Reviews (122)
Photos (387)
Recordings (85)
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2020
BackpackingGreat!
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 22, 2020
Backpacking

02222020 thru 02242020 me and 3 buddies decided we wanted to do this trail. We typically go to the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico, but with the snow in the mountains we chose this location. It ended up to be a beautiful spot. We took some time planning the trip, gathered maps and visited blog sites to get additional information. I recommend others planning on the OML compile the same information. I say this because this trip can be under planned or under estimated. Pay special attention to the importance of caching water. We started at the visitor center and spoke with a very helpful ranger who helped us with the permits and logistics of camping zones. She was very helpful and friendly. It took about 4+ hours for us to cache water at both Dodson and Homer locations putting a gallon of water per hiker at each location. **The trail/road to Dodson cache was not too bad via truck, but it is slow moving due to terrain** Our hike started the next morning. We parked at amphitheater parking, gathered our gear and began the hike.(Green Track) Within the first mile we saw 3-4 deer, pretty much the only wildlife we saw on the entire trip. The first day was quite a hike because we chose to see the South Rim. We were lucky and one of the group was not stoked about the view so he decided to stay with the packs so the others could make the hike with no packs. It was worth the view and extra miles. After that we continued to the first camp. The next morning we headed to Dodson where the cache was. Looking at my map you can see I forgot to start my watch for that section of track. It picks up again just prior to Dodson after starting my watch (Red Track). At Dodson we loaded up our water. Dodson Creek Trail is an arduous section. It has a lot of elevation change, was hot for the time of year, and felt like it was twice as long. Picture hiking Mars! This is section has affectionately been nick named “The Dodson Ball Drag.” We should have known this was a difficult hike because the day prior when setting water at the cache at Dodson we came across some weary hikers that needed a ride back to the Ranger Station. They had not even completed “The Dodson Ball Drag” yet!! **Water was in both the Dodson and Fresno but if you need water I think I would pass the Dodson to get the better Fresno Spring water. Rangers and some blogs state NOT to count on neither location to produce water. Keep up with the blogs that have more recent travel updates to verify this** After the Dodson we landed at Homer Wilson and took a bit to collect ourselves. We gather the water we had cached and after some R&R, a coffee and a Nutella laced tortilla we began to plan. Our goal was to take a bite of the trail to eat some of the next day’s hike so we traveled in about 2 more miles till we found camp sites(Purple Track). **I might recommend here that if you can plan for the camp zone that includes Laguna Meadow’s you try and make that area one of your camp sites** On the last day we hiked the remainder of the trail (Blue Track). There is still plenty of up until just after Laguna Meadows so be weary. After Laguna Meadows it is mostly a slight down all the way back to the Ranger Station. We had a great time. My recommendation is do this hike… but know that it is a difficult hike. Not un-bearable, but worthy of respect. I can’t imagine this trail being tackled in any of the summer months and pity anyone who has or plans on doing it during that season. This is a late fall/winter/early spring hike. By late fall/early spring I mean do this in the winter!

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David Platt reviewed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 17, 2020
Scenic driving

Stantard paved NPS road, but what views!! Only time I've ever enjoyed the scenic drive in an NPS park more than the backcountry hiking (Outer Mountain Loop)

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peter hartwell reviewed Homer Wilson Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 29, 2020
HikingRocky

mostly open river bed. we walked to the first big rocks, had a picnic, and returned. a little shade, cool day.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2020
HikingGreat!

This was by far the hardest hiking trip I have made to date. I did this Dec-26-2019 thru Jan-1-2020. BUT by far the greatest ever!!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 1, 2019
BackpackingNo shadeOver grownRocky

This was a tough hike. We did this trail in a clockwise direction with an additional detour of sleeping on the South Rim for our last night. Total of 4 days hiking, 3 nights, and 38 miles. Fresno creek was available for water. That was THE ONLY WATER SOURCE on the trail. We carried between 5-7L each of water, and cached at Homer Wilson. We elected not to cache at Juniper because the length of time it was going to take to drive in. We planned to not see water until Homer Wilson, with the "pleasant surprise" of having water available at Fresno. This is tough, and we did a significant amount of planning to make sure that it was enjoyable with minimal dangers. Not for the faint of heart! Definitely pack light, except your water source, and know your limits. We saw almost no one. The park emptied out from the Thanksgiving crowd and it was desolate on the trail. Weather was great. 60-70 during the day, maybe down to 40 on the coldest night. Thanks BiBe for the mental reset!

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Robert Laird reviewed Homer Wilson Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 22, 2019
Hiking

Easy and quite pretty

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Trent Long reviewed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 5, 2019
Hiking

Pretty drive around the park. Saw lots of good scenery and the flowers were blooming which was nice.

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Jessica Vettorel reviewed Fossil Bone Exhibit Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 7, 2019
Hiking

Not really a trail, there are stairs that lead up to an overlook. However it has an exhibit that was very educational on the prehistoric life that was in the big bend area. It was interesting and I would recommend if you like learning about the history of a location.

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Trisha Cleveland reviewed Fossil Bone Exhibit Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 27, 2019
Hiking

Very short and easy with nice view of Chisos mountains and Chihuahuan desert. You can see layers of sedimentary rock along the trail which is really neat. The exhibit is informative and interesting.

