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  1. #1
    New Member Man Scout's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Rockwall, TX
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    1 if by land, 2 if by sea, 3 if by air? Fellow Texans Help!

    While I'm not new to the forum, I've been away for a while due to the fact that I've recently relocated from Georgia to Texas (I'm loving the Republic!). I need help from my fellow Texans (or anyone familiar with the area). I'm looking for advice on the best places in the area (I'm in East Dallas) to:

    1 if by land - go backpacking where there aren't sufficient trees to hammock camp but are great places for ground camping (hey, I need to practice using my new MLD Duomid tarptent for our Philmont trip with the Scouts anyway!).

    2 if by sea (or any body of water) - go kayaking (both day trips and overnight trips)

    3 if by air (off the the a hammock) - go backpacking where there are sufficient trees to hammock camp!

    I don't mind traveling to go to nice spots. So what do you recommend?


  2. #2
    Member Raoul Duke's Avatar
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    May 2012
    San Antonio, Texas
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    Welcome, fellow Tejano. In your neck of the woods, one of the best backpacking options seems to be the Cross Timbers trail. CaveMan on this site posted an excellent video of a trip there. If you're willing to drive South toward Central Texas, there are lots of good state parks in which you can experience limited backpacking. These would include Lost Maples SNA, Pedernales Falls SP, Enchanted Rock SNA, Guadalupe River SP, and Government Canyon SNA.

    For more serious backcountry excursions, you'll need to head out west to either Big Bend Nat'l Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, or Guadalupe Mountains NP. The mountains in these parks offer some really excellent backpacking with lots of hanging options. The desert regions of Big Bend offer some other backpacking options that would require ground sleeping (Outer Mountain Loop, Marufo Vega trail to name a few).

    If by sea, your best bet is to check out the rivers in Central Texas. Rivers in this region carve through the limestone at the edge of the Edwards Plateau and offer some really beautiful water and canyons (sort of). For overnighters, my favorite is the Devils River, which is about as remote as you can get in Central Texas. There you can do trips of 2-3 days in length. Other great rivers for kayaking include the South Llano, Llano proper, Frio, San Marcos, Blanco, Pedernales, and Guadalupe. These latter rivers don't offer a whole lot in terms of overnighters due to the lack of public camping options (camp on private land and you're liable to get shot). In north Texas, your options would include the Brazos (read "Goodbye to a River" by John Graves--one of the best paddling books, nay, books in general, ever written, which tells of a trip down the Brazos in the 60s).

    The Rio Grande in the vicinity of Big Bend offers some really fine river trips with lots of public land on which to camp. Options include Santa Elena Canyon, Mariscal Canyon, Boquillas Canyon and the Lower Canyons (~80 miles with no options for escape). The problem is that trees along the Rio Grande can be scarce, so you'll often end up on the ground.

    The downside is that your arrival to Texas happens to coincide with one of the worst droughts in history. As a result, virtually all of the rivers in Central and West Texas are running really low right now. Not sure how the rivers up in North Texas are doing.

    The thing about Texas is that you have to be willing to drive. It's a big state.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brute1100's Avatar
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    May 2012
    South Texas
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    We have a hang coming next weekend.. contact caveman or myself about details... Also if your willing to travel, on January 11 weekend we have something in lost maples... Other than that we keep things coming and going somewhere in the state once a month or so...
    Live, Laugh, Love, if that doesn't work. Load, Aim and Fire, repeat as necessary...

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Caveman's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Springtown, Tx.
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    Welcome. The rivers are pretty dry up north too.
    If you ain't havin' fun, you're doin' it wrong

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