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Chuychanga

Surly official camping and backpacking thread

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Who’s been out adventuring lately?

I’m in early planning stages of a possible southwest road trip with my sons this summer.  Two weeks... Palo Duro, Taos, Durango, Moab, the big Utah NPs, maybe the Grand Canyon. Some hiking, some mountain biking, lots of camping, a few hotels here and there.  That’s all I got, just early plans. 

Who's been out lately? Bring on the pics. 

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I’m heading to Utah for a 10 or 11 day trip in mid April. Doing Capitol Reef (I have driven through and stopped at visitor center but haven’t hiked before), Zion (4th time), Bryce (3rd time), and maybe some of Buckskin Gulch or something in GSENM. Will probably try to get a Wave permit, which likely won’t happen (I’ve tried online unsuccessfully a few times as well)  

I also to GUMO (Guadalupe Mountains NP) and CAVE (Carlsbad Caverns) earlier this month. 

I overnighted at the Guadalupe Peak backcountry campground. 

Carlsbad was a lot cooler than I really expected, maybe because I didn’t know what to expect. But I would definitely recommend it. Walk down the natural entrance. 

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Edited by Anton Chigurh

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52 minutes ago, drifter379 said:

Is there an RV thread or just tents and backpacks?

I need some travel trailer talk.  been looking at little ultra-lite travel trailers that my 4runner could pull.  ~ 3500 lb trailer.  

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I feel like RVing is deserving of its own thread but at this point any discussion on this board is good. No thread policing from me.  I just been looking around at some little pop ups too. It’s just me and my 2 boys, we don’t need much. 

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I’m headed to Glacier for 5 days in August with some buddies. Coming in from the north side. Don’t have reservations/trails all mapped out year but I’m super excited. 

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31 minutes ago, Chuychanga said:

I feel like RVing is deserving of its own thread but at this point any discussion on this board is good. No thread policing from me.  I just been looking around at some little pop ups too. It’s just me and my 2 boys, we don’t need much. 

We've had a popup for about 5 years.  Much better than tent camping, especially if you get caught in rain or really cold temps.  And the beds are a lot more comfortable than sleeping in a tent as well.

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took the 5 yr old last weekend on his first trip.  short trip to Cedar Hill State Park on Joe Pool Lake.  Got some fishing in and did hot dogs and smores over the fire before it rained on us all night long.  But it was worth it.  Had a blast.  29315233_10214023543455848_4209615721033

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1 hour ago, mcbrisket said:

I am doing this in June. Has anyone done an REI backpacking trip before? 

I haven’t. They are $$$$. I also prefer to be alone or with people I know though. It looks cool though. Take many pictures. I still have not been to that area of the country myself. 

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On 3/25/2018 at 11:16 PM, Anton Chigurh said:

I’m heading to Utah for a 10 or 11 day trip in mid April. Doing Capitol Reef (I have driven through and stopped at visitor center but haven’t hiked before), Zion (4th time), Bryce (3rd time), and maybe some of Buckskin Gulch or something in GSENM. Will probably try to get a Wave permit, which likely won’t happen (I’ve tried online unsuccessfully a few times as well)  

I also to GUMO (Guadalupe Mountains NP) and CAVE (Carlsbad Caverns) earlier this month. 

I overnighted at the Guadalupe Peak backcountry campground. 

Carlsbad was a lot cooler than I really expected, maybe because I didn’t know what to expect. But I would definitely recommend it. Walk down the natural entrance. 

39956558014_6f2886b6ac_b.jpg

39771411355_701eb3a61c_b.jpg

40624399962_28c1f9f445_b.jpg

39771521295_07e76bd4d9_b.jpg

39771423445_0353636abf_b.jpg

 

Went there often as a kid.  Chaco canyon.  Race tracks in Riodosa.  White sands.  Magical place.  Did you see the bats come out at sunset?

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1 hour ago, BabaYaga said:

Went there often as a kid.  Chaco canyon.  Race tracks in Riodosa.  White sands.  Magical place.  Did you see the bats come out at sunset?

I didn’t, since this was just on the way home from GUMO. 

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Glad someone made this thread again.  I hit up South Llano River SP last weekend.  Had never been out there.  It's pretty enough.  Was great to get out of the city.  I'm hitting Mt Rainier for a day trip this summer and then some day hiking in Italy this fall, but no official backpacking trips.

I may try to grab a first come, first serve site at Hill Country State Natural Area this spring, but not really sure how that all works.

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We go to The Big Bend region at least once a year.

We did Palo Duro, Great Sand Dunes, Pagosa Springs, Durango, Mesa Verde, 4 corners, Telluride, Crested Butte and Santa Fe on a 2 week trip 2 Summers ago.

That Spring we had done a Deer Valley (skiing), then hiking Capitol Reef, Arches, Monument Valley,  Canyonlands and Dead Whores Point State Park.

Last Summer, tons of hiking in Iceland.

This Summer, Spain in June, Lake Tahoe in August and then The Big Bend again at the end of the year.

I'll have to post some pics when I get a chance.

Luxurious camping at Lake Whitney SP this weekend.

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15 hours ago, AnonymousInternetPoster said:

Dead Horse.  I just like to call it Dead Whores.

Does it have a Craig James Trail?

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It actually has a very grim and sad history.  It's a mesa high above the river and desert below that narrows to a thin choke point and then opens up again at the end.  Apparently, they used to corral wild horses through the narrow portion, block it off and trap them on the tip.  They would then catch and break the ones they wanted and leave the rest to die from lack of water.

When the Park Ranger told us the story, I looked at my wife and said, "Holy shit!  Did he say that they would corral whores out onto that point, keep the good looking ones and leave the rest to die?"  Her only response was an eye roll.

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On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 9:29 AM, mackavelli said:

I need some travel trailer talk.  been looking at little ultra-lite travel trailers that my 4runner could pull.  ~ 3500 lb trailer.  

I have a 1475 lance travel trailer that I pull with Tacoma. 2500 lb trailer but pricey

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On 3/28/2018 at 3:01 PM, Biff Tannen said:

Glad someone made this thread again.  I hit up South Llano River SP last weekend.  Had never been out there.  It's pretty enough.  Was great to get out of the city.  I'm hitting Mt Rainier for a day trip this summer and then some day hiking in Italy this fall, but no official backpacking trips.

I may try to grab a first come, first serve site at Hill Country State Natural Area this spring, but not really sure how that all works.

any turkeys?  that park does a great job for birdwatchers.  they need to expand their hiking trails though.

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I've always wanted a pod-style trailer, but they are expensive.  you can get a 14-29' that sleeps 6 for practically the same price.  

i just bought a kelty acadia 4-man tent.  heading west soon - flyfishing near cortez/durango/gunnison, stopping in at mesa verde, taos along the way.  cruising straight through utah to great basin in nevada.  coming back through monument valley and possibly chaco canyon/canyon de chelly.

 

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Great photos.  Other than a hike down to Phantom Ranch to catch a raft, all of my hiking has been in the east.  I'm interested in doing the John Muir Trail.  Anyone have experience with the PCT, JMT in particular. Thanks.

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12 minutes ago, thrillhammer said:

any turkeys?  that park does a great job for birdwatchers.  they need to expand their hiking trails though.

One turkey.  Tons of birds.  One armor-dillo.  Yeah, trails are pretty much just old jeep trails, more functional than aesthetically pleasing.

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1 minute ago, Anton Chigurh said:

I know some people that have done the JMT and I know some about it myself but have never done it.

That’s all I got.

Thanks.  I'd like to break it into two sections instead of doing all 211 miles at one time, but options are limited.

 

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3 minutes ago, It Takes Eleven said:

Great photos.  Other than a hike down to Phantom Ranch to catch a raft, all of my hiking has been in the east.  I'm interested in doing the John Muir Trail.  Anyone have experience with the PCT, JMT in particular. Thanks.

This should give you pretty much all the info you need.  

https://trailtopeak.com/john-muir-trail/

If you want to follow someone this summer, check out Stick's Blog.  He's a bit over the top with gear details, but he's fun to follow.

https://sticksblog.com/whats-this-about/10233-2/

 

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Thanks.  I'd like to break it into two sections instead of doing all 211 miles at one time, but options are limited.  

 

 

It’s MUCH easier to go NOBO, and start outside of Yosemite as far as getting permits.

 

You could also maybe do half of it and go NOBO, then when you do the second half, start from the same place and go SOBO so you still get to end on Whitney.

 

If you DO get the permit to exit Donohue Pass, you can get creative with your starting trailhead in Yosemite.

 

Note: you will need transportation to get to and from and to get your vehicle of course.

 

Red’s Meadow and Kearsarge/Onion Valley are relatively easy to get to also, but of course you still need a ride.

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After thinking some more, if you could arrange drop off/pickup, starting at VVR (Vermillion Valley Resort) would be best.

You can hop on the Mono Creek trail and meet up with JMT.

Do NOBO for for part I into Yosemite. Ending at Happy Isles would be cool, then you can go get pizza and beer at the Pizza Deck.

Then do SOBO from same spot, and end on Whitney.

The problem is that the shuttle back to your car will be a big pain both times, and especially so on the SOBO route, since you have to go back around the Sierra Nevada to get back to the western side.

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1 minute ago, Anton Chigurh said:

After thinking some more, if you could arrange drop off/pickup, starting at VVR (Vermillion Valley Resort) would be best.

You can hop on the Mono Creek trail and meet up with JMT.

Do NOBO for for part I into Yosemite. Ending at Happy Isles would be cool, then you can go get pizza and beer at the Pizza Deck.

Then do SOBO from same spot, and end on Whitney.

The problem is that the shuttle back to your car will be a big pain both times, and especially so on the SOBO route, since you have to go back around the Sierra Nevada to get back to the western side.

Thanks again for the advice, really appreciate it.  I think I'm willing to go through the hassle and expense of splitting it up as opposed to trying to do it all at once.  I've never hiked over 200 miles in one trip.  170, 130 and 118 are my best efforts, all when I was a good bit younger and in better shape.

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Red’s Meadow (Mammoth Lakes) would be super easy to start/finish at, especially since YARTS goes there, but it’s only 57 miles in from the Northern Terminus, so it would create a pretty unbalanced second leg.

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14 minutes ago, It Takes Eleven said:

Thanks again for the advice, really appreciate it.  I think I'm willing to go through the hassle and expense of splitting it up as opposed to trying to do it all at once.  I've never hiked over 200 miles in one trip.  170, 130 and 118 are my best efforts, all when I was a good bit younger and in better shape.

C'mon man!  You can do it all in one go!  Whatever works for you though of course.  I'm hoping to do the full PCT in a few years.  Wife keeps wanting to buy shit though and fucks ups my plans.

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Just now, Biff Tannen said:

C'mon man!  You can do it all in one go!  Whatever works for you though of course.  I'm hoping to do the full PCT in a few years.  Wife keeps wanting to buy shit though and fucks ups my plans.

I would really like to do it all at once, but I try to be realistic.  I'd love to thru-hike the PCT as well, but I don't think I'll ever attempt a thru-hike of the PCT, CDT or AT.  I sectioned all of the AT over 16 years and it was a blast.  There were some of the longer trips where I really got my trail legs and could have kept going, and there were sections that I was relieved I didn't have to keep going.   If a trip's not challenging, to me, something is lost in the adventure.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, It Takes Eleven said:

I would really like to do it all at once, but I try to be realistic.  I'd love to thru-hike the PCT as well, but I don't think I'll ever attempt a thru-hike of the PCT, CDT or AT.  I sectioned all of the AT over 16 years and it was a blast.  There were some of the longer trips where I really got my trail legs and could have kept going, and there were sections that I was relieved I didn't have to keep going.   If a trip's not challenging, to me, something is lost in the adventure.

 

Awesome.  Living in Texas makes it pretty fucking difficult to get to one of the big 3 often enough to section hike it all, so I figure I'd rather take off for 6 months and just do it all.  

Edited by Biff Tannen

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1 minute ago, Biff Tannen said:

Awesome.  Living in Texas makes it pretty fucking difficult to get to one of the big 3 often enough to section hike it all, so I figure I'd rather take off for 6 months and just do it all.  

I lived in east TN, Alabama and Atlanta metro during those 16 years, and we did it all south to north sequentially, so the logistics were easy to begin with.  My buddy had family in Roanoke, VA so we also had a stopover for driving (over a quarter of the AT is in VA).  Once we hit PA, though, it turned into a planes, trains and automobiles slog.  Walking through Grand Central Station in NYC in hiking attire with pack, and then being on the trail later that day, was pretty cool.  

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Guest ghost of john muir

I thru-hiked the JMT Southbound in 2002. I was 43 and not in particularly good shape; but after Lyell Canyon-Donahue pass i had gotten into trail shape. By the time I got to VVR, about half-way, I was really feeling like i was in great shape and hardly even noticed when I was going uphill. Just trying to say I don't breaking it into two pieces makes it any easier, conditioning-wise.

YMMV.

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JMT is also a bucket list item of mine.  My older son and I will be hiking Philmont with the scouts in a couple summers.  I don't want to do JMT until he can do it with me.  I'm tentatively planning it for one of his high school summers so he can have the Philmont experience first.

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On 3/25/2018 at 11:16 PM, Anton Chigurh said:

(snip)

39956558014_6f2886b6ac_b.jpg

(/snip)

 

Alright friendo, this picture has been haunting me the last few weeks, so I'm in the beginning stages of planning a suicide run for late May. 

 

Work is fucked, so I may not be able to do the ideal, which is:

Thursday afternoon/evening drive to Van Horn, stay in a hotel. Be at park entrance Friday morning to get campsite for Friday and Saturday. Summit Friday. Saturday to McKittrick. Back to Austin Sunday.

 

I fear I may be forced to really suicide it up: Drive to Van Horn Friday afternoon evening. Be at park at opening Saturday morning to Summit. Camp if site available, or back to Van Horn that night, and back to Austin Sunday.

 

This is where you all pile on about how thats not enough time..... 

 

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