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4 days ago

Beautiful trail. Not too hard of a hike. Lots of switchbacks. Normally coming down hurts my knees pretty bad, but this trail wasn’t too hard on them!

Very nice trail with great views along the way. Deer spotted. Parking can be an issue, found a pull off about a 1/4 mi south of the trail head.

5 days ago

It’s a moderately difficult hike for us older folks, but once you get past the switchbacks the views are easy to get to and amazing.

Incredible views. Only moderate elevation gain. Changing scenery constantly. Recommend highly.

14 days ago

Amazing trail, but the parking lot fills up fast. Plan to get their shortly after sunrise if you want a spot!! The trail can get pretty crowded too.

The best hike in all of Texas. Walking through Boot Canyon feels like descending into a prehistoric world. Amazing views. I go every year and love it even more each time, even this year when it was freezing cold and everything was covered in fog. I usually see deer going up too.

I'd recommend going up Pinnacles (shorter and steeper) and going down Laguna Meadow. I'd also recommend checking out the Northeast Rim, and making sure to leave early.

Amazing hike, I did it counter clockwise as a overnight backpacking trip. Counter-clockwise seemed a bit easier. The views on the South Rim were amazing. I added a few extra miles by hiking out to camp at NW 4 for the night--there were at least 4 pads for tents down there and lots of little trails to several AMAZING viewpoints for sunrise and sunset. I did see bear scat fairly close to the tent areas, so be sure to be bear-aware and store any food/scented items in the bear boxes!
I would rank this as Moderate for me personally, but I'm in fairly good shape (and am comparing this to backpacking on the Colorado Trail which I would rate as Strenuous). I carried in all the water I needed, but I did come across water on Day 2 of my hike.
I wrote a blog post about this trip if you'd like to get a little more detail: www.backpacktheplanet.com/blog/big-bend-solo-backpacking

16 days ago

After the first half, this trail is basically a staircase up to the top. The view from the top is fantastic! You can see all around. To be honest it was a little difficult to tell where the trail ended. It was a little cold and windy at the top, but that’s to be expected in January.

This review gives some detail as to the time requirements of the trail. As an almost 50 year old female in moderate shape, I’ve done this trail twice as a day hike. You don’t have to be an experienced adventurer as the description says. Just have a planned route, bring water and snacks, and get an early start so you can make it back before dark. But bring a good flashlight just in case you spend a little too much time on the rim! There are several composting toilets along the route, but be sure to bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Starting at Pinnacles, it takes me around a 3 hours to make it to the rim with a steady pace and only a couple of short breaks. I push it to get through Pinnacles as I have more energy in the first part of the trip before fatigue sets. South Rim trail is much easier than Pinnacles. The longest part of trip always seems to be coming back Laguna Meadows, but probably because it’s the last part of the trip. This leg of the journey takes about the same amount of time as the ascent, but I usually take more and longer rest breaks. You really have to take it slower going down due to loose rock and an increased fall potential. I prefer taking Laguna Meadows down as it is easier on the knees than Pinnacles. Whole trip takes around 7-8 hours with spending at least an hour on the rim for taking pics, picnicking, and just taking it all in! Total distance from the parking lot and back is closer to 12 miles. When coming back on Laguna Meadows, be sure to take paths to the left where tails diverge. Otherwise you’ll end up on loop trails and get a much longer hike!

Really fun hike. You get a lot of “bang for your buck” with this hike because it is not as remote or long as other hikes in the area, but you get to see great views and lots of flora and and some fauna (if you’re lucky!)

Don’t miss this one if you come to Big Bend!

Hands down, my favorite hike in Texas. The views at the top are worth the effort. This hike is challenging but very doable if you give yourself ample time to complete it. It took us about 8 hours, not including a half hour spent taking in the views on the south rim. We did not include Emory Peak. We ascended via the steeper Pinnacles, which I would recommend despite the extra effort. I think coming down the Pinnacles would have been too much for my joints. I’m nearly 40 and in good shape, but I was feeling pretty sore by the end.

Love this trail! This is the second time doing it and it was just as amazing as the first time!

22 days ago

We hiked this trail Dec 10, 2018.
Easy in the beginning, gets harder towards the end. Step, very uneven surface rocks. The top, it’s almost a plateau, you can safely walk on top of the trail and view different angles of the mountains. Definitely worth another visit later on!

Best hike of my life so far. Best hike in Texas. Worth every minute and every blister. The beauty of the Chisos Mountains in beyond description and this trail gives you the full breadth of it as well as the incredible view of the desert floor from the south rim.

