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Thread: Big Bend National Park in February?

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    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    Big Bend National Park in February?

    I thinking of a trip to Texas Hill Country sometime in February! I have my Butler map ready, and have a working knowledge of Texas from around Ft. Worth down to Corpus Christi, and have been across the Mexican border through Brownsville many time back in my youth, in the 70's. I was stationed at Ft. Hood for a couple of months before moving over to Vietnam, and had a great time with my girlfriend (now my wive of 40 years) exploring the beaches of Galveston and Padre Island. This is my first trip further west in Texas, and am wondering if the weather in February will accommodate camping? I'm a cold weather rider (it was 0 degrees this morning in my town on my way to Mickey-D's coffee at 6:00 for a 10 mile ride each way) so I'm not all that delicate and can stand camping down into the high 20"s, but wonder if it will be any colder than that in this part of Texas at this time of year. I understand that there could be exceptions, and will stay aware of changing conditions, but just wanted to get a feel for the average. Looking at some information, it looks like Big Bend National is closed in January for animal habitat maintenance, but think it will be opened by February. I'm retired, so it doesn't really matter what time in February would be my best bet, and can easily wait till the end or beginning of March if need be.

    As far as routes, I've got the Butler map as a starting reference, and would welcome any advice on secondary gravel roads that would be conducive to a F700GS who is a fairly new off pavement rider. On pavement, I'm just a bit over the 100,000 mile mark, (not all miles on a BMW though, but don't hold that against please...:-), ) so I feel confident mostly for this to be a solo ride.

    Thanks in advance for any advice...Walt E.

  2. #2
    We see down into the high twenties in January but rarely in February. Bear in mind the park ranges in elevation from about 1800 feet to 6700 feet which does have a bearing. But you should expect highs in the 70s or 80s with lows in the 40s or 50s - with an occasional dip into the 30s maybe, especially up in the Chisos basin. The weather masters could always provide a surprise though so be prepared for colder too. If it turns real nasty come see our bunkhouse.

    As plans firm up pm me or Voni and we can provide more detailed information.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    We see down into the high twenties in January but rarely in February. Bear in mind the park ranges in elevation from about 1800 feet to 6700 feet which does have a bearing. But you should expect highs in the 70s or 80s with lows in the 40s or 50s - with an occasional dip into the 30s maybe, especially up in the Chisos basin. The weather masters could always provide a surprise though so be prepared for colder too. If it turns real nasty come see our bunkhouse.

    As plans firm up pm me or Voni and we can provide more detailed information.
    Will do! The weather sounds perfect! I'm getting more excited as I type!

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    "Jack" jacko's Avatar
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    Walt.......Hey you finally made it to the "retarded" group.......Have been thinking about a trip to Lubbock to see a friend but February/March is kind of in the middle of our snowy time. I might make it our of the house then but might not make it back home till spring thaw. Yang would be overjoyed though.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jacko View Post
    Walt.......Hey you finally made it to the "retarded" group.......Have been thinking about a trip to Lubbock to see a friend but February/March is kind of in the middle of our snowy time. I might make it our of the house then but might not make it back home till spring thaw. Yang would be overjoyed though.
    Lubbock is 300 miles north of the Big Bend, up in the Panhandle. The weather is markedly different.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacko View Post
    Walt.......Hey you finally made it to the "retarded" group.......Have been thinking about a trip to Lubbock to see a friend but February/March is kind of in the middle of our snowy time. I might make it our of the house then but might not make it back home till spring thaw. Yang would be overjoyed though.
    Thanks for the admission to the group Jack, although it probably isn't a politically correct group name anymore ;-) . I can't say that I'm interested in the panhandle area of Texas, although Deb and I once spent a very memorable day of horse back riding outside of Amarillo Texas in Palo Duro Canyon. Found a ranch that rented horses, and the owner said that if we could catch and saddle our own horses, we could head down into the canyon far as long as we wanted for the day, as he wanted the horses exercised....
    The canyon was breath taking from the back of a couple of horses, and I've never found another place to rent horses to beat Amarillo.....We owned horses up in Missouri for 20 years, so the rancher was pleasantly surprised that we were competent, and I guess our ability to round up a couple out of his herd was our test...:-)

  7. #7
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weschmann View Post
    I can't say that I'm interested in the panhandle area of Texas, although Deb and I once spent a very memorable day of horse back riding outside of Amarillo Texas in Palo Duro Canyon.
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    I did a ride in the second week in March thru big bend. I had never been before but the weather was FANTASTIC sunny, a little chilly, the place was EMPTY except the camp grounds and in park lodging was full. I rode the area for 2 days and did not see a sole except for the few lodging sites and hotel in Terlingua.

    Having no other season to compare against I really LOVED my trip thru. I have planned the same trip for the third weekend in April again this year.

    See you there.

  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauleknight View Post
    I have planned the same trip for the third weekend in April again this year.

    .
    We've been there 3 or 4 times in April and the weather is nice that time of year. A couple times it hit 100 at the lower elevations.
    If it looks like it's going to be a cooker, head up to Chicos Basin or Davis Mountains.
    The Observatory is well worth a visit. http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/
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  10. #10
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weschmann View Post
    I thinking of a trip to Texas Hill Country sometime in February! .
    Did you make it down to Big Bend or the Hill Country?
    Lee
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    We've been there 3 or 4 times in April and the weather is nice that time of year. A couple times it hit 100 at the lower elevations.
    If it looks like it's going to be a cooker, head up to Chicos Basin or Davis Mountains.
    The Observatory is well worth a visit. http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/
    It was 88 (87.9 actually) degrees on the River Road this afternoon. A beautiful day for a ride to Presidio and back.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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    you guys are making me SO jealous.

    I am from Flatastan aka Florida and I love the mountains and curvy roads out there.

    Gotta make it this April.

  13. #13
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    From our ride yesterday:

    http://vonig.smugmug.com/2015-Feb-River-Road/

    We've had more than normal winter precipitation and the wildflowers promise to be the best in a long time!

    GREEN is my second favorite color!

    Voni
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  14. #14
    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    Wow, that 86 degree level looks real sweet about now, as I look out at my ice covered driveway. I tried to shovel through it this morning but it's glued on...:-( No where near as bad as the folks in the north east have, but still, it's not possible to get up the drive from the garage. Looks to be cold for the next week, so no real melting to look forward to. DSC01149.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    From our ride yesterday:

    http://vonig.smugmug.com/2015-Feb-River-Road/

    We've had more than normal winter precipitation and the wildflowers promise to be the best in a long time!

    GREEN is my second favorite color!

    Voni
    sMiling
    The wildflowers are beautiful. What is the one with a tall stem and blue petals in the third photo? The sunset pics are fantastic.

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