Jan 6, 2020 at 11:23 am #3625804
Length :~31 miles
Time: 2.5 days on trail (late start on day 1)
Challenges: Water is #&*king heavy. The reservation system stinks.
Beauty: Very very Beautiful.
Difficulty: 4 on a scale of 1 to 10
To celebrate New Years 2020 we decided to hike the Outer Mountain Loop.
The long drive from Austin was pretty simple as you can go eighty miles an hour on highway. The problem is the reservation systemIs all basically first come in first served. They are supposed to implement a new online system on Feb 1 2020 for part of the reservations but it remains to be seen if that covers the backcountry or not.
We didn’t drive in a smaller car to the Juniper Canyon trailhead. Given the condtionds of the road and the size the car the drive it self was done at seven miles an hour for two hours.
Advice that the Rangers give you is useless. They will always tell you that there is no water. And our little girl ranger actually told us that we needed to protect our food if it was taken by a bear — we should actually fight the bear to prevent It from learning that people are a source of food. I couldn’t believe that one.
The hike itself is stunning.
When the sun goes down the temperature drops 30°.
I’m sure I’ll go back and do this hike again in the next few years.
Map, Route GPX: https://caltopo.com/m/VM72Jan 6, 2020 at 8:58 pm #3625878HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Nice video. Yay, the rangers will tell you it’s dry in Big Bend, but probably precautionary in case it actually is (think caches are an option iirc … need vehicles to get to BB so those can be used of early enough … we used to car camp the night before coming in from the El Paso-Las Cruces region)
GG just had the Big Bend 100 thru hike on their site from the state park to the outer mtn loop.Jan 7, 2020 at 1:28 pm #3625960Alex HBPL Member
@abhittLocale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Congratulations on making it. If you didn’t check out the info over at Big Bend Chat which usually includes recent water reports all folks should who want to hike the park. Here is the OML FAQ
Yes the permit system is difficult but only during the three busy times of the year, Spring Break, Thanksgiving and the Christmas/New Years holidays. Unfortunately the new reservation system will not make it any better and of course will make it nearly 1000% more expensive.
And yes it is the rare ranger/volunteer who will actually give you real, current water information. Mostly they just don’t know but there is the CYA piece too. Again Big Bend Chat is the place with real info on water and things such as bear cans and food protection.
Sorry I missed you out there, just flew home from there today myself. Did you get caught in the snow/hail on the 2nd and 3rd or had you left?
@HKNewman- I am not sure why the “Big Bend 100” is getting such attention, almost half of it is road walking. I could design you a 100 mile route in the park with just as much or more awesome sights but you would have to go off trail and I think that is what makes the “100” more interesting to some folks.Jan 7, 2020 at 7:19 pm #3626048obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
So John I guess the knee is OK? That’s good news. Happy New year!Jan 7, 2020 at 10:07 pm #3626064idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
Was there a little boy ranger as well?Jan 8, 2020 at 4:57 pm #3626151
Those stem cells are truly magic. The knees are great.Jan 9, 2020 at 9:00 pm #3626358GarrettBPL Member
I did this loop back in October. Beautiful and secluded after your about a mile from the Basin. Lack of water is no joke. I drove up to Juniper and stashed some extra gallons of water labeled emergency just to help others less prepared. Alex is correct about the high increase in permit cost. This includes the permits in the backcountry. I now look at National forest and Wildernesses for my backpacking, but I’m glad I got to get one last visit before the change.Jan 22, 2020 at 7:14 am #3628257dirtbagBPL Member
What pack is that you are using?
Mariposa??Feb 6, 2020 at 8:35 am #3630095
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