Dodson

Emory Peak, Texas

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4 Reviews
4 out of 5
The Dodson Trail crosses the rugged, mountainous terrain of the northern Sierra Quemada (Spanish for “burned mountains”), a southern extension of the Chisos Mountains. Passing below the South Rim of the high Chisos, the trail crosses several major drainages, including Juniper Draw, Fresno Creek, Smoky Creek, and Blue Creek. Hikers must therefore cross the high ridges that divide these drainages, repeatedly gaining then losing elevation. The total elevation gain is thus more than just the difference between the highest and lowest points of the hike. The trail requires a total gain of about 2,000 feet traveling east to west and 1,800 feet traveling west to east.

Dodson Professional Review and Guide

"The Dodson Trail crosses the rugged, mountainous terrain of the northern Sierra Quemada (Spanish for “burned mountains”), a southern extension of the Chisos Mountains. Passing below the South Rim of the high Chisos, the trail crosses several major drainages, including Juniper Draw, Fresno Creek, Smoky Creek, and Blue Creek.

Hikers must therefore cross the high ridges that divide these drainages, repeatedly gaining then losing elevation. The total elevation gain is thus more than just the difference between the highest and lowest points of the hike. The trail requires a total gain of about 2,000 feet traveling east to west and 1,800 feet traveling west to east."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Emory Peak
Distance: 9.9
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 5 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Big Bend National Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Dodson

Recent Trail Reviews

3/20/2009
0

hiked ~3 miles one way, camped overnight, and then hiked back.


11/1/2008
0

We did this trail as part of the outer mountain loop. Started the 56 mile lollipop in the basin near the lodge. Hit a kazillion switchbacks and gained substantial elevation. Spent the night in NE campsite 2. After breakfast the next morning headed down via more switchbacks into the valley where we saw what had to be the world's largest black bear. After trudging through the valley ( a 15 mile day), we camped out at the beginning of the bluecreek trail. Sarted and completed the bluecreek trail on what had to be a rolloercoaster blueprint. Made it back into the mountains the next day and brought it on home on day 4! A knee pounding experience...TRAIN UP for it kids, your knees will thank you


7/23/2008
0

My advice is start early and knock out half of this trail before the sun hits you. Otherwise be ready for a very hot, very dry hike.


5/12/1999
0

Our trip started in the Basin the day before, and we actually hit the Dodson trailhead at around 9:00 AM. The hike was great with a few vistas early on. The ruins at Dodson Ranch provided a nice cool place to relax for lunch in the shade of the low scrubby over-growth. We didn't look for the spring at this location, but didn't see any outward signs of water in the area. Moving on, the trail is a bit easier untill you reach Fresno Creek. Plenty of water and a large area for group camping. The area has some great photo opportunities if you look for them. The trail heading west from the creek appears daunting at first with it's steep rise, but it's quickly ascended and the next few miles are beautiful hiking in the early morning through low canyons. There are signs of fences and gate posts along the way leading your mind to wonder what it must have ben like to ranch this area in years past. Past the Smokey Creek trailhead, there is a corral on the north side of the trail, covered in vines and thistles. The rise just ahead of you offers the best vista on the trail. An incredible view of Santa Elena Canyon looms on the distant horizon with miles of panoramic desert terrain in the fore ground. There is a small camping area cleared here at the top of this rise if you happen to hit it in the evening. The remainder of the trail is downhill for the most part with a few scenic areas for photographers. The last part of the trail is a broad arc that takes you in to Blue Creek Ranch. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. E-mail me if you have specific questions about the trail. m-schuler@ti.com



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May 2018