Part Of A Longer 4-Day Backcountry Hike
By Lone_Star on 11/19/2013
Distance: N/A Duration: N/A
I hiked the Telephone Canyon Trail as part of a 4 day backpacking expedition through the backcountry trails of Big Bend National Park. The hike occurred on the 3rd & 4th days in the backcountry. You can read my log of that extended hike here.
I hiked the western section of the Telephone Canyon Trail from the Strawhouse Trail to Old Ore Road. This trail was unmaintained and extremely difficult to follow. In some sections, there were rock cairns, but for most of the trail they were non-existent. They had either washed away, been knocked down by animals, or simply become overgrown by vegetation. I was forced to hike using my map, GPS and land navigation skills I learned in the military.
The trail appears to follow an arroyo through various canyons, but the arroyo is filled with rocks, boulders, cacti, and thorn bushes, making it virtually impenetrable. The arroyo is also filled with thick gravel, making it a hard surface to walk on. I expended a lot of energy and there was a lot of slippage. I had to stop periodically to inspect my feet and administer foot care.
Traversing this trail was slow going. At times, I was only going 1/3rd to 1/2 mph, but I was expending a lot of energy and drinking a lot of water. I also had to stop every couple of miles to try and figure out where I was and which way to go.
I do NOT recommend anyone hike this trail. It is very easy to become lost and you could potentially die. When I returned from my hike, I told the rangers that this trail should either be maintained or removed from the map. In its current condition, it is a death trap, even for the most experienced hikers.