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Old 12-28-2017, 02:34 PM   #1
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Big Bend

The family and I went to Big Bend the week before Christmas. Big Bend was great. We also stayed one day in Terlingua, which for me was overrated (teetotaler). I called the National Park Service last year and asked them to name the canyon after my wife Elena, and they said OK.
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:05 PM   #2
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Terlingua
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:16 PM   #3
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Big Bend Chisos Mountains - something different

A different view of the Chisos Mountains, early February 2016.

Started the first day of our Campground Hosting. "Trial by fire" in a sense.

--
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:14 PM   #4
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Love Big Bend. "Magnificent Desolation". We plan to go back soon.
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Old 12-28-2017, 06:38 PM   #5
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Big Bend

It is so good to see the interest in Big Bend. I am a paleontologist, and some of my career involves finding and figuring out fossils from long dead animals in the region. I am in Big Bend a good bit, and would be happy to be a guide for pretty much anything from dinosaurs to just what is up with the spectacular geology of the area.

We discovered the centerpiece dinosaur in the Perot Museum in Dallas a few years back. This is a video that covers some of the fun. The beast is Alamosaurus sanjuanensis. http://www.utdallas.edu/~mont/airlift-short.mov

We cannot wait to get back - next week.
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:26 PM   #6
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Looking forward to it. Glad to see your photos. So nice that they named the canyon after your wife!
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:38 PM   #7
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what campground did you stay in?
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:57 PM   #8
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It is so good to see the interest in Big Bend. I am a paleontologist, and some of my career involves finding and figuring out fossils from long dead animals in the region. I am in Big Bend a good bit, and would be happy to be a guide for pretty much anything from dinosaurs to just what is up with the spectacular geology of the area.

We discovered the centerpiece dinosaur in the Perot Museum in Dallas a few years back. This is a video that covers some of the fun. The beast is Alamosaurus sanjuanensis. http://www.utdallas.edu/~mont/airlift-short.mov

We cannot wait to get back - next week.
Wow, I'm impressed Homer. Would love to get a tour of some of the things folks don't normally see at Big Bend.
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Old 12-28-2017, 08:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by hmontgo View Post
It is so good to see the interest in Big Bend. I am a paleontologist, and some of my career involves finding and figuring out fossils from long dead animals in the region. I am in Big Bend a good bit, and would be happy to be a guide for pretty much anything from dinosaurs to just what is up with the spectacular geology of the area.

We discovered the centerpiece dinosaur in the Perot Museum in Dallas a few years back. This is a video that covers some of the fun. The beast is Alamosaurus sanjuanensis. http://www.utdallas.edu/~mont/airlift-short.mov

We cannot wait to get back - next week.
Nice meeting you all today. Great timing for us with this thread. May be contacting you for more info.
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Old 12-28-2017, 08:08 PM   #10
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what campground did you stay in?
I dont know who that question was for, but I'll give you my opinion. We love Chisos Basin. It's our favorite of the established campgrounds there. We aren't a fan of Cottonwood, but it is convenient for Santa Elena Canyon. The Rio Grande Village is concession operated and has some full hookup sites. Our only issue with Rio Grande Village is that it's a typical RV park and rather far away from the rest of Big Bend. Neither the Chisos Basin or Cottonwood campgrounds have hookups. Our favorite campsites other than Chisos Basin are the dispersed sites. The NPS calls them "primitive roadside campsites". Most are on relatively rough dirt roads however, so it's dicey if it's been raining. A 4WD would be needed to reach a few of these.
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Old 12-28-2017, 08:14 PM   #11
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We stayed at Rio Grande Village Campground with no hookups. There are water spigots scattered around the area. There is a store with showers less than a 1/2 mile away ($2 for 5 minutes). There is a full hook up area next door to the store, but it is nothing but a parking lot but had 3 Casitas staying there. Looked at Chisos basin campground, but the road going to that area has very sharp curves and it is recommended no trailers longer than 20 feet travel the road. We also looked at Cottonwood campground and the sites are very small (about 15-16 feet deep). The Rio Grande Village Campground is very pretty, about half of the sites can be reserved and about
half of these do not allow generators. Some day I will go back and take a raft or canoe trip down the canyon named after my wife.

