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Old 12-24-2010   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
Hiking on the Mexico Side of Big Bend NP?

Headed down to Big Bend for a canoe/kayak trip in Santa Elena Canyon soon. I know the official rule is that you are not supposed to be on the Mexico side to hike or camp with some few exceptions for scouting rapids. Do private boaters obey this rule? Is this rule enforced?

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Old 12-24-2010   #2
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,471
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Ha, just got off the lower canyons yesterday. I camped/hiked in Mexico. The park rangers seem not to care at all and even expect it because lots of the best camping is there. Sounds like the boarder patrol has forbid it, but they're not down there to enforce it...

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Old 12-28-2010   #3
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Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 131
Yeah, whats up down there? I was down there for a rafting season about14 years ago, saved up my tip money money and bought 20 acres of desert for 2 grand. I hear the border patrol has a bigger presence now, but I guarantee they don't go far from their vehicle and certainly not down there in the canyon.

The only people we saw in the canyon not in boats were the local mexicans crossing into the park to collect the plant they cook down for making chapstick- its name escapes me. I bet they're collecting something else now.
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Old 12-28-2010   #4
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 88

I believe you're thinking of Candelilla (also known as a Wax plant).

I agree with the above posts regarding hiking and camping on the Mexican side of the river. I encountered the Mexican military on patrol while having lunch on their side of the river. They were happy to join us for a snack.

Enjoy the trip!
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big bend, mexico, rio grande, santa elena, texas

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