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A buddy & I are planning a trip to Big Bend (from DallasF area) at the end of March (Mar. 29-ish). Our first time.

ANY suggestions are very welcome.

Places to stay, see, roads NOT to miss, stuff to avoid, planning suggestions? etc...etc... We plan to cheap-motel it (bring a tent & bags just in case). We like a few brews in the evening....so suggestions there are welcomed also.

Lay it on me!
 

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MIKE
My friend rick and i were out there last april and we stayed in alpine. It was cool at nite and has motels and good places to eat. There are lots of good riding around there. you need to do the hwy 170 between study butte and presidio. When in big bend do lunch up on mtn at chisos baison. When we were there the first of april it got pretty warn down in big bend it got up to 100deg when we were riding hwy 170. But as long as you were moving it was not bad. Have fun and enjoy your trip.


PS If you like mexican food theres a place south of the main drag in the residential section that was great. The man at the motel told us about it and they do have some good drinks.
 

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Four of us have reservations for two rooms at the Chisos Mountain Lodge for four nights 16-20 April (three full days there). None of us have been there previously, so I'm very interested in this thread also.

Suggested roads that we should ride.

Good places to eat.

Is four nights too much?

We made the reservations last April, but are still not 100% that this is where we will go on our Spring ride. We were in Tucson in 2005 and really had a good time in Safford, Old Tombstone, Tucson, Coronado Trail, etc, and are thinking that we might go back there vs go to Big Bend, so any thoughts/inputs would be appreciated.
 

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wingnutzz said:
We were in Tucson in 2005 and really had a good time in Safford, Old Tombstone, Tucson, Coronado Trail, etc, and are thinking that we might go back there vs go to Big Bend, so any thoughts/inputs would be appreciated.
I'm still waiting to go to Big Bend so can't comment on that part of the country but as for Tucson and So. AZ.....

A great ride, assuming no storms are coming, is from Safford up Route 191 (the old 666) to Springerville then across the Mogollon (Muggy-OWN) Rim to Payson via 260 thence down to the Phoenix area. Route 191 has something like 538 turns in about 100 miles. You also drive through the middle of an open pit copper mine in Morenci and can stop at an overlook and take photo's. You can then take the Pinal Parkway (I think it is Route 87) back to Tucson. Springerville is at 7,000 and Payson at 5,000 feet so make sure you have a warm, sunny day or dress appropriately.

Another great trip is south of Tucson to Sierra Vista (Karchner Caverns - make reservations before you go if you want to hike the cave) then down to Bisbee (Copper Queen open pit mine tours). Bisbee used to look like 1850's S.F. in miniature (but I haven't been there in 10-12 years).

Right outside Tucson 10 miles or less are the Pima Air Museum (lots of vintage aircraft on static display) - right off I-10, and the old cold war missile silo off I-19. Go a little further east on I-10 (towards Benson) and take the Old Vail Road to Colossal Cave. Interesting hike through the cave on paved walkways and always 72F inside.

For a mountain ride with twisties and great overlooks the Hitchcock Highway is a one-hour ride up the face of the Santa Catalina mountains NE of town. Summit is 9,000 feet. From NE Tucson take Tanque Verde Road until you see signs for Mt. Lemmon.
 

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Dave
I think 4 days is a little much for big bend. We left alpine in the am and rode all the paved roads in B B and also rode hwy170 over to presidio then up to marfa and back to alpine in one easy day. Its a great place to visit just not very big and a long way down there.
Landtuna has some great suggestions and if thats not enough theres lots more close by.
 

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Big Bend

Been there 2 times in the last 14 months so here are my recommendations.

1. Good, biker friendly motel is the Marathon Motel in Marathon. Park your bike right outside the room, great courtyard to enjoy that after riding beverage in the evening.

2. 3 or 4 good places to eat while in Marathon. Gage Hotel is pretty expensive.

3. Ride through Big Bend Park is great. Panther Junction, Chisos Mountain Lodge road is fantastic.

4. River road is one of the top roads in Texas.

5. Make sure and do the Davis Mountain loop while also taking in the observatory. Good food also in Ft Davis at the local hotel.

PM me if you have any more questions.

Don Saenz
Sanger, TX
 

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Everytime I've done Big Bend I've based out of Alpine, it's always worked best for us. We stayed at the Sunday House Motel. Large, clean rooms, great rates and free breakfast. There's a nice bar with good food right across the parking lot. I agree that 4 days might be a bit much but if it's your first time maybe not.

You should hit it earlier in the week and swing back through Kerrville for the Texas Gathering March 30 - April 1. Here's the info on that: http://www.gl1800riders.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=67523&highlight=
 

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wimpyhonda nailed it.
We ussually stay at a Best Western in Alpine. Make sure to also hit the Ft.Davis loop around McDonalds observatory.
I e-mailed you a garmin data base file and a powerpoint file of one of our previous trip plans. We hit this same area twice some years and only once other years. Pinto canyon road is cool if you do not mind a little dirt road along the way. The little side road to Boquillas canyon is great. Take the little hike to a good photo op. The road to Santa Ellena canyon is also great. The river road is also a must do. No problem hitting all the paved roads in one or two days in the area (500 mile days).
 

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Wife and I going too!!

We want to go to the Big Bend area too! Have not picked a date yet but late March early April sounds good!! Not on Nascar weekend though!! Only must is going to the observatory when they have one of the eveing showings. Maybe we could ride some of the trip together!
 

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I think Big Bend is one of my favorite places to visit. The mistake we made was not budgeting enough time to truly enjoy the park. If you like nature hiking, I would plan on spending at least 1 full day hiking around the Basin. It is truly outstanding territory.

We stayed at a little, cheap and simple motel in Terlingua called the Chisos Mining Co. It was BASIC, but clean and less than $50/night. I liked staying close to the park. Alpine is more than 90 miles away. (By the way, 90 miles is just around the corner for that part of Texas. Distances are big out there.)

The Terlingua Ghost town is neat and there is a really good restaurant there whose name escapes me. (It is something like the Starlight Theatre)

The recommendation about Highway 170 being a MUST SEE is an understatement. The Davis Mountains are pretty, with Fort Daivs good for a couple of hours of Texas history and the McDonald Observatory is a great place to tour also.
 
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