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Old 03-09-2012, 07:50 AM   #1
keetmanaa OP
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Pinto Canyon Road Texas

How difficult is Pinto Canyon Road down Big Bend Way? I'm comfortable taking my DL650 on Forest Service gravel/dirt roads here in north Georgia and will soon have an opportunity to ride (solo) in the Big Bend N.P. and thereabouts.
I have Anakee 2's f/r, Scott's damper, GPS, SPOT and the usual engine and undercarriage guards.
I'd also welcome any other advice about this area.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:14 AM   #2
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Your answer HERE

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Old 03-09-2012, 08:20 AM   #3
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I've been on Pinto Canyon road before, and was just out there once again in the area last week with Richard on his "Around the Bend" ride.

Your Anakees will probably work fine on Pinto Canyon, but aren't ideal by any stretch for the whole of the area.

I lean towards a more aggessive tread out there, such as D606s or a D606 rear and a TKC80 front.

These tires, somewhere around the mid-20s (PSI), will take you virtually anywhere in the Park, State Park, or Terlingua Ranch.

tricepilot screwed with this post 03-09-2012 at 09:02 AM
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:45 AM   #4
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You say you're going to travel out there solo, and with a SPOT messanger.

Review your unit's "Help" button functionality. If you run into a mechanical issue out in the back country, you can press this button and send your contacts a pre-structured message that comes in along with your GPS coordinates.

There's another step of preparation. If you take the time to research the various park emergency services telephone numbers, your contacts can have this information in advance, and be able to call assistance for you while at the same time passing along your actual GPS location. Why not the "911" button? Unless you're really hurt and need to be evacuated, you probably don't want to summon all those resources for something relatively easy like a flat you just need help with. The difference between a ranger in a 4-wheeler and a helicopter.

Always take more water than you think you need. 100 ounces in a Camelbak is the minimum out there, no matter the weather. Take food and a simple shelter such as the ground cloth you probably already have for fixing flats.

Make sure you have the tools you'll need to fix your own flats, but absolutely more importantl than those, practice swapping tubes both front and rear on the floor of your garage, using only the tools you'll have on the trail. Bring at least 1 and preferably 2 headlamps.

Its ironic that when you're prepared like the above, nothing seems to happen. When you're not, you're stuck out there and something as simple as forgetting to bring a spare tube means you need a posse to come help you.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
Jamie Z
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I rode Pinto Canyon road and many of the surrounding gravel roads last year on my DL650 which has street tires. No problem.

They do tend to use gravel which consists of rocks larger than I'm used to. There were a few places where it was kinda loose, but for me, that was the worst part, and it wasn't bad at all.

Great part of the country. If you'll be on Pinto Canyon road, stop by Chinati Hot Springs.

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Old 03-09-2012, 12:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post
I rode Pinto Canyon road and many of the surrounding gravel roads last year on my DL650 which has street tires. No problem.
Like I said before, but to be more specific, "street" tires might be ok for Class I and easy Class II dirt, but for anything more than that you'll want tires with a bunch of grip.

Richard has a ride guide that breaks down all of the great roads in Big Bend. Shoot him a PM (he's Trail Boss here and on twtex.com). He also explains the road classification system. Also, ask him his opinion of tire choice for the Big Bend region. He's light years ahead of me in terms of skill level and has been on just about every road out there.

Once again, your Anakees should be fine for Pinto Canyon. If that's all you're doing, don't worry about it.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:32 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the information and advice.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:25 PM   #8
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Pinto Canyon is easiest to ride from South to North or uphill the first time. The steep rocky stuff is all on the top or North end. Starting at the bottom will give you some time to get used to the road. Take River Road to Ruidosa and then turn right and go from there up to Marfa. If you like it turn around and go back down! The top part definitely has the most rise. Start out from the top and you'll find yourself in some loose rocky twisty bits with some pretty treacherous drop offs right away. Definitely enough to make you pucker up!

During WWII the US had a POW camp at Fort D. A. Russell (Presidio County) near Marfa where we housed the German soldiers captured in N. Africa. Something about trying to keep them in similar climates from where they were captured. Supposedly somewhere along Pinto Canyon Road are some bridge trestles built by the German POWs. See if you can spot them.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keetmanaa View Post
Thanks all for the information and advice.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:59 PM   #10
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Here are a lot of pictures and some other information on Pinto Canyon Road. Hope it proves helpful.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:03 PM   #11
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Cannon's post #120 has pictures of the entire route...

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Old 03-13-2012, 07:44 PM   #12
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Pinto Canyon muy facil. Just don't overcook any corners in the loose gravel. When you get to Presidio hang a right and ride to Copper Canyon.
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