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Big Bend National Park 2016! PICS AND VID

Had a blast! Will definitely be going back. Everyone is right that you wont see much of the park on your first trip! Pretty much every activity is either half a day or all day! I was terrified of running out of gas, but turns out there are 2 gas stations inside the park. Do carry plenty of water though, it's dry in there and it sucks the moisture right out of you! It's like a whole other planet out there, inside the park is surreal with how open and vast that it is! You can literally drive almost an entire day on dirt roads and never see a building (except abandoned ones from the early 1900's). Lots of people told us to stay in Alpine (1 hour 20 minutes away) and I'm glad we didn't, we stayed in Terlingua it's 5 minutes from the park entrance!

Pics:
Just outside of Fort Stockton on our way:


When we got to the Big Bend Resort hotel... Pretty nice place to stay, I would stay there again. It's centrally located, has a nice gas station/ café 100 yards away.


The night we got there we drove to the Terlingua Ghost town and checked out town and the above ground cemetery. I wasn't all to in to the ghost town, because it isn't a ghost town anymore. Hippies have moved into all the abandoned buildings, so you feel kind of awkward when your easing through a neighborhood checking out 100 year old buildings with hippies hoolahooping in the front yard! However, like my wife said, would you rather have hippies or bandito's from mexico.... The hippies are super nice and actually quite helpful on telling you places to go!
This was in the parking lot of a hotel that is surrounded by canyons on 3 sides behind the starlight theater.


Behind the cemetery, I'm not one on cemeteries so I took the baby and walked around the canyons while everyone explored the cemetery.


We ate at the starlight theater and when we were leaving my wife snapped this pic....


My buddies kid, my step daughter, my nephew holding my baby girl.


On old Maverick Road:



Cruising:


My dad's jeep broke down on the way to the Chisos Basin near the very top by the "Old Mine hiking trail". Turned out the camshaft position censor was failing. We let it sit for a bit, purged the fuel and got him back to the hotel. He was bummed, he drove his truck most of the rest of the trip. Except on black gap road, he road with my buddy.



The kids had fun, but you spend a lot of time driving. So if your kid doesn't like spending hours in the vehicle, this maybe a duzy of a trip. The kids really enjoyed getting to climb on the big hills...



On the way to Mariscal Mine!


We did black gap road on the way to Mariscal Mine, it was a blast! Nothing a stock JK couldn't do. It does have one hair raising spot where you drop into a canyon, where you start about 100-150' up and drop into the canyon on a very narrow and unlevel road with washouts and all...


This is the most technical part of the trail and on a scale of 1 to 5 it's a 2. But it was fun and a good opportunity for pictures!


 

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Mariscal Mine is worth the trip! Great place to let the kids explore, just don't let them climb in the buildings... Supposedly there is still high levels of mercury in the buildings and rocks!


This is my li'l hiking partner:


We would randomly stop and let the kids get out and climb stuff!


Santa Elena Canyon is amazing. We went there twice because the kids had so much fun there!




My buddy caught a Channel cat out of the Rio Grand. Didn't keep it, but he was happy he caught a Mexican fish!


My dad was watching the kids while my buddy and I went exploring in the canyon. He let all the kids cross the river so they can say they were in Mexico.


My buddy and I walked about half way through the canyon in the water past the canyon trail. It was well worth wading through waste deep cold water, we climbed up on some cliffs and saw some breath taking views... My phone got wet so the pics were all blurry from that point on.
 

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Really glad that y'all had a good time... especially the kids since they can be a little fidgety on long trips. Definitely a good call to not stay in Alpine... just that much more time spent driving and not sight-seeing. Looks like you still have a lot more of the NP to explore as well as the SP so hopefully y'all might go back another time and see more new and awesome scenery.

Thanks for posting the pics. Looks like everyone was genuinely into it.
 

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Thanks for posting. Brings back good memories. Texas Kev and I have talked about a return trip some time in the near future before we have to go with a Walmart scooter hanging on the back of the jeep.
 

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Great write up and pics. Definitely on my list to hit at some point.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Suggested places: Hot (warm) Springs at Tornillo Creek, follow the road signs to the south, just west of Rio Grande Village. Man-made pools overlooking Rio Grande. Great way to soak out stiff backs. About 2 miles east of the Hot Springs road is a road/trail going north about 8 miles to Ernst Tinaja. You're driving along the old Ore Bucket Tramway. Tinajas are natural water pools in granite rocks. Just past Rio Grande Village is Boquillas Canyon Overlook. Walk along the Canyon trail east. Large sand dunes blown into the canyon mouth...kids love to climb up the dunes to the canyon wall. Try to visit at sunset...spectacular lighting on the canyon walls. Stop at The Basin Visitor Center in the heart of the Chisos...take the walking trail to The Window for great view to the west through a vertical slot in the Basin Mts. If you have the time, take the overnight Santa Elena float trip. Both guided, and self-guided rubber rafts at available at Lajitas. The inner canyon is as spectacular, or more so, than travelling down the Grand Canyon, without the white water! At places, the canyon walls are more than 1,400 feet straight above the river and the canyon is only a couple of hundred feet wide, if that. At Rock Slide, you do have to somewhat portage the rafts through large rounded boulders (not recommended in early Spring if the river is running really high).
 
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