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short backpack in Big Bend National Park
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shannon stoney
short backpack in Big Bend National Park on 11/18/2006 07:33:27 MST Print View

My partner and I are planning a trip to Big Bend National Park next week. We will be mostly car camping, but we want to do one short backpack. He had polio as a child and can't walk long or strenuous distances. I am wondering if there is a short, fairly accessible backpack in the Chisos Basin that we should consider. There are some sites about a mile and a half from the parking lot, but one book said that the hike to those sites is fairly strenuous. He has hiked successfully on day hikes in the basin, like on the Window Trail, so I wonder if he could handle this short hike to juniper flat or boulder meadow. It looks as if it is a bit of a climb on the map, but not as steep as the trail to Laguna Meadow.

Another alternative would be to hike a mile or so away from one of the car camping sites in the park.
Any suggestions about good places?

William C. Egger
(bill.egger) - F

Locale: South Texas
short backpack in Big Bend National Park on 11/22/2006 09:27:19 MST Print View

Elizabeth, you may want to consider backpacking to Juniper Flat, or Boulder Meadow. Both are on the Pinnnacles Trail, but you'll come to them before encountering the strenuous elevation gain of the Pinnacles Trail. At either of these areas, you are way from the Chisos Basin Lodge and campgrounds, and will have some fabulous views of Casa Grande and the other peaks that ring the Chisos Basin. Check out this link for more info:
Also, the Laurence Parent book, "Hiking Big Bend National Park," provides much information on the various trails, along with charts of elevation gain and loss on each trail. Whole Earth, REI, and other similar stores often carry this book.

Edited by bill.egger on 11/22/2006 09:35:20 MST.

Lorraine Pace
(SowthEfrikan) - F
Re: short backpack in Big Bend National Park on 12/09/2006 20:02:11 MST Print View

You need to hike him to the Cattail Falls, just below the window. It's accessible by a very rough, unmarked dirt road, you park and walk about three miles in and out. The most demanding part is a scramble over boulders directly below the falls, but you can just stop before and enjoy the view. It's not on a map, if you head back there chat to a ranger for directions.