Explore Big Bend - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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This hike was amazing. Gorgeous views, but dont get fooled by the 7.5 mile round trip it's a lot longer than that just one way due to all the switchbacks you traverse. So some trail training is a must before attempt to tackle this trail. When you get to the top it's all worth the effort.

hiking
4 days ago

Hot even on a cold day. Absolutely no shade. Ok for interesting flora

Wonderful hike! Just enough water to make the crossings interesting and challenging.

Very cool trail that takes down into the canyon along the Rio Grande. The rock faces are amazing when you get down to the river and into the canyon. Nice hike!

Very nice trail. It is well maintained and beautifully constructed. The views at the top are magnificent!

What a thrill to stand at the highest point in Texas! This was my birthday hike, fortunately delayed from August as the temperature was perfect in early November at mid 60s F. According to my GPS, this trail is closer to 9 miles, most of which is quite steep and rocky. The wind was strong and consistent throughout. There are few signs, but only one place near the summit had us tracing the trail visually from above us to find our way. Take extra water - my daughter drank 3 liters and ran out a mile from the trailhead on the descent. Start early to finish before dark as the days are shorter, and bring a headlamp/flashlight in case you don’t. Poles are a big bonus on the way down. Expect a challenging and very rewarding hike!

Heavily graveled, easy to follow. Gravel difficult to walk in like sand is.
Scenery and Pratt Lodge Cabin Worth it.

Memorable hike.

Trip from Houston
Drove from Houston - hiked next day - drove back. Overnight each way. DO NOT TAKE Pecos Highway, 285 or HWY 62 - large potholes and 100 miles of oil drilling trucks, fields, etc.
Stayyed at Super 8 in Sonora - very nicely refurbished and inexpensive.

60 year old ok shape male. Left before dawn at 6:40. Hike for me took about 8 hours plus an hour on top. Glad we left in the morning before it got hot. Had hiking poles - a must if you are not 20-30 something. Had plenty of water and the foul weather gear but the day was beautiful. Day before they had 50 mph winds.

We were going to hike up to the wilderness campsites - but the campsites were full. But we got the last site at the campgrounds at the base - bring ear plugs.
So glad we did not take the 35 pound pack up 2000 feet to the wilderness campsites especially since we would have had a late start.

Brought Nikon D-90 and got some great pics. Picnic on top great.

What is amazing is the perspective - for instance, you will look down on El Capitan and the mini mountains look like dots. So I at once see the immensity of God’s creation and realize how small I am - even yet for one moment when I was the tallest person in Texas. Have fun.

Good trail that is easy to follow. Finished RT right around 4 hours. All levels can do this trail but time will vary. It’s steep in a lot of places and your legs will feel it. It was very windy during certain sections and at the very top.

13 days ago

Amazing

A view well earned. Trail is is difficult with lots of loose rocks. Start early. Slow and steady will get you there.

hiking
17 days ago

Fun trail and beautiful views

Go at dusk. The sunset is majestic. Hiking back in the dark is good fun!

Great hike. The initial switchbacks were challenging, but overall the hike was enjoyable. It took me 5 hours total including a break at the top. The weather was cool and the fog created some great scenes. Unfortunately, the clouds obscured the view at the summit, but there were views along the way.

... One of my all time favorite hikes. There is a lot of variety on this trail, especially if you pay attention to small details.

Very good hike. Stream running enough to make getting to end both wet and enjoyable.

You can string multiple loop variations onto the South Rim - you can't go wrong. This is still one of my favorite hikes out there, gazing hundreds of miles across Texas and Mexico. Be sure to start very early and keep a good pace so you are done before the afternoon heat sets in. Carry at minimum 4-5 litres of water, if not more. Keep in mind, this is the desert. Hydration and sunscreen is key! Watch out for rattlers, too.

After doing observation point just 3 weeks earlier, this hike was much tougher than expected. I went in early October and the winds and cold temperatures made it a challenge.

Great views!!! Worth it even if it's drizzling and muddy.

I entered the cave from the Natural Entrance and WOW! My mouth was slack-jawed the entire journey down. The trail is incredibly smooth so you don't ever need to worry about tripping even though it gets rather dark.

The cave floor is rather crowded with people who took the elevator down but the sights were so amazing that I hardly noticed.

Well-maintained and not very steep. Spectacular views the entire way up. Super windy around a few corners when I hiked it last week - definitely bring a jacket.

Tons of fun and amazing views! I had to wade through the river at the very beginning to get to the incline, and then the canyon itself was so beautiful.

Interesting when getting close to the Window, but the first few (and last few) miles can get really hot and feel pretty long.

Absolutely gorgeous view from the top. Super worth it!

Always cool to go here , do the walk down from the bat entrance its way funner!

I am an unfit 26 year old who likes to hike occasionally, but otherwise I am inactive. These reviews definitely made me feel ill prepared for this hike, along with the park ranger who advised we not start the hike as late in the afternoon as we did, but we chose not to listen. I’m glad we went ahead!

We started our hike on 10/14 at 2:20pm, reached the summit at 5:07pm, started our trek back down at 5:35pm, and were back at 7:15pm. Lots of stops on the way up, just a couple on the way down. We each took two liters of water. A third probably would have been good to have.

The weather was PERFECT. The wind kept us cool most of the hike. We started in shorts and tank tops. Brought pants and pullovers that we changed into at the summit, but we didn’t need to because it didn’t cool off until after we left the park. It got chilly at times, but the weather was consistent for our hike up and down. The wind wasn’t 50 miles per hour at the summit for us, but barely blowing while we were there. The views were clear, and we could see everything! So amazing!

Passed maybe 25 people who were coming down the mountain on our way up. Passed two people who were going up on our way down. Very peaceful and quiet trail that we had to ourselves most of the hike, so I’m glad we chose that time to go!

It wasn’t as hard as a lot of these reviews make
it seem, but it was hard. Also, our Apple devices said we hiked 10 miles total. We did the hikers only trail, not the horse/hiker trail. Something to keep in mind as well. The trail is well marked, so staying on it is easy. There is a lot of loose gravel/rocks, but it didn’t really seem to be an issue. Just wear hiking shoes.

If you’re planning on doing Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains in the same day, like we did, there’s a time change. Guadalupe is an hour behind Carlsbad.

Short easy trail, beautiful rock formations!

Beautiful hike! Bears are sited!

Moderate difficulty but exquisite views. Backpack in for solitude when the day hikers have returned to the basin.

*This rating is the trail up to and back from the Notch.*

I originally planned only to go to the Grotto (which is pretty damn cool, btw), which is a pretty easy hike), and then figured I'd go on up to the Notch since I had a couple extra hours. That part of the hike (above the Grotto) is much more difficult, lots of elevation gain in a short distance, but SO worth it for the view of the south canyon, which is much more breathtaking than that of the north canyon.

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