Old Ore Road Bike Ride
Old Ore Road was 28 miles with 2200’ of climbing. Old Ore Road is a primitive, rough 4X4 gravel road that doesn’t get much use from what we could see. We rode out 14 miles and came back and only saw one truck, two border patrol agents, and a group of dirt bikers. The road follows the early 1900s historic route used to transport ore from Mexican mines to the railroad station in Marathon, Texas. There are a handful of backcountry primitive spots off the road but high clearance 4wd is necessary. Along the ride we were treated to excellent views of the Chisos Mountains and the foothills of Deadhorse Mountain.
River Road East Bike Ride
A couple weeks ago we rode River Road West and did a blog post about it. Now that we are camped over on the other side of the park, we rode the east side. This ride was around 32 miles of backcountry gravel roads with continuous views of mountains. This was a much smoother section of river road than the west side, but still had enough tricky spots that I was glad to be on a mountain bike. I rode down to Solis which is a Rio Grande river access point. I sat on the banks and basked in the sunlight and solitude before turning around and heading back. It’s really nice to view Big Bend National Park backcountry on a bike, or on foot. I’m so happy we are getting to do this.
Ernst Tinaja Trail
While riding the Old Ore road we passed a trailhead for Ernst Tinaja. A Tinaja is a pool of water. Bikes weren’t allowed on the trail and we had on our cycling shoes which wouldn’t be much fun to hike in. We decided to drive back a different day with our hiking shoes. The trail just headed up the wash which quickly turned into a canyon. we saw the first Tinajas pretty quick, but decided to press on to see how far up the canyon we could get. It got pretty rough after a bit and we had to climb up rocks and boulders to keep going. Eventually we got to a large rock climb which had a deep pool of water at the bottom and a bee hive somewhere close by. We called it far enough at that point and headed back the way we came.