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BrownDog
02-24-2009, 10:08 AM
Hello everybody

I'm planning a trip from Houston to Phoenix this April. I've got 12 days and I'd like to follow the Mexican border, spend a few days hiking in Big Bend Nat Park + the Guadalupe Mountains then head towards Phoenix either via Las Cruces - Tucson or via Eagar - Show Low.

I'm French (nobody's perfect..) and I've already done a fair amount of road tripping around your fabulous country (nearly 20,000 miles from Seattle to San Diego to Tallahassee to Maine in 2000 and many other road trips along the Rockies from Arizona to Montana since).

My questions regarding this trip:
- any good state parks to camp with a tent (no RVs - quiet and scenic)?
- is the road between Brownsville and Eagle Pass interesting or is it better to go straight from Houston to Eagle Pass and then make my way towards Big Bend?
- To camp/ hike between Las Cruces and Phoenix, would you go Las Cruces - Silver city - Eagar - SHow Low ... or more southerly (Cochise stronghold - coronado national forest,...)?

Thanks a lot for your help.

All the best,

Nico

AZBuck
02-24-2009, 11:52 AM
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

Since state parks often try to cater to as broad a segment of the population as possible, that often means that they try to accommodate both RV and tent campers. You will sometimes, but not always by any means, find separate sites within a given park for tent and RV campers. Your best guide is to do a web search on {statename state parks} and look at what is offered at the specific parks near where you plan to spend each evening.

The road between Brownsville and Eagle Pass is mostly two lane US highway through farming and ranch country. I don't think that I'd call it interesting enough to make the huge detour from Houston to Brownsville.

Either way between Las Cruces and Phoenix would work for your purposes. I might give the edge to taking I-10 for the choice of attractions along it, but if the weather is getting too warm for your tastes, then heading up through Silver City and Show Low would offer a respite and a more forested rather than desert terrain.

AZBuck

BrownDog
02-25-2009, 07:57 AM
Thanks a lot. I see that you're from Tucson. Would you know if the cabeza Prieta wilderness is easy to access? i've read somewhere that there is an unpaved road crossing it - is it accessible with a 2WD?

Thanks
Nico

AZBuck
02-25-2009, 08:33 AM
The whole point of wilderness is that it is NOT accessible by motorized vehicles, 2WD or otherwise. Besides which, the Cabeza Prieta Wilderness adjoins the Barry Goldwater Gunnery Range, and the Air Force uses that big chunk of air space for training exercises. Before you enter the wilderness you will be required to sign a 'holdharmless agreement' that states that you understand that there may be unexploded ordinance and that you enter at your own risk. My only experience with the area was in flying over it and having to maintain constant contact with military air controllers. If you're looking for desert hiking that's a bit more sane, have a look at the Ironwood Forest National Monument or the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, although in the latter you'll have to be on the watch for drug smugglers.

AZBuck

BrownDog
02-26-2009, 01:44 AM
yes, for the unpaved, I meant going alongside the wilderness, not crossing it, sorry. Thanks for the tip about Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, it could be a good option; I also went to Ironwood a few years ago.

Nico