, look for Mexican jays in the pines, and hummingbirds and Scott's orioles in the agaves when in bloom. Though this loop trail may be done in either direction, following it counterclockwise is the easiest.

Saturday:

Option 1 - Boquillas Canyon Trail, Mexico, Hot Springs Historic Trail, Shower! - EL Ted

Option 2 - Ernst Tinaja, Hot Springs Historic Trail, Rio Grande Trail. Shower! - EL Amy

Boquillas Canyon Trail

Difficulty: Moderate; Distance: 1.4 miles round trip
Begins at the end of the Boquillas Canyon Spur Road

The Boquillas Canyon trail climbs from the parking to the top of a cliff overlooking the Rio Grande. On this bluff, mortar holes from ancient inhabitants can be seen. Continue down to the river's edge and into the canyon until the canyon walls meet the river. Sandy slopes in the canyon are fun for children.

Hot Springs Historic Trail

Difficulty: Easy; Distance: 1-mile round trip
Begin at Hot Springs parking lot

This trail pass remains of a resort, pictographs, homestead, and hot springs; a brochure at the trailhead offers more information. The 105°F springs are a popular destination (0.5-mile roundtrip), but one can continue to where the trail forks, leading to the top of the bluff and back to the parking lot.

Hot Springs Canyon Trail

Difficulty: Moderate; Distance: 6 miles round trip
Begin at Daniel's Ranch or Hot Springs

This 3-mile trail (in either direction) connects Daniel's Ranch and the Hot Springs. In places, it runs close to the river; in other areas along the rim of Hot Springs Canyon. This trail offers beautiful views of the Rio Grande, Chisos Mountains, and Del Carmen Mountains. No shade makes this trail a challenge in the summer heat.

Sunday:

Santa Elena Canyon Trail, Terlingua, Other desert trails. - EL Ted

Santa Elena Canyon Trail

Difficulty: Moderate; Distance: 1.7 miles round trip
Begins at the terminus of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

This trail leads into the stunning Santa Elena Canyon. After crossing Terlingua Creek, the trail ascends on paved steps to a vista, then descends back to the water's edge, continuing into the canyon until the canyon walls meet the water. A Big Bend classic. The trail is impassable when Terlingua Creek floods.

Please note: There is an extreme water shortage in the park. Please bring your own drinking water.

Refund Policy:

  • Before 2 weeks  – 90%
  • Within 2 weeks  – no refund unless we fill your spot, then 90%

#bigbend #nps #campingintexas #hikingintexas

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Event Date & Time:

  • Date: October 13, 2022 - October 17, 2022
    Time: Members Only
RSVP List: Members only