Great views for not a lot of effort. It's all uphill but at a manageable gradient and distance. It's a popular hike so consider getting there early to find parking

Excellent hike with great views. Hike has many different ecosystems and the view is as good as it gets. Pretty good pull to the top but well worth it. You can hit Emory peak on the backside as you are finishing up.

A wonderful hike with beauty at every turn. I am 61 and fit and thought this hike was very doable. If you’re not young, I recommend going up Laguna Meadows and down Pinacles. Pinacles probably would hAve done me in if I had used that route for my assent. We started at 9 am and finished the 12.5 mile hike at around 6:15 pm, stopping for lunch and breaks along the way....,,..so, it’s a full day hike. There are some really steep climbs to consider. I would say this is a hike for any age, but you should be pretty fit to do it.

Fun, tough hike with amazing views on the rim. I recommend going up Laguna meadows for an easier climb. We've done it as an overnight and a day hike with the overnight giving you the rim all to yourself in the morning. Either way the views are worth it.

Beautiful, beautiful hike! My favorite in the park. Fairly strenuous for those not in the good shape. I’m 43 and in reasonably good shape, and my feet and knees were on fire. Well worth the discomfort though! Cold beer and ice packs back at camp.
Don’t forget the west rim- it’s not marked. After the south rim, instead of immediately following the path to the right to Laguna Meadows trail, head straight up for another stunning vista to the west. Adds about .25 miles to the hike.

Strenuous hike. Great views. We combined this with Emory Peak and it took 8 hours hiking . Total of 16 miles.

I started at around 5 AM from the basin on Laguna Meadows side. Saw no one. Mild weather in the 50s, It was great transition from moonlight to sun rise. The sun rays made a great arc at the rim. I spent alone at the top for about half an hour enjoying the view and the solitude. It was very windy. Came down via Pinnacles, saw a lot of people then. Since I started very early, I carried only 3 liters of water. I ended up using only 2.5 liters anyway. Took me 7 hours.

1 month ago

As previously mentioned, the west side of the trail is in rough shape and there is no water until you hit the OT. We did enjoy the great weather and the last of the fall colors.

The entire trail took about three hours with a few breaks. Parking is very limited around busy times so we ended up having to park about a mile away and walk to the trailhead which isn't a big deal. We saw a bear about half a mile into the trail snacking on something. He didn't seemed to be bothered by people at all. the view from the top is great and is a comparable height to emory peak without having to hike all day long.

1 month ago

Great views from the peak. Can be shroaded in early morning mist first thing.

1 month ago

Did an overnight backpack hike of Southrim loop the weekend of Nov 10th. PERFECT weather. We went up Laguna since we had 30lb packs. We carried 3-4L of water between the two of us for 2 days and night, hiking and cooking dinner and breakfast. The maples in Boot Canyon were gold and red, lots of water after rains. We ran into a huge Black Bear on Colima and they were very active everywhere. Be aware, loud and don’t run and you’ll be fine. You must use bear boxes available at each campsite. The sunset was worth everything! We came down Pinnacles and it was grueling. Glad we didn’t go up that way with full packs. Can’t wait to go back and do the Northeast extension.

2 months ago

This is a great length of trail for an easy overnighter, but the west side of the loop is quite rough! No one should use my recording to aid them on the west portion because there were many times we completely lost the trail - no blazes in sight and the trail just seemed to dead end into brambles. We took the scenic route option at the sign giving the option between that and the Horse Thief Springs trail around Snake Mountain, and maybe it would have been better if we had kept to the main trail. Much of the trail is fairly overgrown, even once we rejoined the main trail. There was also no water source we could use from Cedar Lake to Horse Thief Springs along the west loop. The spring itself is pretty nasty looking. The first water we found that was running enough to collect was a half mile onto the east loop. There are also great campsites there. The east loop was amazing - beautiful, well marked, plenty of water, and lots of great camping spots.

2 months ago

Hit up this trail on our first day heading into the BOB. Great eye opener for what was to come for a city slicker like myself. This trail whooped my butt but was a great time. Highly recommend it!

2 months ago

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

Epic! like one of the other post side two biodiversity between the forks is just amazing! Went for 3 Days 2 nights, 1st night camp at no fish Lake, on the west fork. the next day bagged North Truchas Peak. Then walked the skyline divide trail. Seen Bristlecone Pine on the edge of Chimayosos peak. Lots of big horn sheep. Came down the middle fork. Definitely going back next summer.

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.

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