The Window: Chisos Mountains Basin
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WelcomeSean and Joey - photo by Sarah W.
Thanks for stopping by and visiting this trip report from Big Bend National Park. If you are here then you have either been to Big Bend or are planning on going. If you are familar with Big Bend then you will enjoy visiting the interactive map. The main reason I am putting together this report is because I benefited from reading about other trips to the Big Bend area. The park is so huge and offers such a variety of possibilities that it is often difficult to decide what to do and when to do it. As I discovered on this trip, you want to try and have each day well planned prior to leaving your base camp (whether that be tent, motel, or travel trailer). If you are a photographer then you'll want to know where you are planning to be during sunrise, sunset, and everywhere in between. Note: sunrise and sunset this time of year is around 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. - give or take a minute of two.

Summary
Two of us went on this trip: myself, Sean, a forty year old high school teacher and professional photographer and my cousin, Joey, a forty four year old operator for a major refinery in Louisiana with over fifteen years experience as a serious amateur photographer. In fact, Joey has probably taken more landscapes photographs than I have. I hope to add a larger ePortfolio of our work at a later date. The trip was taken during spring break from March 11 - March 18, 2005. We both wanted to revisit Big Bend and concentrate mainly on photography and exploring several hikes and places that we hadn't been before. Not to mention just getting away and immerse ourselves in this fantastic landscape. I also had an alternative motive - to try out some of my backpacking equipment (and myself) for a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike planned for the Summer of 2005. This trial would be accomplished on the South Rim of the Chisos Mountains (see Day 3).

This would be my fourth trip to Big Bend dating back to 1989 and Joey's third trip. Joey and I traveled and camped throughout the park in 1993 on a ten day trip. After completing this trip we realized that we had just scratched the surface on the 1993 trek and this trip definitely opened up some plans for future adventures in the Big Bend. Just when you think you've seen it all the waitress at the local eatery tells you otherwise (see Day 8).

WildlifeBuzzards © Joey Davis 2005
We saw the following wildlife during our trip: Deer, Road Runners, Desert Lizards, Jack Rabbits, Buzzards, Wood Pecker, Cardinals, Javelina, Coyote, Perigrine Falcon, and Squirrel / Kangaroo Rat.

Resources
No trip would be complete without a few books and travel guides. Here is what we took along on our trip.

  • Hiking Big Bend National Park, Laurence Parent
  • Hiker's Guide to trails of Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Natural History Association
  • Road Guide to paved and improved dirt roads of Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Natural History Association

These books and many others can be purchased online at the Big Bend Bookstore or at the Panther Junction Visitor Center (park headquarters) when you arrive at the park.

A Few Things About This Website
This website was designed using Macromedia Dreamweaver and the banners and graphics were edited using Fireworks. It is best viewed with Internet Explorer with the page maximized. The web pages are arranged by days and chronologically correspond to particular hikes and or scenic areas that we visited. The pages are pretty much consistent in relation to page layout to ease the navigation. The bulleted items are linked to anchors within the page. Each page has a few photographs that help illustrate that days events. Roll your cursor over the photographs to see text describing the photo. Some of the thumbnails are linked to larger photos. However, the documentary type photos are not linked. The quick reference table located at the bottom of this page will link you directly to a particular hike or location that we visited during the trip. You will also find a color coded interactive map that corresponds to each day and includes several links to photos. Please note that clicking on the main headings located on each page will take you back to the top of that page. Also, the banners on the top of each page are linked back to the home page. Hopefully this site will be easy enough to navigate.

One of the things about digital photography is that you end up taking more pictures than you normally would if you were using film. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Good in the sense that you get to explore various compositions and camera angles, bad in the sense that you have a lot of post trip editing to do. Together we took over 1,000 images of Big Bend. Also included is the mileage of each hike and hopefully some useful information about particular trails and other park things. We don't claim to be experts on birds, animals, plants, anthropology, hiking, or the geology of Big Bend. We are basically admirers of them all armed with a little knowledge and a lot of enthusiasm for just being out there. However, we do know something about photography. So, most of what we did at Big Bend was approached with photography in mind. Enjoy! If I get a chance I will add more photos.

Quick Reference Table (Click on any link below to jump ahead).

Day One Day Two Day Three Day Four Day Five Day Six Day Seven Day Eight
Pecos River, Langtry Dugout Wells Terlinqua Ghost Town South Rim Desert Mtn. Overlook Ross Maxwell Chisos Basin Indian head Road
Marathon Ernst Tinaja South Rim Croton Springs Castolon Area Tuff Canyon Oak Springs  
Sunset @ the Basin Lost Mine Trail South Rim Video Paint Gap Road Burro Mesa Pouroff Santa Elena Canyon Dike along Ross Maxwell  
      Grapevine Hills Hot Springs Canyon Mule Ears Old Maverick Road  
        Boquillos Canyon Sunset @ Sotol Vista    
        Sunset @ Rio Grande Village Overlook      

Feel free to send questions or comments to: DupreDavisTripReport.

If you enjoyed this report you may be interested in reading about my 2005 Grand Canyon trip.

Please note that clicking on the main headings located on each page will take you back to the top of that page.

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