Jump to content


Photo

Headed to Big Bend NP


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#21 Kinsa

Kinsa

    Senior Member

  • Validated Members
  • 406 posts
  • SKP#:113002

Posted 04 January 2017 - 05:20 PM

Just be aware there is very limited to NO cell reception inside the park. Also limited to no reception in most of the BB area.  Just assuming the app needs cell phone reception to work.


Actually, no, the app does not need cell service (or WiFi) to work. Just your gps signal. It's pretty nifty!

BillandKathy, about US-285... I'm currently returning to BBNP from Carlsbad Caverns. (Took my college kids there before they head back to college later this week.) Two things. One, there was a bit of stand-still construction as you cross into NM. Frustrating, to say the least. Second, today I got a cracked windshield just south of Orla, from one of the oil fields trucks. I'd estimate 90% of the traffic on that route is semitrucks from the oil field. If you can find a way to avoid 285, I would, if I were you. (Edited to add: Is there an alternative route??? I'm not sure there is!)

Edited by Kinsa, 04 January 2017 - 08:17 PM.

Stephen & Karen and our six boys, ages 20, 20, 18, 16, 13, & 10
Stephen - Military retiree (as of summer 2012) & current DOI employee  (Big Bend National Park)
Karen - Homeschooling stay-at-home mom & veteran
San Antonio, Texas

Fulltimed May 2013 - July 2014 (yes, all eight of us!)
Open Range "Rolling Thunder" (H396RGR - fifth wheel toy hauler bunkhouse) - SOLD
Ford F-350 diesel dually - for the camper
Ford E-350 fifteen passenger van - for the crew

Our unfinished travel blog: http://coach-and-six.blogspot.com/


#22 Al Florida

Al Florida

    Major Contributor

  • Validated Members
  • 2,176 posts
  • SKP#:86865

Posted 04 January 2017 - 08:46 PM

About the route from BB to Carlsbad.  Head west to Van Horn and then take SR-54 to US-62 to Carlsbad Caverns.  My Delorme computer map show this is only 3 miles farther from Study Butte to Carlasbad than going up US-285. 


Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX

http://downtheroadar...d.blogspot.com/

 


#23 2gypsies

2gypsies

    Major Contributor

  • Validated Members
  • 2,294 posts

Posted 04 January 2017 - 08:53 PM

From Big Bend to Carlsbad this is my recommendation: Depending where you stay in BB, leave the area via 385/118 or 67.  If you want to do 67 keep in mind that the road between Terlingua and Presidio is a beautiful drive but some ups. We did it a few times with our 40' motorhome so it is doable. It's just slow-going.

 

Once you get to Hwy 90 take it to Van Horn where you will continue north on 54 then east on 62/180 through Guadalupe Nat'l Park - another one to check out.  Do the McKittrick Canyon hike which is lovely.  We also hiked the peak which is very strenuous.  Once through Guadalupe you'll drive right to Carlsbad.. Return the same way toward El Paso.


Full-timed for 16 Years
. . . Back in S&B Again

Traveled in a 2004  Newmar Dutch Star 40' Motorhome

 


#24 Al Florida

Al Florida

    Major Contributor

  • Validated Members
  • 2,176 posts
  • SKP#:86865

Posted 05 January 2017 - 06:39 AM

Thanks for all the great responses.

 

We’ve decided to take US-90 and stop in Del Rio for a few days.  We’ll stop in Marathon for supplies, then go south on US-385, through the park.  If we can get a site we’ll stay at the Rio Grand Village CG.  If not we’ll go to Terlingua.  We need hookups, we have a residential frig in our RV. 

 

You gave us a lot of info what to see and do and we appreciate it.  We plan to stay two weeks, and from what you have all said I hope that’s enough time.  We can always extend our stay in the area – that’s what’s great about being retired and in an RV.  We have to be back in PA mid-May but no set schedule until then.

 

After we leave Big Bend we plan to go to Carlsbad Caverns – depending on weather - then west to Arizona.  One post said to avoid US-285 from Pecos to Carlsbad because the road is bad due to the number of tanker trucks that use that route and the traffic is bad 24/7.

 

When the weather permits we’ll head north to the Grand Canyon, Utah, Wyoming and east.  We want to visit as many NP’s as we can.

Don't buy gas in Marathon.  Stop at the gas station/truck stop at the west end of Sanderson for fuel.  Sanderson over the last  40 years has been 10-15 cents a gallon cheaper than Marathon.  

 

Also buy as many supplies as you can in Del Rio before you leave.  I have never shopped in Marathon, but would expect the prices to be high for staples and the selection to be small.  Ditto for Sanderson. 


Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX

http://downtheroadar...d.blogspot.com/

 


#25 Al Florida

Al Florida

    Major Contributor

  • Validated Members
  • 2,176 posts
  • SKP#:86865

Posted 05 January 2017 - 07:01 AM

If you do take the MH on the drive between Lajitas and Presidio, be aware there is a short 1/2 mile long 14% grade hill about 10-20 miles west of Lajitas.  There is a large pullout at the top with great views of the Rio Grande river and mountains.  So if you do go this way be sure to stop a the pullout.  The Big Hill is at GPS:   29.296149  -103.941938


Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX

http://downtheroadar...d.blogspot.com/

 


#26 reed and elaine

reed and elaine

    Senior Member

  • Validated Members
  • 399 posts

Posted 06 January 2017 - 07:18 AM

There are a number of excellent dispersed camping sites in BBNP that are good for small trailers to 4x4 campers. Check with the Rangers at Panther Junction for access and availability.