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Old 12-28-2017, 08:19 PM   #12
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Go on google maps and you can see the street views of individual sites at Rio Grande Campground. We were in site 91.
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Old 12-28-2017, 08:32 PM   #13
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Chisos Basin says "Trailers over 19 feet and RVs over 24 feet are not recommended", would we be able to get in there with the truck and 5.0TA? Is it the roads or small sites?
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Old 12-28-2017, 08:39 PM   #14
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The roads. rbryan4's picture that he posted looks like it is at Chisos Basin. Google maps has street views of the sites at Chisos Campground. I am pulling my 21 with a F250SD and would very leery of going down that road
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Old 12-28-2017, 08:46 PM   #15
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We stayed at Rio Grande Village Campground with no hookups. There are water spigots scattered around the area. There is a store with showers less than a 1/2 mile away ($2 for 5 minutes). There is a full hook up area next door to the store, but it is nothing but a parking lot but had 3 Casitas staying there. Looked at Chisos basin campground, but the road going to that area has very sharp curves and it is recommended no trailers longer than 20 feet travel the road. We also looked at Cottonwood campground and the sites are very small (about 15-16 feet deep). The Rio Grande Village Campground is very pretty, about half of the sites can be reserved and about
half of these do not allow generators. Some day I will go back and take a raft or canoe trip down the canyon named after my wife.


My wife and I plan to camp Big Bend in Feb and she has us staying at Chisos basin campground. We have a 21. Has anyone camped there in a 21? I'm wondering if the road will be too curvy for our rig.

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Old 12-28-2017, 09:26 PM   #16
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A tour could certainly be arranged. Our latest project is working on some huge (12-meter-long) killer marine reptiles from the Age of Dinosaurs. They will be displayed in a new museum that will be built in Lajitas. As director of that museum, I will be around a lot, and one of my jobs will be to interpret for interested visitors. I love this sort of thing. Most people have never seen dinosaur bones in the “wild”. Everyone is a kid again when you are at a site.

Oh, and Lajitas has a terrific RV park. That’s where our 21 will be much of the time.
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:29 PM   #17
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As to taking a 21 into the Basin - travel trailers that size have made it. I would be VERY certain about safely going up and especially down steep grades. There is also one serious switchback that you will have to take wide. As noted above 19 ft is not advised.
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:32 PM   #18
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Ginger - you and Art were most gracious to give us a tour of your 21. Thank you. Thank you.
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:36 PM   #19
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As to taking a 21 into the Basin - travel trailers that size have made it. I would be VERY certain about safely going up and especially down steep grades. There is also one serious switchback that you will have to take wide. As noted above 19 ft is not advised.
Totally agree. Anything Escape makes can get into Chisos Basin, but there is one hairpin turn you'll have to take very slow and hope there's nothing oncoming. One time we visited Chisos Basin we noticed that the campground host was camped in a 26 foot airstream. If he can make it with a 26 footer, a 21 is no issue.

The biggest issue isn't the road in, but the site length. If you're lucky enough to get one of the semi-circular pull through sites (they seem to be invariably occupied by one little tent), your site will have plenty of space. Otherwise the sites are rather short. There is enough room to back in, but it is tight. Oh, and Bob, getting your 5.0TA into the basin would be no problem - even easier than our 19 because your overall length when towing is shorter than us.

One other reason we like Chisos Basin: when it's hot at Big Bend, Chisos Basin is often 5 to 10 degrees cooler. It's at a much higher altitude than the other campgrounds, and makes a big difference. That's very important at certain times of year, since there are no electrical hookups and therefore no AC. We're also glad we have solar when we're at Big Bend. The weather is sunny much of the year, so your panel produces alot of power.
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:58 PM   #20
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Totally agree. Anything Escape makes can get into Chisos Basin, but there is one hairpin turn you'll have to take very slow and hope there's nothing oncoming. One time we visited Chisos Basin we noticed that the campground host was camped in a 26 foot airstream. If he can make it with a 26 footer, a 21 is no issue.

The biggest issue isn't the road in, but the site length. If you're lucky enough to get one of the semi-circular pull through sites (they seem to be invariably occupied by one little tent), your site will have plenty of space. Otherwise the sites are rather short. There is enough room to back in, but it is tight. Oh, and Bob, getting your 5.0TA into the basin would be no problem - even easier than our 19 because your overall length when towing is shorter than us.

One other reason we like Chisos Basin: when it's hot at Big Bend, Chisos Basin is often 5 to 10 degrees cooler. It's at a much higher altitude than the other campgrounds, and makes a big difference. That's very important at certain times of year, since there are no electrical hookups and therefore no AC. We're also glad we have solar when we're at Big Bend. The weather is sunny much of the year, so your panel produces alot of power.

We stayed at the Chisos Basin with our 19' Scamp 5th wheel and had no problem. I would take our 5.0TA there without hesitation...bring lots of props for your landing gear as it may be waaaay up to get it level. Love Chisos and would go back there in a heartbeat. Sunsets through the window are magical.
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