no dogs




nature trips

wild flowers

kid friendly



off road driving


trail running

scenic driving



historic site

Named for the Bend of the Rio Grande along the USA Mexico, this park has part of the Chihuahuan Desert, ancient fossils, and cultural artifacts of Native Americans.

This is the trail to do if you come to Big Bend. We did Emory Peak along the way. Started at 7 am, took 3 hours to Emory Peak. Trail gets rough near the peak, but it's there. 2 more hours to the Rim from there, then approximately 3 more hours back to the trailhead. Including stops and lunch, about 9 hours to complete the 15 miles.

As far as preparation, we did bring toilet paper as there are bathrooms along the trail. 25L of water between 5 people was way more than we needed. Probably 2.5-3L per person would have been right. Admittedly it was cool and cloudy when we hiked, so warmer weather should warrant more than that.

The views are all there, just come prepared and it'll be a great hike!

Perfect hike to start our time in Big Bend with. Upon reaching the end we went barefoot and walked up the river until we reached the first bend in the canyon. That probably added another mile to our hike. River was shallow (no deeper than 3 feet) and slow but did become rocky the further we pushed. Definitely be aware of weather conditions and be careful wading if you choose to go barefoot. Views in the river and around the bend are awesome, and really made the trail worthwhile!

1 day ago

Started this hike from the Chisos Campground trailhead which made it about 3.6 miles and 500 feet of elevation change. This shortened route wasn't difficult, and we enjoyed the views leading up to the window. The Window at the end is incredible, but very windy. Careful climbing to the edge, as the rock is worn smooth and there is little traction. This trail is perfect if you're trying to do 3-4 short hikes in a day.

Completed the OML 3-13-18 to 3-15-18 three days two nights during spring break week. I would not recommend attempting this hike during spring break for those planning ahead next year it was a zoo. If you must do it during spring break then go towards the end of the week it was much less crowded no line to get into the basin.

Would also recommend to learn more about the trail and get excellent advice and updates on water locations that can be found on the trail. I was able to filter 4 L of water from a spring on the trail that I learned about from this website.

Overall it is a gorgeous, but tough hike so be sure to pack as light as possible since you’ll be carrying a lot of water with you. Additionally, stay the night at the lodge or perhaps in Alpine Texas and get to the panther junction station early next day so that you can get desirable campsite locations. We did not get to panther Junction until around 1:30 PM so were stuck with zone camping in Juniper Canyon first night and blue Creek zone camping the second night making day two a long 15.5 mile day.

Lastly, as other reviewer‘s have mentioned this trail is hard and not for the beginner backpacker. Unfortunately, we ran into a group of young men in their late teens early 20s who were ill prepared for this trail. They had started on the Dodson trail. One person had a day pack and was carrying his sleeping bag in his arms. I don’t know if the group made it past the basin, but he did not look like he was having a good time when we caught up to them midway on the Dodson trail.

Best advice for the OML is to plan ahead and have the right gear.

Fantastic hike!

2 days ago

Hiked up to the peak with my daughter. There’s a bit of a technical scramble to get up to the very peak, but if you’re not terribly afraid of heights, I’d recommend this trail to anyone. The peak view looking down on the basin was surreal and peaceful. We really enjoyed it.

2 days ago

This is a phenomenal trail. The view at the top and along the way is awesome. Parking is limited so go in the morning. Also there's almost no shade so go early to avoid overheating.

4 days ago

I was nervous before doing this and reading all reviews. I am a 30 year old that is a smoker and overweight and haven’t worked out in months. I did this trail had to stop a few times but other than that an overweight smoker can definitely do it! Totally worth it! Lots of stopping points to enjoy views. The best one is definitely from the top!

View is definitely worth the hike.

The views along this trail are spectacular. That being said, this is a longer hike than advertised. We walked for 1 ½ hours and did not reach the end. Our children ages 8, 10, 11 were exhausted and we had a mutiny on our hands. The entire hike back is uphill and will take well over an hour. Like I said, absolutely gorgeous, just know you are committing to 3 hours, the second half of which is entirely uphill.

