Big Bend Ranch State Park Nov 17-20th, 2018 (1 Viewer)

TXSunDevil

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We talked about this trip last Saturday at the monthly meeting. I did this trip last year and I am planning on going again. I would like to invite anyone who wants to come along. My rough itinerary is leaving San Antonio Friday November 16th. Stay the night Friday in Ft. Stockton, TX. I found a hotel with a bar that was reasonably priced for an oil boomtown. Leave Saturday 11/17 and head towards Presidio. It is about a 2.5 hour drive. Gas up, stock up on provisions and hit the park. I would like to do 3 nights in the park. I have thought about staying the first night at one of the front country campsites if there is any interest. We could also stay on the banks of the Rio Grande river in the campsites. This will allow anyone who leaves on Saturday to catch up. Sunday, 11/18 enter the backcountry of Big Bend SP. We will need to get our permits at the Sauceda Ranger station. I would like to do 2 nights in the backcountry. I wanted to see if there was any interest before I book sites. Many of the backcountry sites are only setup for one vehicle so I will need to reserve the appropriate sites if others are interested. Ideally we would stay 2 nights in the backcountry and leave on Tuesday the 20th. I would drive straight home from BBRSP and get home late on the 20th. This will allow everyone to continue with their Thanksgiving plans. If anyone wants to spend another night in the area Chinati Hot Springs North of Presidio is an option. We may stay there if we are tired. It will be me and my 3 kids ages 9-15. The San Antonio area kids are out of school that week. They do not recommend dogs out there.

If you have never been out there it is the closest we have to real wilderness in Texas. There is not any pavement in the park. It is quite different than Big Bend National Park. It is 27 miles of dirt road to get to park headquarters. It is unforgiving territory that can ruin a trip. They recommend everyone carry two spares, recovery gear and plenty of water. The terrain is very nasty and your nice paint will be pinstriped. Last year at one of my sites I only saw one person all day. This was during the busy season. Cell service is non existent.

Campfires are allowed but you will need to bring your own wood. There are not many trees out there. Access to many of the campsites is difficult. Some of the sites have pit toilets but most have nothing. TPWD has installed picnic tables and fire rings at most sites, some even have a shade canopy. Everything must be packed out. There is water and ice available at the Ranger Station but depending on where we camp it could be a several hour drive back to the station. There are cisterns in the park that have water if you have the appropriate filtration system. Last year it was 85 degrees or so in the afternoon and the next morning it was 30. Conditions will be unpredictable and the sunset is at 6p.

I had talked to @geanes and @LonghornLX about this trip at HIH. Hope yall can fit it in your schedule. I will call tomorrow and get an idea of what spots are available. If there are many interested, booking several sites is an option. A lot will depend on what areas are available. Some remote spots have several sites. I plan on basecampjng 2 nights and doing some exploring and hiking. The days will be fairly short and the stars will be bright.
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LonghornLX

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Amazing pictures and trip. We had a bit of a meet up here (Austin) and I mentioned this trip.

I need to get my bearings on this as things are up in the air with work at the moment. Do you have a go/no go date you'd like to have for who's coming ?
 

TXSunDevil

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Not really. I was on hold today twice for a long time with TPWD. I am going to try again in the morning to see what is available. Once I know what is available I can make reservations. I think even the group sites are limited to 12 but I will confirm with TPWD.
 

TXSunDevil

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I spoke with TPWD this morning. The sites I wanted are booked. They have Las Burras and South Leyva available. There are others but these are the only ones capable of holding more than 8 folks. Las Burras is high clearance 4wd access and has 3 campgrounds. 2 of these can hold 8 people and the other is a group site. They advised it was roughly 100ft from parking to camp. The other option is South Leyva. This is a 2wd accessible campground. It would be a good base camp. It is probably 10 minutes from the ranger station and there are pit toilets. South Leyva has 8 campgrounds and a group area. Here is the official video for the park. Ill probably book next week at Las Burras if I end up going solo. I am up for discussion if others plan on going. The Sauceda Ranger Station also has a bunkhouse. I have never stayed there and it is supposedly primitive. They separate the men from the women. This could be an option for somebody who does not want to really rough it.
Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas [Official]
 

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