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Big Bend Outer Mountain Loop
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Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Big Bend Outer Mountain Loop on 03/04/2009 19:18:17 MST Print View

Hey, I'll be hiking this trail in a few days...does anyone have any tips for me?

Base packweight currently is 8 pounds(5 pounds of that is the external frame to carry the water), plus 15 pounds of camera equipment.

I have 4 nights, and need to be leaving the park by noon on the last day. I will be able to hit the trail by noon or so on the first day.

(strong806) - F
Re: Outer Mtn. Loop on 03/04/2009 20:27:12 MST Print View

I did this trip in December. The Chisos Basin car camping sites are actually pretty cool, we did the first night there.

We did find water in Fresno Creek, but it was pretty greenish and undesirable. I wouldn't count on it now. I carried 6 liters until the water cache, this was about right.

The trailhead is to the left of the Chisos Basin store / visitors center. If you are in decent shape this should not be a difficult hike.

When we went they had recent bear activity near the JC1 campsite. We did not hang our food and were fine.

The first camping spot you come to in Juniper Canyon is either non existent or in disrepair. We didn't find it suitable. Keep going down the back side of the mountain and on the way down Juniper Canyon you will find a good camping spot off the right side of the trail cut out of the thicket. Once you finish descending the canyon and it gets flat there are a few other spots to camp.

From Juniper Canyon Road onward the cairns are pretty good. You do go through a number of washes and eventually get into the riverbed but again there are huge cairns, just keep your eyes peeled.

I assume you are going to cache your water off Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive at Homer Wilson Ranch. Make sure you put your water inside the bear box.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions and have a good hike.

Edited by strong806 on 03/04/2009 20:34:38 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Big Bend Outer Mountain Loop on 03/04/2009 20:53:20 MST Print View

I was there over Thanksgiving and water was plentiful. Some got water at Boot Springs. Fresno Creek has always had water in my three visits there and it was perfectly clear with no filter needed. We saw a bear at Boot Springs and got some pics.

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Re: Big Bend Outer Mountain Loop on 03/05/2009 13:54:45 MST Print View


I've done the Pinnacles trail long does it take to hike from the top of the Pinnacles to a Juniper Canyon campsite? How long to hike the Dodson trail? Does Fresno creek intersect the Dodson?

I've heard that coming up Blue Creek is fairly that actually the case?

(strong806) - F
Re: Re: Re: Big Bend Outer Mountain Loop on 03/05/2009 14:39:00 MST Print View

It is all downhill from top of Pinnacles so it is faster going. I don't recall how long any of the sections took us. We did 10 miles / day hiking around 6 hours a day. The Dodson trail is 10 miles but there is alot of up and down. Fresno Creek is about halfway down the Dodson Trail. Blue Creek Canyon wasn't too bad, there are some steep switchbacks and you get up to 2500 feet again over about 5 miles, then down to the basin again.

Here is a video from a highpoint on the Dodson Trail just before Blue Creek Canyon. It won't let me link it so you'll just have to copy and paste the url, sorry.

Edited by strong806 on 03/05/2009 14:58:54 MST.

adam blanton
(adamallstar) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Outter Mtn. Loop on 04/07/2009 11:55:47 MDT Print View

How was the hike CrazyPete? I'll be headed there this weekend to do the same loop. Any advice?

John Beisner
(trtlrock) - F

Locale: Blue Ridge
Big Bend OML info on 05/15/2009 09:26:31 MDT Print View

the answers to any & all hiking questions on Big Bend can be found here...

probably 100s of OML trip reports there...