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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.

hiking
2 days ago

awesome trail..2walk, walk,walk forever!

10.7 miles total. Chose to take Laguna Meadows trail to Southwest rim to Boot canyon tr/1.5 mile to Emory Peak, (the trail steps helped) woohoo!! adrenaline rush.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful views all the way up as the sun rises through the early morning. The views from the top offer long distance vistas as well as much closer interesting geological shapes. The volume of trees growing in the shaded canyon to the east of the very top trail was an interesting surprise.

off road driving
3 days ago

Great day in the Jeep. Nothing too hard but beautiful views

on Lost Mine Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful trail with open, unobstructed views. Trail well maintained even with heavy foot traffic .

hiking
6 days ago

Start before sunrise for amazing views.

6 days ago

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

13 days ago

started hike at 7.30 p.m. reached the chimney just as sun went behind the mountain . cactus was blooming and scenery lovely with the sun low on horizon. trail easy to follow by starlight. did not need headlamps until last .5 mile.

hiking
14 days ago

The view is spectacular!

Amazing views. My favorite part of the hike was the nice beach in the shade. Cool boulders along the way too.

The trail was a bit more intimidating that I anticipated, what with all the cacti near the trail. We found a cave up near the top of the ridge that had a bunch of old and fresh lion scat. The actual den at the trail's conclusion is a great stop to hydrate and fuel up on snacks.

We hiked this trail right after completing Devil's Den and the canyon walls were worth it.

Hiked with a couple friends and we enjoyed being alongside the river.

Bumpy, but great shortcut to Santa Elena. Nice sighting of a primitive structure along the way.

The road was a lot of fun to drive in the Jeep, and the views comprised of vast expanses of desert. Really cool.

Really well designed building at the fossil exhibit.

The road was smooth, the scenery great, and I got way too excited driving through the tunnel.

Beautiful drive to make when you first enter the park.

Starts at the hot springs and leads to rio grand “village” which is actually just a picnic area. Can also be done in reverse but we wanted to finish and take a dip in the hot spring which was a treat. Be sure to bring a lot of water! There is no shade on this trail whatsoever. Great views of the river and canyon and across the river to Mexico!

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

hiking
16 days 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.

Grueling hike and the last 30 foot scramble isn’t for the faint of heart, especially on the way down. That said, my dad (72-years old) and I completed this hike in about 6 hours with many rest stops. The 360-degree views afforded from the very top of Emory Peak are only rivaled by the views from the South Rim.

hiking
18 days ago

Absolutely breathtaking. The drive up to Santa Elena canyon is amazing and once you park and start walking towards the canyon, your jaw just drops at the sheer majesty of it. Definitely a Big Bend must see/do hike.

hiking
18 days ago

This was a great hike. We started at 9 am from the Chisos Basin and returned by 3:30 pm. This hike will be a great workout as it has significant elevation gain and rocky trails to traverse. The trail is well-maintained with scenic views throughout the hike. Last 25 ft requires a boulder scramble which we chose to bypass, but found the vista nearby absolutely breathtaking. Bring lots of water on this trail. We consumed 3 water bottles each as the Texas sun can be brutal especially during summer.

Window Trail can be moderate or difficult but that depends a lot on the time of day. Parts of the trail are shaded but others are exposed, especially at the beginning (and end) of the trail. We left at around 2pm from the Chisos Basin campground and returned around 5pm after a snack at the pour-off. After 3pm, it started to get very hot and that made the climb out of the canyon grueling. If I had to do it again, I’d try to make sure to get it done in the morning. I wouldn’t want to be on the slick rocks of the pour-off in the evening.

Long and strenuous, the South Rim Trail took us a little over 7 hours to finish with a few breaks and a 15-minute lunch on the rim. We took Pinnacles to Boot Canyon and climbed down the Laguna Meadows Trail. We left from the Chisos Basin at 8am, but didn’t start climbing down Laguna Meadows until 1pm and the heat started taking a real toll on us. Even though there are three toilets along the way, we really had to go during the last four miles and tried to hustle our way down. People don’t often talk about the after effects of doing hard hikes but our bodies felt overheated and in shock the rest of the day. We felt much better the next day.

It’s a great hike great views!

Just a beautiful view of the Rio Grande river flowing through the canyon. One of my favorite parts of Big Bend NP.

hiking
21 days ago

This trail was very well maintained and marked. The views were very nice especially about a third of the way up. But the best view was at the top. We were in no rush to come down.

backpacking
23 days 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.

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