If you have several days available while at Carlsbad Caverns, look into spending time at Dog Canyon. We asked about availability at Park HQ and they called the Ranger stationed there. He told us '...please come over, it is lonely here.." it is dry camping in a parking lot. There are great hikes, wild life and solitude.
Reed and Elaine

#27 BillandKathy

BillandKathy

    Full Member

  • Validated Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 07 January 2017 - 08:53 AM

Thanks for the alternate route to Carlsbad.  Getting info like that from other RVers is the best way.

 

And thanks for the fuel and shopping tips too. 


Bill & Kathy & Strider our GSD
Bill - Navy Vet, Retired Police Officer
Kathy - Retired Office Manager
2014 Thor Chateau 33SW, Safe-T-Plus
2011 Chevy HHR
 


#28 Al Florida

Al Florida

    Major Contributor

  • Validated Members
  • 2,176 posts
  • SKP#:86865

Posted 08 January 2017 - 07:34 AM

Bill & Katy,

 

Assuming you are in San Antonio or the area.  Sorry about the extremely cold weather we have had the last two days.  That is the 19-22 degree morning temps of yesterday and again this morning.   This the first time in probably the last 10-15 years it has gotten down into the low 20's.  However by Tuesday & Wednesday it is supposed to be back into the 70's again.  

 

Since you are heading to Big Bend, here is a link to some history weather for the Rio Grande Village (RGV) area of Big Bend.  Once you get to the website, go to the top of the page and change the "time period" from 1 day to 7 days and then 30 days to see the weather history.  Note: to get the web page to change, you need to click on the "change graph" field. 

 

The 30 day history show that at RGV the highs are usually in the 70's with one or two days at 90 degrees for an hour or two, followed with a low in the high 40's or low 50's.  Of course there are a few days of cold weather, like we have had for the last couple of days. 


Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX

http://downtheroadar...d.blogspot.com/

 


#29 Kinsa

Kinsa

    Senior Member

  • Validated Members
  • 406 posts
  • SKP#:113002

Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:20 PM

I recently stumbled across these entertaining short PBS shows about Big Bend.  I thought you might be interested:

 

http://video.klru.tv/video/2365854323/

 

http://video.klru.tv/video/2365859485


Stephen & Karen and our six boys, ages 20, 20, 18, 16, 13, & 10
Stephen - Military retiree (as of summer 2012) & current DOI employee  (Big Bend National Park)
Karen - Homeschooling stay-at-home mom & veteran
San Antonio, Texas

Fulltimed May 2013 - July 2014 (yes, all eight of us!)
Open Range "Rolling Thunder" (H396RGR - fifth wheel toy hauler bunkhouse) - SOLD
Ford F-350 diesel dually - for the camper
Ford E-350 fifteen passenger van - for the crew

Our unfinished travel blog: http://coach-and-six.blogspot.com/


#30 whj

whj

    Major Contributor

  • Validated Members
  • 1,454 posts
  • SKP#:106033

Posted 08 January 2017 - 07:33 PM

They are advertising BB National Park on TV, often. I am told that if you go you should go in January, February or March.

I have been told that it gets to hot after March. Good Luck



#31 Al Florida

Al Florida

    Major Contributor

  • Validated Members
  • 2,176 posts
  • SKP#:86865

Posted 09 January 2017 - 07:18 AM

They are advertising BB National Park on TV, often. I am told that if you go you should go in January, February or March.

I have been told that it gets to hot after March. Good Luck

Late October through the first part of April usually have great weather.  You can get 100 degree temps in March, but it does cool down to the 50's at night.  It is cooler up in the mountains if your RV is under about 24' long.  The road into the Chisos Basin has some very sharp bends, plus the campsites are to short for RV's over about 24-26' long. 


Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX

http://downtheroadar...d.blogspot.com/

 


#32 Kevin H

Kevin H

    Major Contributor

  • Validated Members
  • 1,482 posts

Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:48 PM

Absolutely agree to take US 90 from San Antonio to Alpine.  Be sure to stop at Seminole Canyon State Park, 40 miles west of Del Rio, and 10 miles west of Comstock.  I led and lectured the walking tours of the ancient rock art for three winters.  You will not be disappointed.  There is no indicator of how magnificent the canyons throughout the desert are unless you stop and check them out. Take some time to hike the rim trail at Seminole.  Easy, level hike, about 7 miles round trip.  Spectacular views into the canyon and you end up walking a short ways along the Rio Grande River.  

 

While exploring in your car, (do not take your RV on this outing) leave Seminole Canyon State Park and go west on 90.  About two miles down you will see on the left side of the road, an abandoned gas station with the island over the pumps collapsed.  Turn off the highway and go down the road west of the gas station.  You will come to a park/picnic area that overlooks the confluence of the Pecos and Rio Grande Rivers.  Very neat area to look around.

 

Check with the visitor center at Seminole to see if there is a Sunday hike to the White Shaman shelter.  If you can do it, you will see some of the oldest, most spectacular ancient rock art in North America.  Prepare to be mesmerized.

 

As stated, Langry is also neat.  Judge Roy Bean ("the Hanging Judge") was quite a character.  The desert garden is really nice.

 

On west to Marfa, Alpine and Big Bend.  If you have time visit Davis Mountains State Park and also the nearby McDonald Observatory.

 

Southwest Texas does not look too inviting from the roadway, but trust me, explore it and you will be amazed.


The richest are not those who have the most, but those who need the least.