The Window Trail is a 5.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Terlinguo, TX that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.
The Window Trail begins near the Chisos Basin lodge, descending 800 feet over about two miles through rolling hills and vertical rock walls to a narrow pouroff, which overlooks the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. The trail is usually dry, but the pouroff area is very dangerous during flash-floods.
Great hike. Can be done in about 2 hours, three with a 6 year old. Gets a little slippery towards the end when it rains. Can't wait to get back there in a few years.
It says it is a five mile round trip but my GPS device logged it in at 6.7 from the store at Chisos Mountain Lodge. I did this hike on 8 September 2016. The park ranger recommended I do the hike in the morning and I second that. I started down the trail (virtually all downhill) around 8:20 am and climbed back out around 12:30 pm. The trail is well maintained and the scenery is spectacular. In the morning, you get protection from the sun and it can be brutal on your way out in the afternoon. Wildflowers were abundant and there were plenty of birds. The park provides benches in shade along the way.
Take plenty of water and I recommend a walking stick. The park also recommends long pants and shirt to provide a cooling mechanism as you sweat. I did and appreciated it when cool breezes blew up from the Windows.
Keep going until you get to the Windows. However, check the forecast for possibility of rainstorms because the area is susceptible to flash floods. The view is breath taking. You overlook the desert floor below. On my hike, water was flowing over the 200 foot drop. Be careful, the rock is extremely smooth and slippery when wet.
The park warns of puma and bear and I saw very fresh bear scat going down. The walk back up is difficult to strenuous, depending on you age. I am currently 66 and I made it but the last 0.6 mile almost did me in.
This is one of the best hikes I've done.
Not my favorite hike in Big Bend, but its proximity to Chisos Basin Campground made it an obvious choice of hike for us. The first 3/4mi. was pretty open to the afternoon sun (we set out around 5pm in the middle of the summer) and it was blazingly hot. As you get down closer to the "window" (where two mountains meet and you can see down into the valley beyond over where a waterfall would empty out), there is more shade, between the trees and the mountainsides. It started thunderstorming when we got to the window itself, and I got a little freaked out because I grew up in the desert with a healthy fear of flash flooding in steep, dry mountains. There was no cause for concern though, and the sound of the rolling thunder echoing between the mountaintops was actually pretty cool, along with the double rainbow that appeared. Anyway, I digress--this is a relatively gentle hike that I think a lot of people could do.
Hiked there back in 2005. It was dry and hot, a long hike, great going down, and strenuous going up, but then, that's what hiking is all about. Made it to the pour off, got as close as possible to the edge, it was cool and windy at that point. Great long hike, would recommend to everyone, be on the look out for bears, did not see any mountain lions on this trail.
Good mix of such and shade @ 4:30 in May. Bit difficult at the very end.
Terrific. Lots of wildflowers mid March though the cacti were not yet in bloom. The last mile or so twists and turns through the narrowing canyon.
Well worth the hike. Easy trail and we saw lots of wild life along the way.
Very easy to find a great reward: a window of nature!
Epic! Was nice to hike on a foggy day. Rare weather in The Big Bend
Love this trail, great views!
Beautiful trail that slowly descends from the Chisos Basin campground. You descend into a canyon that ends with an amazing rock window view that can be over 30 miles on a clear day.
It is 4 miles if you start close to the amphitheater. If you start by the general store it is a 5 mile hike round trip. Best scene is the ending. Use all the steps at the end to be right at the window. Like the other reviews the hike back is all up hill.
This was a fantastic quick hike from the Chisos Mountain Lodge. Lovely views and not a difficult trail. Great way to start our trip! Everything was blooming and the Window was windy and impressive.
Trailhead was hard to find in this area because its hidden behind the general store - just ask around and you'll find it no problem.
For the first half mile you are just walking toward the lower "group campground". I recommend starting the trail from the group campground -- you don't miss anything and you knock off a mile round trip.
This trail has several nice spots to stop, rest and get in the shade.