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hiking
1 day ago

very easy hike but very beautiful

Our forester has no problems!

Gorgeous views and worth even going up a short ways after window trail, but the rock is very loose and the trail is steep going down.

hiking
1 month ago

Hike to the waterfall was interesting. As people mentioned the dirt road getting to the hike is okay if you have a high clearance vehicle. We did see a bear both coming and going -he was just off the trail ( about 1/2 mile from the waterfall)

on Window View Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike with a great view at the end.

on Pine Canyon Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Great hiking trail. I little more strenuous than I expected but not horrible. The last little bit is steep. Saw a lot of bear scat on the trail and saw two bears.

Did this as a day trip in December. Just want to point out it is quite doable as a day trip given it is done in the winter and you’re used to doing 25-30 mile hikes. Started with Dodson trail, which is actually fairly mild and undulating. Up juniper canyon in he heat of the day tough but doable. Smooth sailing down the blue creek canyon into the sunset. Awesome hike, right among my top hiking experiences.

hiking
1 month ago

I'm a relatively inexperienced backpacker, having done maybe a dozen 2-3 night camping trips and this was definitely one of the more challenging ones I've done, mostly bc of the elements (heat and lack of water).

Route: Clockwise from Chisos Basin Visitor Center + Southwest Rim (~35 miles)
Day 1: Visitor Center up the Pinnacles, down Juniper Canyon to the Dodson Trail. I wish I had made it to Fresno Creek so I could have binged on water, but I ran out of daylight.
Day 2: Stopped at Fresno Creek for coffee, then to Home Ranch for lunch and up Blue Creek to the South Rim. I camped at SW4, which was close to this great overlook on the Rim, made for some great pics.
Day 3: Out of food and low on water, I couldn't sleep and hiked out at 4AM. I bypassed the full South Rim trail and went straight to Boot Canyon so I could refill at Boot Spring. Then on the Colima Trail to Laguna Meadows Trail.

Would not recommend the early departure for two reasons. One, the South Rim has epic views, and sunrise there looks incredible. Boot Canyon is also worth seeing, and though it was nice to observe it by moonlight, I knew I was missing out. Second reason, I saw a mountain lion on the trail and those things terrify me. Should have just waited until sunrise.

Stupidly, I only brought capacity to carry 3L of water. This made for a light pack, which was nice going up the Pinnacles on Day 1 and up the Blue Creek Trail switchbacks on Day 3, but I was pretty dehydrated by the end of it. I should have brought another 2L empty bladder with me and filled it at Boot Spring.

It's definitely worth reading through Big Bend Chat forum on water sources and caching at Home Wilson Ranch. Just be familiar with what you're looking for. I got water at Boot Spring (which is marked with a sign) about five miles into Day 1, and Fresno Creek early on Day 2. Thankfully there were some extra gallons at Home Wilson, too, that I binged on and took 3L with me to camp up on South Rim, then refilled again at Boot Spring early on Day 3 and hiked out. In hindsight, this was stupid bc Boot Spring could have run dry (Dodson Spring had gone dry just a day before I got there) and it would have been a tough dry Day 3 hike.

General Thoughts:
- Top three hike of my life
- November is a terrific time to do it. Highs around 80, lows in the mid-40's, decent amount of water on the trail (though you obviously can't bank on this).
- Glad I camped on South Rim, the sunset views were absolutely stunning.
- All of the trails up around Chisos Basin, Emory Peak, South Rim, etc. are extremely well defined and well-marked. It's out in the zoned camping areas where you have to be careful (Juniper, Dodson, Blue Creek)
- The rangers were super helpful; the only thing they gave me a hard time on was that I didn't cache water. She "strongly encouraged" me to cache water at Home Wilson; I didn't, but she was right.
- Should have brought sun block, long sleeve shirt and a sun hat for Dodson Trail and Blue Creek. There is very very little shade out there.
- The caution about losing the trail is not entirely overreaction. There are cairns, but some get knocked out from flash floods, or are pretty far apart. I lost the trail on Dodson a couple times, but backtracked easily enough and found it. I could have saved twelve bucks on the Nat Geo map and just printed one out from Big Bend Chat.
- Do it in November! High of 80, low in the mid-40's and some water already out there (though it's tough to bank on this). This would have been much more challenging in the summer, and miserable to carry all that water. I probably would have cut out the South Rim and done it on a long day hike based from Chisos or something.
- You could start/finish from Homer Ranch and cut out the Chisos Basin, but I'm glad I didn't. The Chisos was pretty nice, and the long early morning walk down Laguna Meadow after camping on South Rim on night 2, so relaxing and great way to wind down the trip. Plus, you can then binge on ice cream at the camp store.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike with good shade on a hot day. Perfect afternoon outing after hiking Windows in the am.

off road driving
3 months ago

Easy trail.

Waterfall at the end was spectacular!

on Outer Mountain Loop

hiking
4 months ago

This hike is difficult but rewarding. Some choose to hike the trail clockwise which takes them down Juniper Canyon trail the first day. I would advise this, as I have done the trail counter clockwise and day 3 up Juniper Canyon can be extremely strenuous. Personally the second day down the Dodson was the most difficult. We made out hike in early spring but the lack of shade and the extreme temperature swing in the afternoon really made the last half of the day MISERABLE. This was all replaced after the camp was set up and the stars came out. Hands down the clearest I have ever seen the stars in my life.

I would recommend caching water at Homer Wilson and Juniper Canyon. We ended up with extra water in the end but as many of you know the weather in Big Bend can fluctuate rapidly. Weather forecast for the day we hiked the Dodson called for highs in the low 80's but it was easily 100 degrees in the afternoon. So a little extra water isn't going to hurt. It actually makes for a pretty refreshing cool down before the final stretch back down into the basin.