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Trisha Cleveland reviewed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2019
Hiking

One of the most beautiful drives you will take (though all the park is beautiful). Lots of opportunities to hit offshoot hiking trails or stop for overlooks and information boards. Castolon is currently in a state of disrepair due to being burned in a wildfire.

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Javy Rodriguez reviewed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 30, 2019
Scenic driving

Beautiful drive at dusk!

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Jade Hernandez reviewed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 21, 2019

So pretty! look for the Batman Mountain!

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William Dalmeida reviewed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 7, 2019

Very nice scenery, fairly easy drive.

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Renee Stubbins reviewed Fossil Bone Exhibit Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 2, 2019

An awesome exhibit that is worth the drive. Take the time to read the plagues It's pretty cool to know these fossils were found in Texas.

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Shauna Lee reviewed Dodson Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 24, 2019
Hiking

This is a good trail to get away from crowds during busy seasons. I would avoid during rains. Nit as scenic as the more popular trials but enjoyable. This will be hot in the summer.

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Justin O'Dell reviewed Fossil Bone Exhibit Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 11, 2019
Hiking

A short trail with a decent view of the Chihuahuan Desert and some interpretive signs about the fossil discoveries that occurred along the way. I won’t make a separate trip to walk the trail, but the Fossil Discovery Exhibit at the start is a wonderful place to learn about the Park’s prehistory. If you go to the exhibit, you can hike the trail while you are there for a bit more perspective.

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Rikki Landry reviewed Fossil Bone Exhibit Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 10, 2019

dinosaur exhibit was impressive. we were here around sunset. we walked up the little trail, learned that the chisos mountains used to be one large volcano, then watched the sun set behind them.

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Dov Doviak reviewed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 24, 2019
Hiking

This rating isn't for the drive itself, though it's every bit as scenic as you'd imagine it is, but for the numerous off-trail hike opportunities lining the road. One such spot is my absolute favorite in the whole park, Cerro Castellan, which is just north of Castolon. If you're willing to make the somewhat sketchy hike (on incredibly loose footing) up to the base of the actual rock formation, the area and the view will take your breath away...

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Dov Doviak reviewed Fossil Bone Exhibit Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 24, 2019
Hiking

There's some interesting fun facts, but otherwise a waste of time considering you're in Big Bend... Seriously, find a legit trail, there are dozens a short drive away...

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 22, 2019
HikingNo shadeOff trailOver grownRocky

On 2-22-19, three of us set off from Chisos Basin Lodge to complete the OML. We set off with the plan to move West to East, finishing with the Pennicle Trail. Mileage reports for this trail vary, as All Trails reported 34.8, while other GPS put us just over 40 miles. (I'm not convinced All Trails tracks the switch backs accurately) Either way you go from the Basin Lodge, expect a 3-4 mile climb out of the Basin followed by a 3-4 mile decent. I recommend stashing water at Homers Ranch ( bear box about a 1/2 mile climb off the trail) as well as Juniper Junction ( Bear box on the trail). Moving east from Homers Ranch, alot of the trail is in the river bed, marked only by rocks stacked or placed in a way that is obvious. We lost the trail twice, which required extra water, but all trails app saved us by tracking our course even while phone was in airplane mode. This is not flat land, as it has several ups and downs over and around the mountains and fingers. Very Rocky with transition s to shale at times. Fresno Creek was flowing, and is about 1/4 mile east from the first little trickle Creek you cross, moving from west to east. We were able to refill water and press on. After Juniper Junction, you will have about 3 miles of flat land, or very low grade before climbing out of the canyon. Expect another 3-4 mile climb up to Boot Creek, which had stagnant water, so we avoided it. We camped at Boot Creek, and finished the last mile or so climb to Emery peak junction. From there, expect 3-4 mile decent back to the Basin Lodge. The trail up the Pennicle, and down to the Basin is very Rocky and narrow at times. From Boot Canyon to the Basin, we did mostly in the dark, very doable. I would not recommend traversing the trail from Juniper to Boot Creek in the dark, very narrow at times. We did not do this for the scenery, but it was beautiful. We did this as a challenge and that it was! One heck of a kick in the rear end! Good luck

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Luke Higbee reviewed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 10, 2019
Scenic driving

Must do if you’re in the park

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Theresa Cook reviewed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 7, 2019
Hiking

Great paved main road through many of the western Big Bend areas. Multiple opportunities to get out and hike great short and longer trails depending on your level of comfort. All signs are well marked and descriptions are good. Unfortunately the road was closed at the Cottonwood area due to government shutdown but we still spent close to six hours exploring.

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Katherine Kempen reviewed Homer Wilson Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 28, 2018

It was nice

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 5, 2018

Started the OML 10/12/18 from Homer Wilson Ranch going CCW. I cached water at the Juniper Canyon parking lot(Although, the drive there sucked, it was needed). Fresno Creek was pretty full 7 miles in, but I filled up again .3 miles past the Smoky Creek intersection. In the future, I plan to knock out majority of the Dodson by starting before sunlight. Second night, maybe stay at JC1 because of the cool weather and since it’s right next to Boot Springs. I didn’t add the rim to this trip as I was solo. I was a bit worried about water on the 4th day, but the Blue Creek Trail back to Homer was so fast and enjoyable it didn’t matter anyway.

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