I believe this was my first backpacking trip ever. I’ll have to go through my notes and photos to recollect exactly what I did, and will update this post accordingly.
Pretty sure the route was Pine Spring TH up to Pine Top for first night; thence to Tejas backcountry site after exploring over to Hunter Peak, then maybe back along Tejas Trail and over to Bush Mountain, then back to Pine Top again for the last night.Continue reading TR-Guadalupe Mountains NP Backpacking Feb-March 1986 (working Draft)
Trip report written some thirty-four years after the fact, relying on photos, map notes, and memory.
Starting from Pine Spring Campground, I got up to the crest at the trail junction near Pine Top where I met Ranger Craig. Turns out he was doing a backcountry stint, and we hiked together for the next two days. He was quite the naturalist and helped me identify a lot of flora and fauna.
We stayed one night at Tejas backcountry site, then over to McKittrick Ridge for the next night. Somewhere along the McKittrick Trail we came across an angry rattlesnake.
In the morning, Craig left for elsewhere, and I returned back toward the Tejas trail.Continue reading TR-Guadalupe Mountains NP Backpack Sept 1986
This is a trip report copied almost verbatim from what I wrote in 2000.
I took this trip on what I figured to be the last non-busy week before Spring Break; however, it was already getting crowded in the campsites (the Basin was full). I had arrived the night before around midnight; seeing that the other campsites were full I simply napped in the cab of my truck. It was fairly chilly, probably around 35-40, so I bundled up pretty well. I did see a coyote exploring the trash cans once early in the morning.
- Trail distances for Pinnacles Trail to South Rim, return
- via Laguna Meadows (from Basin trailhead):
- 3.5 miles to Emory Peak trail
- 4.5 miles to Boot Canyon campsites
- 4.8 miles to Boot Spring
- 5.3 miles to Southeast Rim Trail jct.
- 6.3 miles to Southeast Rim Trail jct. at the South Rim
- 8.0 miles to Colima trail jct.
- 8.8 miles to Blue Cr. trail jct.
- 12.1 miles to Basin trailhead
Continue reading TR-Big Bend NP Backpack South Rim Feb/March 1999
A bit after sunrise I went on into the Chisos Mountains to the Basin and the ranger HQ to get a backcountry permit. The nice older couple behind the counter, apparently camp hosts, pulled out a notebook with photos of the various campsites in the backcountry to help me to determine where I would go. Seeing the full campsite status, I was more concerned with getting away from crowds than a scenic site, but finally decided on Boot Canyon #4 and SW #3 just off the South Rim.
I don’t have any notes saved from this trip. I was only nine years old. I really fell in love with Big Bend during that trip; actually, with the whole idea of deserts and mountains. I’d been to Colorado on a family trip a few years earlier and recall being amazed at the mountains and the abandoned mines we saw high up on the slopes; and the scary drives over the unpaved roads along the mountainsides. But for some reason, on our trip to Big Bend something clicked.
I know this trip was around Easter Sunday, in 1968. Looking at a calendar I see that fell on April 14 that year; I’m guessing we were there for the week prior. I don’t think we got spring break in those days, either at my elementary school or for Dad’s job at UT.
I don’t remember the long drive out there on highway 290, although I can assume I was probably getting bored. But to this day I have a vivid recollection of the drive approaching the Chisos, as we began to ascend up The Basin road, past some drums full of water for overheated radiators. I kept staring at the rugged cliffs and thinking “Wow, I wonder what it’s like up there! Wandering around up there would be the greatest thing ever!”
Turns out I was right!Continue reading TR-Big Bend NP Family Trip April 1968