Living in West Texas gave me an opportunity to do some cool desert hikes in the winter season. However, I was usually racing the clock to get a trip in before I ran out of water or had to get back to work. My three-day trip hiking Big Bend National Park's Outer Moutain Loop was no different.
I started my three day trip behind schedule and had to do a long day of hiking across the desert. I nearly ran out of water in the process which could have been bad, but I figured that out.
In spite of being a bit strenuous, it was an amazing hike with a huge variety of scenery. I started in a mountain forest, walked into scrubland, then desert, then back up to mountain forest again. Along the way, I saw very few people even though this is one of the best known hikes in Texas.
With a three-day window over Thanksgiving Break, I left work and spent the night in a cheap hotel to get a (somewhat) early start hiking. While I was pretty sure I could have carried all the necessary water, rangers insisted that I cache water about 2/3 of the way at Homer Wilson Ranch. It was a short hike from the road. One ranger said they would not issue the permit if I didn't cache water. I asked another if that was a hard and fast rule and she said, "No, but you'll probably die if you don't." I thought she was exaggerating, but as things turned out it was a tough hike.
Read on for the full story!
- Photo Essay
- Gear Notes
- Lessons Learned
# of Photos: 25; Word Count: 1900