Big Bend National Park is the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. The South Rim Loop, within the park, offers up hundred-mile views into Mexico, huge rock towers, unique vegetation, and abundant wildlife.
The plan is to backpack the 14.5 mile South Rim Loop starting at the Chisos Basin Visitors Center. We will bring in the 2017 New Year camped along the southeast rim at one of several back-country primitive camp sites. The route follows the Laguna Meadows Trail, South Rim Trail, Boot Spring Trail, and Pinnacles Trail.
On the 30th prior to the backpack, we will day hike the Windows Trail, a 4 mile hike, and car/tent camp that night at one of several sites within the park.
All water must be carried for the day hike and overnight backpack. You will be required to carry a minimum of one gallon of water.
The hike is limited to 6 to 8 people because permits and camping areas for large groups are difficult to obtain.
There is a $25 dollar National Park fee per vehicle unless you have a national parks pass. Backcountry overnight use also requires a fee which will be shared among participants. Pets are prohibited on backcountry trails.
This outing is open to experienced backpackers only. Please call or text me to participate. Mike[masked]
Trip Rating: Strenuous
Length: Backpack is a 14.5 mile loop, Day hike is 4 miles in and out along the same trail. We will hike together as a hiking unit, no one will be allowed to hike ahead.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2000 ft. Trail-head at the Basin is at 5400 ft. South Rim camp area is at 7400 ft.
I will be leaving the morning of the 29th in order to get a permit for the outing. I will be car camping at one of the primitive camping sites located near Panther Junction. Anyone wanting to leave early is welcome to join me, or you have the option of leaving the morning of the 30th. I will leave word at Panther Junction as to my camp location. On the 30th the plan, time permitting, is to day-hike the Window Trail in the afternoon. Then on the morning of the 31st we begin the backpack to the south rim and our primitive campsite there to ring in the new year.
As always come prepared for adverse weather.
There will be a new moon on the 29th, so weather and clear skies permitting, the night sky should be fantastic as well as the sunset and sunrise.