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Old 01-01-2019, 01:23 PM   #1
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Big Bend??

Down in FL right now on a long road trip but will head back to our snowy home in CO all too soon. We are contemplating our return route and are looking at staying south and hitting Big Bend on the way home. Park is still open with visitors centers closed. No potty or trash service though but we can deal with that.

Looking at their maps I see a lot of roads and camping action. Anyone have some info to share on places and roads and campsites to hit? Not looking for gnarly roads but like dirt. Boondocking is just fine with us as we are fully kitted for that.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:55 PM   #2
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I understand that the park is open to permitted campers, but they are not issuing new permits during closure, and, ya gotta have a permit to enter... sigh... nice little catch-22
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by twogone View Post
I understand that the park is open to permitted campers, but they are not issuing new permits during closure, and, ya gotta have a permit to enter... sigh... nice little catch-22
Unless you have an annual or senior pass, I would think.
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:56 PM   #4
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You'll have fun, we've enjoyed each of our trips.

You'll need to get Permits - believe they are still free:
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvis...usepermits.htm
https://www.chisosmountainslodge.com...odge-questions

Staying a night in the Chisos Lodge offers great views, if you can get a reservation. The drive is enjoyable as well... the lodge itself is nothing special, it's about the location. unfortunately Winter months it gets booked quickly, but you may score a late cancelation

If you plan to stay a while, I highly recommend one of the multi-day raft trips - nothing like it.
Otherwise take a look at some of these:

This site offers some great info (use the down-arrow for options where it says "Plan your visit")
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvis...ginthepark.htm

Lot of Hiking options - We enjoyed the Santa Elena Canyon Hike

Check out #6 (If you brought your passports: Boquillas is a fun day, and you qualify for bragging rights having taken the "slow boat" into Mexico - the second margarita in Boquillas is the best) and #11 (Canoe trip down the Rio Grande is always cool).
https://www.planetware.com/tourist-a...-us-tx-big.htm

We did a couple 2-day stays in different locations as we explored the area - followed some primitive site maps. Our favorite was "twisted shoe" - for the scenery & views:
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvis...wistedshoe.htm

Consider some of these off-pavement campsites - some are fairly well maintained and some are 4x4 recommended - if you like to divert from the roads, be aware some of the sand is soft. If you have a heavy Van you could sink to the axles - we've manged this twice in a 4 runner with 35's. Sorry, We've been to several just cant remember which ones (and cant tell from the pictures provided)
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvis...dsidecamps.htm

You'll have Fun!
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:16 PM   #5
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Sorry - didnt even think about the Gov shut-down impact - that just $uck$

...but you may have some luck with one of the private campgrounds located outside the park - assuming everyone else didnt migrate to them already.

Would still try contacting the Lodge I referenced in last post since they claim it remains open... possible with everything going on they have some cancellations.

*Important Notice to Park Visitors (clarifies what amenities are closed & open)
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvis...t-shutdown.htm
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:37 PM   #6
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Thanks. Hope they end the showdown soon. I will make some calls.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:13 PM   #7
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If you can get in I'd think it would be the perfect time for an SMBer. Maybe have the park more to yourself if it scares others out.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:20 PM   #8
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Good source on BB info for you

If you head over to the Expedition Portal Forum and look for info on traveling through Big Bend, you’ll find several very detailed first person trip accounts including backroads routes info and great pictures of what to expect.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:56 AM   #9
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Keep in mind for anyone traveling into any of our our great national parks. There’s been numerous articles about the effects of what this government shutdown is having on our park system-trash and crap (literally) piling up because services aren’t running, bathrooms are locked up and they’re understaffed because the rangers aren’t getting paid. There’s also been mention of people driving into areas usually closed to any motorized vehicles and tearing up these protected areas for a cheap thrill.
Good people of this forum.....PLEASE DON’T LET THAT BE YOU!!!
And if you see something, say something.....(unless the yahoos are armed, and they’ve been drinking, then just get the hell outta there!)
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
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I can speak from personal experience as we've just returned from Capital Reef NP that abuse is occurring. We went through Cathedral Valley and found that someone was poaching deer well within the park boundary, they'd also driven off the road and done numerous 360's through the vegetation.
I did report it to the Utah Division of Wildlife after our return.
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