We arrived at Big Bend National Park at around noon and were able to secure a couple of great campsites for Friday and Saturday nights. Reservations for the back-country campsites have to be made in-person (online reservations are coming Feb 8, 2020) so there was a bit of uncertainty in which sites were already taken. Our preferred hiking plan required staying at the Toll Mountain campsite (TM1) the first night, since it is situated right at the Emory Peak trail-head, which we wanted to hike first thing in the morning. We were stoked that the Toll Mountain campsite was available!
Our second preferred campsite on the South Rim was already taken by someone else, but a few good backup choices were available so we picked NE2/ER2 which looked great. With campsites reserved, we headed to the trail to start our backpacking adventure.
The hike today was simple: take Pinnacles Trail up to the Toll Mountain campsite. Simple but oh so strenuous with 40 lbs on my back! According to Strava, we traveled 3.62 miles with an elevation gain of 1,717 feet. The switchbacks at the end of the trail were intense and when we reached the campsite, we were exhausted but stoked. We figured that this would be the most difficult hike of the weekend, so to survive it in good shape was encouraging and a huge relief!
Dinner tonight was my first try of a Mountain House camp meal, so I was excited to give it a try. I boiled two cups of water in my Stanley Adventure Cooking Pot, then poured it into the bag of dehydrated Beef Stroganoff, sealed it up, and waited 8 minutes for it to re-hydrate. The meal was pretty tasty! I’d definitely recommend this meal. Eating a hot meal with my new Snow Peak titanium spork on a chilly evening in the Big Bend back-country was a great experience!
Here are a few more photos from the day: