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Camping & Caving

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Date(s) - 11/09/2018 - 11/11/2018
All Day

Colorado Bend State Park


Camping & Caving

Dates: 11/9-11 Time: Multiday
Early Bird Deadline: 10/31/2018 Early Bird Cost: $55/$75
Registration Deadline:  11/7/2018 Regular Cost:$75/$95
 Pre-Trip Meeting: 11/7 @ 6pm Location: Colorado Bend State Park

Trip Description:

Colorado Bend State Park is located at a large, lazy, bend in the Colorado River as it flows through Bend, Texas. Located about 3 hours Southwest of TCU, Colorado Bend State Park is the home of the beautiful, mossy, 65ft Gorman falls – as well as a number of caves. The caves range in difficulty from casual walking to adventurous crawling. Colorado Bend is representative of karst geography, with abundant freshwater springs, caves, and sinkholes.

Trip Cost:

Early Registration: $50 with a TCU ID, $70 as a sponsored guest

Regular Registration: $65 with a TCU ID, $85 as a sponsored guest



Packing List

Physical Challenge




Outfitting & Food


Pre-Trip Meeting:

11/7@ 6pm

Pre-Trip meetings are required and are held the date of the Sign-Up deadline (listed above – generally the week of or week before the trip), from 6-7:30 pm at the TCU Climbing Wall.  You will meet the leaders and other trip members, as well as cover all details such as weather, menu, safety issues, and clothing requirements. You will also be issued all of your equipment at this time (sleeping bags, pad, tent, etc.).


Day 1: Depart TCU around 8am, settle in for the 3 hour van ride, and head south to Colorado Bend Campground. Set up camp and spend the day hiking and caving through the boulder-strewn canyons and exploring Gorman Falls. In the evening, we will return to our original campsite, eat a delicious meal, and watch the stars come out.

Day 2: There will be an optional hike up to a high point to watch the sunrise, followed by a hearty breakfast. The group will head out toward Spicewood Creek to explore. A delicious lunch will be provided before we get back in the van to head back to TCU. Arrive at TCU approximately 5pm.

Physical Challenge

Hiking and caving around Colorado Bend State Park can be strenuous on the legs. Designated trails may be non-existent. We could be hiking 2-4 miles over rough terrain as we explore. Staying well hydrated, taking your time, resting when necessary (but not for too long), and keeping your energy level high is essential. Trip members should be in good physical condition for hiking and caving on rocky and rugged terrain.

TRIP RATING 2 out of 3 – This is a beginner trip camping/caving and exploring rough terrain.  

Packing List

**Please don’t purchase any of the following items before the pre-trip meeting, as your trip leader will have advice on what/where to purchase any required gear**

We are limited on space, and the less stuff you bring, the less you have to carry around. Ask yourself…What would I want in the coldest weather or the hottest weather? Pack to be prepared for both!


Things that should be packed inside your personal day pack and kept with you inside the van:

  • Small day pack
  • Money for road meals
  • A warm layer
  • Headlamp
  • Travel size pillow
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Camera


  • Sunglasses w/retainer strap
  • Personal stuff- extra contact lenses, chap-stick, sunscreen, baby wipes, baby powder, ear plugs, hand lotion, medications you usually take…
  • 2 durable crush proof one-liter water bottles or a hydration pack
  • Eating utensils
  • Plastic bowl
  • Mug/insulated cup
  • Hand sanitizer


  • Wide brimmed shade hat
  • Beanie/ stocking cap
  • Bandana
  • Gloves
FEET: No Flip Flops!!
  • Tennis shoes with good ankle support
  • Hiking Socks
  • Hiking Shoes/ Boots
  • Cotton or synthetic blend hiking shirt (breathable layer)
  • Cotton or synthetic camp shirt (a clean shirt to wear at camp)
  • Synthetic Long Sleeve Top(s) – Polypro, Capilene, or polyester.
  • Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
  • Sports bra
  • Windbreaker
  • Nylon shorts
  • Lightweight long pants/ cotton or synthetic hiking pants
  • Rain Pants
  • Sweatpants
  • Underwear
  • Synthetic long underwear (top & bottom)
  • Bathing suit
  • 15-30˚ sleeping bag and Thermarest sleeping pad
  • Tent with rain fly (sleeps 2-4)
  • Head lamp
  • Camp chair
  • Pack Bag: to hold all of the above items PLUS your personal gear and clothes
  • Expedition First Aid Kit
  • Ground Tarp
  • Stoves, fuel and all cooking gear-pots, pans, spice kit etc.
  • Repair kit for tents, stoves, packs, etc.
  • Water bags -2+ gallon bags for camp use
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert



There are numerous risks and hazards associated with Colorado Bend State Park. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, cactus, and other sharp desert plants require extra caution when hiking. Not dressing appropriately can result in heat or cold illnesses (Hyperthermia or Hypothermia). Caving includes squeezing through some tight spots – though there are multiple exit points for participants that need alternate routes. Not drinking enough water results in dehydration and not being in adequate physical condition can result in sore muscles. Trip members must make a conscious effort to be safe. One person’s disdain for safety will always result in more hardship for the group. If we do have an accident or injury that requires medical attention beyond the scope of our leader’s experience, the trip is immediately over without refund. Our leaders are trained to administer first aid in an outdoor environment; however, while they may be able to treat injuries they cannot always prevent them.


Our campsite will be located in a developed campground operated by the Park.  There will be designated tent sites, picnic tables, fire pit and running water nearby.  In addition,  there is a public restroom facility with flush toilets and running water. TCU will provide tents, warm synthetic sleeping bags, and foam sleeping pads. You will have the choice to share a tent with two or three trip members or sleep under the stars. The sleeping area provides us with durable hard packed dirt.


The trip leaders will research the weather conditions in advance to assess the situation. The Trip will be canceled if the weather is dangerous. If you do not receive an email about this, then please be prepared to be out in the weather. Please follow the weather and use your best judgment as well as the packing list to determine what you will personally need to stay warm and dry during the entirety of this trip. Layers are recommended for cold weather and failure to bring proper attire will be detrimental to your experience.