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Teoma

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Posted: 03/19/11 03:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hi- my wife and I are headed to Texas this May. We would love to camp in Big Bend Nat'l Park. I was there 30 yrs ago and would like to return. With all the news about the trouble on the border I thought I would ask: Anyone heard of any trouble in Big Bend Nat'l Park?
thanks in advance.
Teoma

HighCover

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Posted: 03/19/11 03:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have not heard of problems in the park itself, and it's not on the drug traffic routes per se. But, I'd assume the worse and come prepared to protect my family, if you know what I mean.


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bigseadaddy

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Posted: 03/19/11 03:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will be fine. The only thing you got to worry about in the park would be the racoons [emoticon]


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DesertHawk

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Posted: 03/19/11 04:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do not believe you would have any problems. Not in the campgrounds nor out and about. But be aware of your surroundings.

We enjoyed the national park very much; the park is huge and to us not staying in the park was unthinkable. We went there on one of our Spring Breaks (same time as NMSU's; end of March into April, I believe) a few years ago. We did not bother with reservations, we found spots at 3 of the Campgrounds without a single problem. Rio Grande, Cottonwood & Chisos Basin; it was at the end of March/start of April. The weather was nice, warmish but not HOT, the flowers were great, there were a lot of people (Not Jamed Packed), but we didn't have a problem finding a place to camp. Remember the weather can change very quickly in this part of the world and it cools off quickly at night even if hot in the day due to the elevations. It is a long way from sea level. It could get crowded if the flowers are really blooming more so than Spring Breakers, but we normally just take our chances with the National Park campgrounds.

One must be careful out there, it is not a city park: To Keep Safe Guidelines ... this has changed since we visited the area Crossing into Mexico and road work etc in the Park. And there will be Collared Peccary, or Javelina around.

We came in from El Paso however. We wanted to get to the park as quickly as possible, and to be down by the Rio Grande Village first. We got to the North Park entrance (down the road from Marathon where we topped off the fuel after filling it up in Alpine before that, we were in a C-Class MH). We got to the gate late with it already dark, the campgrounds are mostly down closer to the Rio, therefore, we spend that night just outside of the entrance at a wide place beside the road just up from the Park sign. We wanted to see what was there to be seen, and there is a visitor center just inside the entrance (Persimmon Gap Visitor Center) (there are several centers scattered through out the park). Big Bend has very few places to eat other than your RV but there are a few, even a lodge at the Basin. From what I remember going via Marathon and entering by the North Entrance was less of a drive in miles. But it has been several years since we did this trip. We were in a 22' MH at the time.

Someone on another forum wrote: "I just spent 4 days in Big Bend and talked with a Border Patrolman there. He told me it is perfectly safe in the park, just don't cross the river!" This was in 2009. They seem to opening up a crossing now. But we didn't go back when it was open anyway. Wouldn't go now either.

Remember, "Big Bend National Park is located in southwest Texas, hundreds of miles from the nearest cities, the isolation of Big Bend is a drawing point for many visitors, it also means that your trip must be well prepared and carefully planned. Several highways lead to Big Bend National Park: TX 118 from Alpine to Study Butte or FM 170 from Presidio to Study Butte (then 26 miles east to park headquarters) or US 90 or US 385 to Marathon (then 70 miles south to park headquarters). Distances between towns and services can be considerable. Always be sure you have plenty of gas, oil, food, and water for your trip. The park has four camper stores, but supply and selection can be limited. There are also small stores in the communities outside the park. The last major shopping areas (grocery and hardware stores) are Alpine, Fort Stockton, and Del Rio."

Campgrounds

We stayed at Rio Grande Village campground in the Nat'l Park. It is the largest developed campground in Big Bend. It would make a workerable base camp to explore the park. We stayed more at the Rio Grande Village Campground, but also did a stay at the Chisos Basin Campground. We drove over to Cottonwood Campground, but it was right on the Rio Grande and generator use is not allowed. We did not stay there.

We left the park via Alpine, also a neat drive.

Between Van Horn & Alpine you will find Marfa famous for being the area where the movie "Giant" was filmed and for the Marfa Lights. Not that I have seen the Marfa lights, never traveled in the night time along there for one reason. [emoticon] But remember seeing a lot of Pronghorns along the way.

Balmorhea State Park is located in the foothills of the Davis Mountains southwest of Balmorhea and nearby Davis Mountains State Park (along with the famous Big Bend Nat'l Park) are very nice places and one could spend a long time at each. Been to all except Davis State Park, but it is nice areas, be sure to visit the old Fort Davis a nice place to see. Balmorhea is north of Big Bend and Alpine as is Fort Davis.

South and East of Big Bend:
Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site is located west of Comstock near Langtry in Val Verde County. I have this one on my to see list someday. We have stopped at the Langtry Visitor Center and at the Pecos River Overlook. I love the history of the area. But have not gotten to visit Seminole Canyon. We have never stopped at the Alamo Movie Set in Brackettville Texas, but it could be on the way to the Langtry area. Brackettville began as the home of Fort Clark, built by the U.S. Cavalry in 1852 to protect the frontier from hostile Indians. Through the years it was home to many famous names in the military world including General George S. Patton. During World War II, Fort Clark served as a German POW camp. Also in the same area, Kickapoo Cavern State Park.

* This post was edited 03/19/11 04:44pm by DesertHawk *


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Bob Landry

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Posted: 03/19/11 04:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you possess a concealed handgun license and Texas reciprocates with your state, you are allowed to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the National Parks except the buildings where federal workers are located. Not sure if that includes rest rooms. I always have one on me, in the trailer, and in my truck. DW also has a permit so if she's stopped and searched while driving my truck and I'm not with her, all is cool.


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skipnchar

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Posted: 03/19/11 04:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was in Big Ben about two years ago and there were signs at most of the parking lots warning about frequent auto thefts and burglaries in the park. It concerned US enough that we stayed only a couple of nights being concerned about leaving the truck in parking lots while we hiked (and that's what we came to do). Maybe they've got that under control now but that doesn't seem to be the trend in the area [emoticon]


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ronfisherman

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Posted: 03/19/11 05:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were in Big Bend middle of last month. Enjoyed the stay. No problems that we saw or heard during our 4 day stay. Wish we could have stayed longer.


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Peg Leg

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Posted: 03/19/11 05:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I couldn't even get a AM station on the radio. Where we had supper they had a satellite radio on a stool for music.


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mockturtle

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Posted: 03/19/11 06:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bigseadaddy wrote:

You will be fine. The only thing you got to worry about in the park would be the racoons [emoticon]
And the turkey vultures. [emoticon]


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Bob Landry

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Posted: 03/19/11 06:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4*phun*2 wrote:

Bob Landry wrote:

If you possess a concealed handgun license and Texas reciprocates with your state, you are allowed to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the National Parks except the buildings where federal workers are located. Not sure if that includes rest rooms. I always have one on me, in the trailer, and in my truck. DW also has a permit so if she's stopped and searched while driving my truck and I'm not with her, all is cool.


And I feel so much safer just knowing that.


Sorry, sometimes I forget that Canadians are a little behind on the concept of personal defense..But then after all, this IS the rootin', tootin' wild west badlands we call Texas..

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