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Discussion Starter #1
I made it out to west Texas again this spring to Big Bend National Park for another week in the desert.

Here are a few images from the trip.

First up is the high graslands of the Davis Mountains. Think of the movie Giant and that sums up this big country.

There is an image of the Chisos Mountains above the desert. The desert floor is dry and hot. The mountains have aspens and pines.

You can see the road going through the volcanic tuff near Castolon. Really cool geology on the roadside. Always worth a stop.

Lastly a pic of the hot springs! They bubble up clear and at 105 degrees. Ahhhhh! And yes that is the Rio Grande right there.
 

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A few more images from this year.

The backroads network in the park in perfect for the element. Here is the very tame (although sometimes washbordy) Old Maverick Road with the Chisos beyond.

Another view of the Chisos. Take note of the canyon in the middle of the frame. That is the entrance to Tuff Canyon. Always worth a stop.

Last pic is a view of Santa Elena Canyon. 1500' tall walls and yes the left hand side is Mexico.
 

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when did you go? I was just there around memorial day. I've since read 3 books about the region - fascinating history. next trip i think we're going to primitive camp and backpack to some historic sites.
 

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My fiancee and I are thinking of moving to Texas. These pictures just make me want to move even more.

Thank you for sharing!
 

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Nice, thanks for sharing
The Element even made one of the pictures !!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
when did you go? I was just there around memorial day. I've since read 3 books about the region - fascinating history. next trip i think we're going to primitive camp and backpack to some historic sites.
I was there in early April.

A backroad campsite is something that I highly recommend. The E can make most of the roads and there are many good locations to choose. I have driven most of the River Road in my Element (gone in from both east and west sides). Take it slow on the rougher stuff and you should be fine.

So many neat places to see.

Have fun and take pics!
 

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I wondered if the E could handle some of the back roads. Next time i go, though i'm bringing a couple of wood planks so i don't get stuck in the mud if it rains like a few vehicles did. We did more hiking than driving, though. can't wait to go back.
 

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I wondered if the E could handle some of the back roads. Next time i go, though i'm bringing a couple of wood planks so i don't get stuck in the mud if it rains like a few vehicles did. We did more hiking than driving, though. can't wait to go back.
If it is dry then you should be fine. If it rains at all then the roads can go to slop and flood pretty quick. Luckily this being the desert you will probably be in the dry.

A great day trip drive is to go in at Glenn Springs Road down to Glenn Springs. Look around that area. Then follow GSR until it merges into River Road and follow that to see Mariscal Mine. Then back track out on River Road which brings you out right by the Hot Springs. Go take a dip in the springs and watch sunset on the Sierra del Carmen.

Now that is a day!

Old Ore Road can be rough but is do-able at least to Ernst Tinaja ( a great hike).

Pine Canyon is probably too much for the E as there are some rocks to negoiate. However it is a great destination to hike.

Grapevine Hills Road is easy for cars and the hike to the balanced rock is a nice one.

Ok, now I am ready to go back to BBNP!!
 

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How much did you use the Real-time AWD in your E while out there?

I'm considering this trip next year, and since my element is only 2WD, I'm wondering if I would still be able to make it on the backcountry roads around big bend? What about Black Gap Road? BGR seems to be the road they want to warn you about the most.
 

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How much did you use the Real-time AWD in your E while out there?

I'm considering this trip next year, and since my element is only 2WD, I'm wondering if I would still be able to make it on the backcountry roads around big bend? What about Black Gap Road? BGR seems to be the road they want to warn you about the most.
The AWD is a nice feature to have and it may have kicked in a time or two. However, in Big Bend usually just having a little clearance is enough. Although if it has rained recently, then the AWD is a must if the roads are even passable at all.

Old Maverick, Hot Springs, Glenn Springs, River Road to the Mine, Old Ore to Ernest Tinaja, and Dagger Flat are all easy for the E.

The Pine Canyon Road is probably a bit beyond the E. I have done both ends of the 55 mile River Road (maybe in 15 in each direction) but never the whole drive in the E.

Avoid Black Gap Road in anything short of a lifted Jeep. My buddy took his 4x4 Dodge Ram and not only scraped rock but blew a strut. Way beyond the Element.

Go have fun!
 
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