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Thread: Mountains in West Texas

  1. #1
    Harv Read

    Thumbs up Mountains in West Texas

    The last thing you expect in WT is Mountains. I found some nice ones NW of Alpine on Rt. 118. The crown jewel is Macdonold Observatory Overlook, 6800 ft. above sea level. The road is nice and twisty, makes it hard to believe you're in West Texas!

  2. #2
    Blocking the slow lane
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    Mar 2003
    Edwardsville, IL
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  3. #3
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Ah yes this area would be in the general vicinity known as Big Bend Country. I'm planning a ride there in the not-too-distant future. I'm thinking sometime in the fall but I'd appreciate some wisdom on when the best time of year to go is.
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  4. #4
    Registered User rapz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Mission, TX

    Thumbs up Big Bend

    Here's what I posted, but I'm copying you since you're discussing West Texas...
    Just a short report on Big Bend. I think the best time to travel to Big Bend is May. I've been there about six times. Summers are great, but hot. Last June at the basin it was 48 degrees at sunrise, but close to a 100 at Santa Elena Canyon later that afternoon. Fall is great weather also, but it's greener in May. I'm in South Texas, about 60 miles from South Padre Island. On Thursday, April 22nd, my brother (03 ST) and I (04 RT) rode up to Big Bend country. It was a 578 mile day. We stayed in Alpine, about 78 miles north of the Western entry into Big Bend. Temps were cool in the mornings (48+-) and perfect later in the day (mid 70s). There's literally hundreds of riders, riding every thing, in Alpine, Marathon (Cage Hotel at north entry to park), and of course, in the park. On Friday we drove south on Hwy 118 to Study Butte and then into the park. The drive to the Chisos Basin is about 30+ miles from Study Butte at 45mph. The Basin is high up so its nice and cool. Once there we hiked to the Window, a scenic mountain overview (about 5 mile walk round trip...mostly down on the way to the window and up on way back). Another great ride is the River Road which is the highway from Lajitas (on west end of park) to Presidio. It's a great ride along the Rio Grande River with lots of twists and ups and downs. For some reason, it seems like a totally different ride on the way back. Of course, Lajitas is now a Gucci town, real upper class stuff with its own golf course and jet landing strip for the jet setters. Another ride north of Alpine is the loop around McDonald Observatory area, it's Hwy 166, and of course, Marfa is where Giant (James Dean) was filmed. On Saturday we returned to Mission via Alpine, Marathon, Sanderson (a road rally was ongoing...lots of corvettes), Langtry (Judge Roy Bean "Law West of the Pecos"), Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Laredo, and a huge rain storm in Zapata. Weather on way up was great...cloudy (77-66 degrees). It was in the high 70's until we hit Marathon and then it seemed as if someone opened the frig door. It dropped to 66 degrees in minutes. On the return it was a bit cool, 48 in Alpine, and rain for about the last 300 miles. I like rain as long as its over 70 degrees. Total trip was about 1400 miles in three days.
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