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Trip Report    

Bandera Mountain

  • Tue, Feb 17, 2015
  • Bandera Mountain
  • Day Hiking

What a gorgeous February day for a hike!

Being a holiday (President's Day) with fabulous weather (sunshine and 50+ degrees), hikers were out in force. The trailhead parking lot was almost completely full when we arrived at about 09:30, with a steady stream of vehicles still arriving only to have to turn around and park along the road. The last mile or two of the road in was a bone-jarring bumpy ride due to some serious potholes.

Once on the trail, things are in great shape: no major obstacles and no snow/ice at all. The single stream crossing was easy enough to walk across on shallowly submerged rocks; no need to do a tight rope act on the skinny, wet branches laid across the top of the falls. The only difficult part comes when ascending/descending a steep, rocky slope that is more of a scramble than a trail. Dry conditions make this about as safe as it gets, but you still need to watch your step (especially on the way down!).

There was still a bit of snow in the shade near the summit of Little Bandera, but nothing at all on the trail. What there was a lot of at the top, however, were camp robber birds (gray jays, I believe)-- and other hikers. Several of the hikers were busy feeding the birds as a photo opportunity, which is precisely why the little buggers are so fearless and belligerent.

This trail is long enough that there's plenty of room for people to spread out on it, so even though this was a busy day it was very peaceful for the most part. With amazing weather and stunning views, I can certainly understand why so many were drawn here.