Thursday, February 18, 2016

Big Bend mountain biking

Today (Wednesday) we left the national park on the west side, and took the paved FM170 road into the Big Bend state park. (there's a good tiny grocery store on the east end of Turlingua, called the Cottonwood general store. Annie liked it, good selection for being so far out. The Turlingua ghost town is fun to check out too.)

At the state park Barton Warnock visitor center, there's a dump and fresh water, so we got all set again.

The state park has primitive sites that rvs can fit into at Grassy Banks, Madera Canyon, and Arenosa, from East to west on the paved road in that order. We are staying tonight at Grassy Banks. There is at least one other camper here, it's pretty empty. Mexico is on the right, but there's not much over there at this location.

We stopped for lunch and biking at the west Contrabando trailhead. There are mountain bike (or hiking) trails close to the main road here and right at the east entrance. All four of us went in for a couple miles, and the trail was reasonably easy and level, except for some gravel or rocky washes.

After the first couple miles, it got a bit harder, and the camper was kind of small in the distance, so we split up. Elliot and I wanted to keep going to do a loop, and come back a different way. Up the west Contrabando trail, then North on the Contrabando Dome loop, and back on the Fresno Divide trail, maybe 8 miles total.

Out at the far end, the camper was really tiny (Elliot is looking at it, really, zoom in to find the little white dot).

There was a lot of up and down, and conveniently the way back ended up mostly all downhill.

The last mile on the way back was super fun, slightly downhill, sweeping single track, with cactus and boulders to weave around. Neither of us got bit...

There was a thermometer at the end of the trail, granted it was in the sun, and it is a nice dry heat, but boy it was hot for winter... The area had mining for mercury in the early 1900s, and the trail has some mining historical sites on it. I can't imagine cooking rocks here for a living, in the summer.

1 comment:

  1. Now you got me really jealous. We absolutely loved that area when visiting in 2006.


What do you think, where should we go next?