This trail is very rewarding with spectacular views and solitude but can be very dangerous if you go in unprepared. Carry plenty of water, and KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike to get you warmed up and ready for some of the longer trails available. Nice views of the surrounding peaks and window. A little more difficult than I had expected. I would say somewhere between easy and moderate. GPS has distance at 2.6 miles and took a little under 1 hour to complete.

walking
4 months ago

Quick walk that gives you a taste of what the longer hikes have to offer. Nice views of the window but better ones can be had if you opt for a more difficult hike or possibly the patio of the restaurant.

Easy trail. Fun and short!

hiking
7 months ago

I read this was easy and very close to the lodge where we were staying. We decided to take the hike while waiting for check in time. I personally found this trail more difficult than the Lost Mine trail. It's rated Easy on All Trails but Moderate by the park staff. I agree with the park staff. It's an interesting trail with great views and lots of elevation change. Worth the effort just more difficult than I expected. At 58 years old difficulty level is an important factor.

Nice hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Pine Canyon Trail head is at the end of a 6 mile primitive road. The park recommends 4X4 drive, however we made the trek in Desmond out Honda CRV without noticeable damage. The trial is a easy-moderate 4 mile in and out. The first 1.6 miles are in the sun. Beware of flies, their presence is overwhelming at times. This is where you encounter first of many ecosystems. Next the trail come to a moderately wooded area, and slowly becomes more dense. This is where we encountered two black bear cubs, and momma bear. We never made it to the waterfall due to the presence of the bears. Despite the bears, the changing of ecosystems were exhilarating. Great hike!

hiking
8 months ago

Paved & accessible, this is just a .3 loop to see the window. Has a bench & lots of information boards. Nice to see if you don't have the time or inclination to take the longer trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Good hike if you are short on time or don't feel like doing one of the longer mountain hikes. Offers some alternate views of the Window and is a good place to encounter wildlife along the way.

hiking
9 months ago

Easy stroll with some inclines and declines to warm up for the rest of the Big Bend trails

9 months ago

More of a walk than a hike, but beautiful views particularly at sunset.

Hot/exposed at first but leads into a wooded area with lots of shade!

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing trail, stunning views, superb camping spots. Hiked desert part in one day, mountain part in one long day, so did Junniper - Wilson - Rim - Junniper. Initial plan was to do 3 days but the rangers ruined that (see below).

Expect some serious shade from the scare-mongering rangers if you tell them you want to do this trail. They told us :
- the desert part has no trail markers you'll get lost.
- it's going to be 105F tomorrow you're going to suffer and give up
- there is absolutely no shade in the desert part (Dodson trail)
- you saw that trail on the internet you have no idea what you're doing
- 1.5 gallons of water per person per day
- go do the South rim hike instead, you can make it the same length

The truth was :
- there are cairns everywhere on the desert part, you cannot get lost.
- the next day was cloudy and temperatures were around 80F. I was cold, always backpack with a sweat-shirt.
- there is indeed very little shade on Dodson trail
- 1.5 gal pp per day was accurate for us
- South Rim hike is way shorter. We hiked that one in a day and a half then grabbed our permit to do the OML in two days rather than 3.

The advice I would have liked :
- hike it in March, flower season for cactii
- avoiding Chisos is a good idea, keeps all the nice views and makes it a 2 long days hike.
- the road to Junniper canyon trailhead is really shit, even with a 4 wheel drive (SUV not a jeep) it took me 90 minutes to do it one way.
- consider carrying more water and not caching at Junniper to avoid that drive
- get a hiking umbrella, weights very little and provides great shade on desert part.

backpacking
9 months ago

Just joined alltrails but have done the Outer Mountain Loop twice now in the late October and mid November the past two years. As others have observed, a very challenging hike with tough, long climbs, very little water. Lots of exposure on the Dodson Trail and downright dangerous if it's hot. High dropout rate, but if you have good legs this trail is a real experience to not forget.

Don't do this hike without consulting the very, very well written OML Hike FAQ on the equally impressive and helpful site Big Bend Chat (I belong). Lots of up to date water reports, advice, warnings, etc. There are three main water sources and if you take the time to learn where they are this can be done without hauling too much to wear you out. Here it is: http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-national-park-outer-mountain-loop/the-outer-mountain-loop-faq-and-planning-tips/

Like many on the forum there, I recommend doing the hike starting at Homer Wilson Ranch and avoiding the Basin altogether. I've done both. The first few miles out of the basin in either direction are the least inspiring of the total hike by a long shot--my opinion and that of plenty of others. Last late October went counter-clockwise starting from HWR with a stay on the South Rim the second day. Unparalleled beauty and views there.

Truly one of the best hikes of my long hiking career.

on Pine Canyon Trail

10 months ago

Lovely canyon. Green oasis in the desert. Few visitors. Bear present.

hiking
10 months ago

Easy trail. Perfect for those with mobility difficulties. Location near restaurant and store make it a great pre-or post-meal walk. View at sunset unbeatable.

Loved this off-road trail. Very pretty in February.

hiking
10 months ago

This trail is NOT moderate, and is extremely difficult and can be very dangerous for the inexperienced or anybody does not go in the Nov-Mar timeframe. Very high failure rate due to the challenging terrain, heavy water carry, and elevation changes.

I think the route that includes the Chisos Basin may be more common, look for the other trail that says "includes pinnacles".

Strongly recommend you don't do this without including the South Rim which is the best view in the area.

backpacking
11 months ago

The loop is 35 miles long, not 25. Unless you do a shortened version not listed by the park or elsewhere. And to call it moderate could kill people, as that trail has. I hiked the AT starting in Maine, and it was not nearly as difficult as the Outer Mountain Loop.

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