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Big Bend National Park, TX

Nov 11 - Nov 18, 2018 -- $1300 ★★★, Only 2 Spots Left

Seldom visited and sparsely populated, Big Bend National Park is one of the most remote and least visited National Parks in the USA. It's an incredibly beautiful and predominantly sunny desert landscape that you'll never forget. Our hike will traverse the famed Chisos Basin and Mountains (with a day-hike up to the summit of 7825' Emory Peak, the tallest peak in the park as well as a day hike up to Case Grande).

On our last day, we'll head to the Hot Springs not far from Rio Grande Village for an outdoor soothing soak just steps to the Rio Grande River with a close-up view of Mexico. Important! Water is scarce during the hike. Be prepared to carry as much as 2 gallons (16 pounds) of water in your pack. But don't be discouraged. It's only 16 pounds at the outset. It's nearly zero by the time you reach the next water source. Prolong your warm Autumn, see a wild and largely unhiked section of the country, and lose fat / improve body composition.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. November temperatures average in the low 70s during the days and the 40s at night, which is perfect for backpacking. But we might also experience blazing heat or even frost at night. On the 2008 trip it even snowed up in the mountains.

Trip Leaders

Rick Romine
Dan Shafto


$1300 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Midland/Odessa, TX (MAF) as well as personal equipment, any restaurant meals and gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 2 nights in a hotel, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees and awesome guides.

Important Note

Water is scarce in the desert. Expect to carry up to 2 gallons (8 liters) of water or even more as staying hydrated is one of our primary concerns. The arid climate and moderately high elevation will suck the water out of your body without you even realizing it. Unfortunately, water weighs about 2 pounds per liter.

Also please note that our campsites in the Chisos Basin are not assigned until we arrive at the Park HQ in Panther Junction, so the site numbers you see are just our preferences ... we may end up in different campsites.

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Fly into Midland/Odessa, TX (MAF)

Take the free airport shuttle to Baymont by Wyndham Midland Airport , 10000 Airport Road, Midland, TX 79706, 432-561-8000

Equipment shakedown in Odessa

Trail mix distribution

"Before" measurements taken

Buy last minute and forgotten items at Big 5 Sporting Goods, 3875 E. 42ND Street, Odessa, TX, 432-363-9404 or Academy in Midland (5300 W Wadley Ave (at W Loop 250 N), Midland 432-522-6000) open 'til 9PM

Go out for dinner in town (not included in trip price)

Monday, November 12, 2018

"Before" measurements taken again

Free Breakfast at Hotel

Drive to the Big Bend National Park (4 hours)

Stop in Panther Junction Ranger Station (30-60 minutes) to pick up permit

Drive to the Chisos Basin, elevation 5400'

Set up camp at the Chisos Basin Frountcountry Campground, site(s) TBD.

Shuttle to the Lost Mine Trail, elevaion 5750'

Day-Hike 2.4 uphill miles to the top of Casa Grande, elevation 6850'

Day-Hike 2.4 downhill miles back to the Lost Mine Trailhead, elevation 5750'

Camp at the Chisos Basin Frontcountry Campground, site(s) TBD

Total today: 4.8 miles. Trip Total: 4.8 miles.

Bailout: Chisos Basin

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Note: There is "officially" no water in the Chisos Mountains, we must carry it all in. However, on 8 previous Fatpacking Trips, we have always found water at Boott Spring

Pack up camp and start hiking on the Pinnacles Trail carrying 8 liters of water, elevation 5350'

Hike 3.5 uphill miles on the Pinnacles Trail to the lip of the Chisos Mountains / Emory Peak Trail, elevation 7000'

Hike 1.0 miles on the Boot Spring Trail to the Colima Trail, elevation 6850'

Camp at site C01, elevation 6850'

Total today: 4.5 miles. Trip Total: 9.3 miles.

Bailout: Chisos Basin

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Day-Hike 1.0 miles to the Emory Peak Trail, elevation 7000'

Hike 3.0 round trip miles to Emory Peak Summit, the highest point in Big Bend NP, elevation 7825'. To summmit, some non-technical rock scrambling will be required at the very end of the trail.

Day-Hike 1.0 miles on the Boot Spring Trail to the Colima Trail, elevation 6850'

Camp at site C01, elevation 6850'

Total today: 5.0 miles. Trip Total: 14.3 miles.

Bailout: Chisos Basin

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Hike 0.3 miles on the Boot Spring Trail to the Juniper Canyon Trail, elevation 6850'

Fill all water vessels from Boot Spring. There is no water tomorrow so camel up here. Note: water is not reliably available in extremely dry years, however following the canyon upstream often reveals pools of water.

Hike 0.5 miles on the Boot Canyon Trail to the Northeast Rim Trail, elevation 6900'.

Turn left and hike 3.3 miles on the Northeast Rim Trail and Southeast Rim Trail, stopping frequently to take in sweeping views, elevation 7250'.

Hike 2.5 mostly downhill miles to the Blue Creek Trail, elevation 6650'

Hike 0.1 miles to the Laguna Meadow campsite LM3, elevation 6650'

Camp at Campsite LM3, elevation 6650'

Total today: 6.7 miles. Trip Total: 21.0 miles.

Bailout: No great options

Friday, November 16, 2018

Hike about 3.4 downhill miles on the Laguna Meadow Trail to the Chisos Basin, elevation 5350'

Drive to the Ward Spring Trail on Maxwell Scenic Drive

Swtich out packs and day-hike about 3.2 round trip miles to Ward Spring, elevation 4300'

Drive to Rio Grande Village

Camp at Rio Grande Village Front Country Campground, site(s) TBD, elevation 1844'

Total today: 6.6 miles. Trip Total: 27.6 miles.

Bailout: Chisos Basin or Boquillas

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Break camp and day-hike 3.0 miles on the Hot Springs Canyon Trail to the Hot Springs, elevation 1850'

Soak in the 105 degree Hot Springs and swim in the Rio Grande River to cool off

Day-hike 3.0 miles on the Hot Springs Canyon Trail back to Daniel's Ranch, elevation 1850'

End of hiking

Total today: 6.0 miles. Trip Total: 33.6 miles.

Bailout: Rio Grande Village

"After" measurements taken on the flat floor of the Rio Grande Village Store

Drive to Ft. Stockton

Dinner and awards ceremony in Ft. Stockton. (Dinner not included in trip cost)

Drive back to Odessa

Check back into Baymont by Wyndham Midland Airport , 10000 Airport Road, Midland, TX 79706, 432-561-8000

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Free Hotel Breakfast

Free Airport Shuttle

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