Big Bend Nat'l Park
Come get ya some majestic desert beauty this spring break. Some guarenteed sunshine, too.
Big Bend is a large and magnificent but little known corner of the national parks landscape. The park is named for a huge curve in the Rio Grande river, which flows from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico, forming the Texas-Mexico border for hundreds of miles. The park contains topographic variations of about 6000′ – three seperate 1000′ strata are cut by the river into deep, mysterious canyons. The Chihuahan plateau is basically desert, but nonetheless home to hundreds of animal species (including Roadrunner and Coyote). The region’s different elevation zones and riparian area feature great botanical diversity, though this is increasingly threatened, by restricted river flows and our lifelong nemesis, the Diabolical Salt-Sucking River-****ing Tamarisk.
I would like to go to this so called “Big Bend”, and see just how big it really is.
The trip details remain flexible. There are three main options, but I want to gauge the interests and abilities of the folks who express interest in the trip before finalizing. Once you sign up, expect to be a participant in the planning dialouge.
Option #1 (Hardcore): Backcountry Raft the Wild and Scenic Rio Grande. Roughly a 100 miles of extreme desert backcountry, occasionally navigating Class IV rapids. Not for the feint of heart.
Option #2 (The Sampler): Raft or canoe a Class II-III canyon for a few days, and hike the backcountry any remaining days.
Option #3 (Bleeding Paws): This would be an exclusively hiking/ backpacking trip. It would entail 50-60 miles of overland backcountry travel, nearly as remote as option #1, though there would be no chance of… uh.. inadvertant washing up on a Mexican rancher’s land.
All these options entail a 28-hour car trip each way. Food and gear needs will be determined once we choose our preferred trip.
round trip miles expected: 3500
gas budget per car: $500+
park entrance fee per vehicle: $20
cost for boating gear rental: ?
The club will reimburse us for some gas money, fees, and food. I expect the trip to cost between $160 and $260 per person, following club reimbursement and a few speeding tickets (huh?)
I am working on where to obtain boats and other vital river safety supplies. One way or another, finding and transporting river gear will probably cost some more money, though it shouldn’t be bad split between the whole group.
Note: We depart extremely early in the morning at the beginning of spring break, returning late the final Friday.
call or e-mail with questions or comments: