Big Bend Ranch State Park

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mtwmbw
Posts: 1382

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Postby mtwmbw » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:36 pm

Took a bike packing trip to Big Bend Ranch State Park last week. Pete Barth, Warren Kurtz and I road tripped down for the trip. We did two separate overnight bike packing trips with a day of unencumbered day riding in between.

The lowdown on the park: BBRSP is a 311,000 acre park (from what I can tell, the 3rd largest state park in the country). It lies to the west of the National Park. We entered the park from the west from Presidio, TX. It's about an hour drive to the ranger station on a gravel road. The park is remote, rugged and largely primitive. The staff was very friendly and helpful. One was an avid mountain biker. The ranger station has showers and marginal wifi. And free ice. The established campsites for base camp were primitive and beautiful desert terrain. The campsites were solitary. We couldn't see any other campers.

The overnight trips required a backcountry permit per night ($5). I don't think they were real crazy about giving us backcountry permits while we still had a campsite for the van and other gear, but we swung it.

Little known fact: Much of the geology was formed along with the Ouachita mountains in Arkansas. Apparently BBRSP was part of the Ouachita chain originally. So it's like Arkansas. But not.

Here would be my ratings:

Ease of reaching the park: 2/5 stars. It's an 18 hour drive or so. (But worth it)

Remoteness/solitude/quietness: 5/5.

Singletrack: (2/5). most of what we did were old trails, gravel roads, jeep trails and some single track. I think you can access more recent purpose built single track on the east side of the park. But that isn't really why were there. Looking for purpose built, flow, groomed trail? this isn't your place. But that isn't really why this place exists.

Wildlife: 4/5. Javelina. Lots of birds. Roadrunners. Coyotes at night. Mule deer.

Vistas, scenery, starry skies, sunrises, sunsets: 5/5

History: 5/5. Pictographs from a couple thousand years ago. Ranches and abandoned mud huts and buildings from the late 1800's and early 1900's.

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Sunset light shining on the clouds to the east over the Solitario

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Video of our day ride. (note in the last part the trail name should be Horsetrap Trail, not "name". Rushed it and goofed up)

https://vimeo.com/208907795

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tomy
Posts: 4034
Location: Jerkwater, Kansas
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Re: Big Bend Ranch State Park

Postby tomy » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:27 am

That looks and sounds awesome. IIRC from my previous life, that area is where peyote cactus grows. Just FYI 8)

Insomneous
Posts: 1396

Re: Big Bend Ranch State Park

Postby Insomneous » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:23 am

I can concur that BBRSP is very cool. I loved riding there and shot this during my trip recently.

https://youtu.be/UZt5FI0e4xI?list=PLAxyFGKIWYpkwhWciGdJcbw5Cu1B1z_Uf

Long damn way down there but the town of Terlingua is good for some fun with interesting folks. The airport trails are also nearby but not super fun but still a way to knock out a 20 mile ride and take a beginner.

Unlike the OP, I rode 20 some odd miles of very fun, sometimes challenging singletrack with only intermittent double track. And I only scratched the surface. The local bike shop told me there was something in the neighborhood of 80 or so miles of singletrack in the park with a 50 mile IMBA epic located somewhere.

If you're in southwest Texas, worth a stop.
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain

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mtwmbw
Posts: 1382

Re: Big Bend Ranch State Park

Postby mtwmbw » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:41 pm

The IMBA Epic included a lot of what we rode and probably some of what you rode near Terlingua. The parts we rode were a lot of gravel/jeep trail, etc.


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