We are new to the hiking game and a little out of shape in our late 40’s so it was hard on the legs trying to keep up with the teens. That said the views were stunning!

on Pine Canyon Trail

6 days ago

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

7 days ago

Great family hike. On the trail at 8:30am. 8-10 year olds all made it without complaints. 3 hours round trip. Big fun!!!

This trail was absolutely gorgeous! A short hike, but absolutely beautiful.

Enjoyable enough..a little too crowded for my taste, but worth enjoying the hot spring :)

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.

off road driving
9 days ago


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

off road driving
9 days ago

Such a blast. Easier than I expected for me and my stock Jeep Wrangler. Very scenic, beautiful trail. Only a couple of spots where actual 4wd was necessary. Look for the spot with the old grave sites on the hill! No signs but looks very historic. Overall, my favorite off-road trail at big bend.

11 days ago

Slightly challenging, awesome views at the top. Worth every second.

off road driving
11 days ago

2012 non lifted 2 Dr with front Aussie locker. Piece of cake nice drive 2.5 hours with short stops for pics. Go to park before May as the temps will be high. May want to bring water and fuel. Had a great spring break 2018! We went North to South.

18 days 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.

Toughest Hike I have ever done.... YOU MUST PREPARE! Recommend and read everything.

Extremely demanding loop with a very high failure rate, and not for the inexperienced. Couple of thoughts/lessons.

1. This trail is no joke, water is a big issue, and I can see this trail flat out being very very dangerous for inexperienced or unprepared backpackers.
2. I can't imagine doing this trail much past mid-march, the Dodson was pretty brutal in the afternoon already
3. I wore shorts which was stupid, although I enjoyed the coolness, zipper pants for flexibility in the desert would have been better
4. We added both Emory Peak and the South Rim (at SW3) to the trip (total mileage ended up being 43 miles due to some side trial action. Unless you have been or plan to return I cannot imagine doing the OML without adding the South Rim, it was far and away the best part of the whole trip.
5. The trail is rough, very very rocky, and suggest you put a lot of time in prep into your shoe/sock/feet/knee plan as I think those issues are most likely to cause a stoppage.
6. I carried a 4.5L water capacity and drank at least 2 litrer before every fill up (beginning, upper juniper, and Homer Wilson). That was enough, although I wish I had probably 1 more liter on the Dodson and going up Blue Creek in the afternoon.
7. Make sure you have a plan for lots of electrolytes, I think that is a game changer vs. just plain water.
8. Pack light! My pack was 10-15 lbs lighter than my buddies and I think was the difference in finishing/not finishing. I also cowboy camped with only a groundsheet and emergency tarp (that I needed one night) which saved a good amount of weight.

trail running
18 days ago

25 minutes to get down the trail and 30 minutes to get back up. The end of this trail is incredible. Like a dry rock waterfall in a canyon at the end. Well worth the hike. BE Careful if you plan to trail run, there are mountain lions in the desert here. Recommend not running solo.

22 days ago

The views from the top are incredible.

interesting place to see..

love this hike ...short with so much to see

great hike with large rocks!

off road driving
26 days ago

Great scenery during the drive. Didn't stop at any sites on the way, but did stop for some amazing photos. Would definitely do again if I had more time.

26 days ago

Gotta love a hike that starts with a descent and ends with you climbing back up! Portion your water appropriately - we saw a few people needing to ask others for refills on the way back. Little to no shade so if you ignite like a vampire when the sun touches you like me, pack lots of sunblock, or better yet, wear UV blocking clothing and a huge hat. Totally worth it for that view at the end. Lots of wasps during this time of year, for those of you that are bee-phobic.

nature trips
26 days ago

Pretty darn awesome.

We are staying at an RV park close by and decided to do an evening walk and check out the petroglyphs. Go at sunset - it was amazing.

Tips for finding the trail: park your car and walk down to where you see a barbed wire fence that reads "US Border". Cross that (yep, seriously). Walk straight over a hill and you will see a sign that denotes the start of the trail.

The trail is not clearly marked but you can follow the many footprints or just walk around the large rock formations on your left until you see these crazy large red boulders with holes in them. You have now reached your destination.

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