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Big Bend - 8 hr drive from Austin

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The area is "meh" in regards to the riding. A lot of it is just gravel grinding. BUT, the scenery more than makes up for that fact, so it is indeed a great location. Maybe my perception of the area is skewed, to the positive, by how much fun I had at the two Desert Fests I went to. But I think it would be worth the drive for anyone. 

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Easter egg. Hidden not far off the road into El Soltitario is the Solitario Bar. On privately owned property but still within the parks boundary, the bar is a hidden oasis for weary travelers. More of a re-supply spot for through hikers and bikepackers, but still worth trying to find if you are out there. Usually stocked with a few libations and drinking water, kitchen pantry items, outhouse, picnic table in the SHADE, firewood and fire pit.

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On 9/13/2018 at 7:43 AM, The Tip said:

The area is "meh" in regards to the riding. A lot of it is just gravel grinding. BUT, the scenery more than makes up for that fact, so it is indeed a great location. 

This was our experience as well. For us, it was just cool to get off the grid and go ride. Most of the trails like fresno were really basic singletrack with some steep, punchy climbs and a smattering of soft sand to keep the heart rates up. Don't forget to check out the abandoned quicksilver mine when your out there. Lajitas was a lot more fun to ride than the state park area plus had a cool canyon section towards the back end. We had good weather as we stayed around the xmas break and dodged all the heat. TV, internet, chaos and traffic were replaced with eclectic people & places, vast expanses and holy sh*t, beautiful starry nights. We also took a drive up to the basin and were blown away by the amount of tree growth and especially the aspen trees growing this far south.

 

Definitely recommend for a much needed getaway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There is lots to see, and I dig how remote it is. The Fresno Divide, Dome and Flatirons are all worthwhile. It's fun and fast.

 

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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Another Texas destination I've never been to, even though I've lived in Austin 20 years.  Maybe I can fix that next spring.  

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7 hours ago, Albert said:

Another Texas destination I've never been to, even though I've lived in Austin 20 years.  Maybe I can fix that next spring.  

Austin Mountain Biking's first annual "Fajitas in Lajitas" event?

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This is a tough one. The best campsites are in the interior of the park near the Sauceda ranger station, the the best trails are on the south east side. So if you're just going to ride for a day or two you have to deal with crappy campsites (pro tip, number 15 at Grassy Banks is a nice site), but if going for longer stay near the Sauceda station (showers, drinking water, camp store) and ride mostly Jeep roads.

 

The west Contrabando trail system in my favorite, but the east trails are good too.

 

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Optionally, visitors can get a room or camp outside the park in Study Butte, Terlingua, or Lajitas. Then buy the state park pass at the Barton Warnock Center and start their BBRSP rides from the trail head there.

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5 hours ago, Big_papa_nuts said:

This is a tough one. The best campsites are in the interior of the park near the Sauceda ranger station, the the best trails are on the south east side. So if you're just going to ride for a day or two you have to deal with crappy campsites (pro tip, number 15 at Grassy Banks is a nice site), but if going for longer stay near the Sauceda station (showers, drinking water, camp store) and ride mostly Jeep roads.

 

The west Contrabando trail system in my favorite, but the east trails are good too.

 

just got back from big bend state park like two Mondays ago 🙂

I have repeatedly stayed at the west contrabando trailhead campsite. of course I would like to check out other camp sites, but have been happy to stay at contrabando the last two years. 

the contrabando trail, dome trail, and fresno divide (going downhill) have been my favorite trails there so far.

as others have stated, yes the riding isnt very gnarly or technical, but the whole package of trails, scenery, remoteness, and overall vibe of terlingua and that area just equates to a great time and tons of fun and great memories! I recommend big bend ranch state park to anyone. beginners to bonafide shredders 🙂

Edited by Seths Pool
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The other nice thing about BBRSP is that it's rideable in the rain or right after a rain. The main trails just don't seem to be affected by rain. This is nice because storms come through in the winter, when we're usually there. 

This isn't true of the Airport ("Lajitas") Trails outside of the state park, which get pretty sticky and muddy in some areas when it rains. 

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i'm looking for a 3-4 hour ride that's accessible from Terlingua. Any recommendations? I will be renting from Desert Sport.

i'd love to do the epic. but i'm not going to have enough time this trip.

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If you can get to the Barton Warnock Center on the way from Terlingua to Lajitas you'll have several choices. Airport trails with loops, and BBRSP trailhead for out and back with some side trails to loop on. State Park pass is available there as well.

MTBProject and TrailForks might help narrow down the logistics.

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15 hours ago, circuitbreaker said:

i'm looking for a 3-4 hour ride that's accessible from Terlingua. Any recommendations? I will be renting from Desert Sport.

i'd love to do the epic. but i'm not going to have enough time this trip.

start at the west contrabando trailhead, ride the main trail to the dome loop, ride the entire dome loop until you circle back around to the Fresno divide trail and ride Fresno divide all the way back down to the west contrabando trailhead

 

west contrabando> main trail> dome loop> all the way around dome loop > Fresno divide trail as a 3.5 mile descent back to the parking lot at west contrabando trailhead

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Just ask the guys at Desert Sports. They will have best suggestions for you. 4 hours into BBRSP from Barton Warnock gives you enough time to cover most of the Contrabando and Dome trails.

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17 hours ago, Seths Pool said:

west contrabando> main trail> dome loop> all the way around dome loop > Fresno divide trail as a 3.5 mile descent back to the parking lot at west contrabando trailhead

This is the correct answer. 

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